XK120 grill... trades for an XK140?

(Victor Milke) #1

Hi guys,

Newby here. I live in Mexico and collect and restore cars for fun. As for Jaguars, I have a 1968 1.5 coupe in great condition… now it is time for my second Jag.

I bought a 1951 XK120 roadster which has some minor modifications, among them, it sports a XK140 grill which is in perfect condition… but of course I would like to find a correct grill for my car.

Woudl anybody be interested in a trade or would have a good 120 grill for sale?


(Art Ford) #2

Back in the day there were some replacement grills offered for the 120 that looked a lot like a 140 grill but fit the 120 hood. Being one piece they held up better than 120 grills so are not so much in demand. IIRC they were offered in the JC Whitney catalog so they could show up anywhere.

(Mike Spoelker) #3

Your basic problem is that there are more surviving 140 grilles than those for the 120. The XK120 grille is a fragile affair, made up from 14 soldered pieces, then mounted in a vulnerable location behind bumperettes with next to no impact value. On the other hand, 140 grilles are robust one piece castings secluded behind a large American style bumper. Good used 120 grilles show up for sale from time to time, and, of course, there are reproductions of varying quality available new. If you can come up with the frame and a few or all of the vanes, there are specialists who do very nice restorations, for a price. Good luck!

(Victor Milke) #4

Thank you, guys. So, It is clear from your posts that a trade is not likely to happen. Of course I am nto meaning an even trade but I would add money with 140 grill to get a 120… but now I have a larger concern:

Art, your mention “looked a lot like a 140 grill but fit the 120 hood” makes me nervous. So, there is in fact a difference between the hoods? If my car has a 140 grill, could I have a 140 hood also? I was hoping it was only the grill that was changed!


(Mike Spoelker) #5

Someone may correct me, but so far as I know, 120 and 140 grilles fit into the same opening. Yours looks like it has the 140 medallion? I think the infamous JC Whitney repops lacked a medallion. The stud pattern may be different. Very unlikely that you have a 140 bonnet. 140 bonnets would originally have had a chrome strip down the middle. The latch mechanism and location are completely different from a 120.

(Robert Wilkinson) #6

Wow! A beautiful example in apparently great condition. IIRC the 120 medallion was on the bonnet (not the grille) and the 140 medallion was on the grille (not the bonnet). So your grille (cast, with medallion) looks like 140 while your bonnet (medallion but no centre chrome strip) looks like a 120.

(Victor Milke) #7

Yes, the grill would appear to be an original 140 grill in great condition, both grill and emblem. I believe I have the correct 120 emblem, which is also in great condition, therefore I am only missing the grill… only… haha, as it it were easy or cheap to get one.

No… the car is not in great condition. Haha. Don’t let the pic fool you! It is a reasonable 1951 car that got an engine change for a high compression head engine of 1952, and through the years gained some terrible accesories, like awful wire wheels (but I already found the original steel wheels and spats) and lots of extra lights on the bumpers plus a pair of indecent Harley Davidson mirrors on the fenders. On the pic you see I had already removed everything not Jaguar. Luckily, the car has a good body, decent mechanics and asides from the mentioned items, and a few switches and one gage, was fairly complete.

I will restore it to it’s former glory, or that is the intention. I will not do a mint concours car but a great driver /ocassional show car. I believe in using the old cars and I drive one every day.

I am in the process of sourcing the missing parts, and the one that worries me most is the grill.

I still need to find:

  1. Fender lights, chrome base

  2. Headlights, British, Tripod type

  3. Ammeter gage, Smiths, marked "AMPS, -30, 15, 0, 15, 30+, PATENTED"

  4. Cigarette Lighter

  5. Ignition switch

  6. Center pillow for bottom of seatDoor openers, cord or chain

  7. Tools and Car Jack

  8. Hood prop rod and fasteners.

… and surely many more bits.

Glad to know the hood may be the correct 120 unit! I will check with a friend that has a very original 120 to measure the grills and compare holes for the attachment studs.


(Jag-ur) #8

Depending on your intended budget many of the items you are seeking can be had as reasonable reproductions… the one challenge may be the tool kit. correct kits are now selling for SERIOUS$$… be VERY careful as there are a number of scammers out there selling anything but correct tools. There are folks here on JL who are quite knowledgable re what’s right what’s wrong and what’s the difference. I would strongly advise you plunder their knowledge

(Nick Saltarelli) #9

Not sure about your bumpers. Seems there are a few mods. Not insurmountable.

(CP120) #10

Hi Victor:

As Nick mentioned, your front bumpers look a tad abused and you will require the small spears that fit on top of the headlight pods. If interested, I replaced my front bumpers with a pair from Coventry Auto Components in the UK, not cheap (as I recall around $700. for the pair), but nicely made. I retained the old ones, one of which has been re-chromed. Unfortunately, while the one is very good, the one that was re-chromed has had a couple of the horizontal contours in it’s centre ‘ironed’ out be the chroming company. If they are of interest to you let me know.



(Jag-ur) #11

Victor this is the ammeter you are looking for

(Victor Milke) #12

Chris and Nick: Pictures don’t always help… sometimes they show things better than they are (like the car) and sometimes the opposite (like the bumpers). Luckily, they are not bad, other than they had some holes drilled to hold a pair (yes, not one but two) of extra lights on each side of the car!

I work with a chrome shop here that does very good work, so I will have them cover the holes, correct any distortions the parts may have and chrome them…

As for the gage, Godfrey, thanks for the pic! If you ever want to sell it for an amount I could pay, keep me in mind!


(Victor Milke) #13

(Victor Milke) #14

In the pic, you will see the afformentioned extra four lights!!! Plus, a leaping Jaguar which I removed and used the original XK120 medallion which was moved to the trunk… so no Jaguar mascot and the medallion returned to it’s correct place.

As Chris pointed out, I need to source the spears on top of the headlights, and I want to find a set of European lights, with the flat lense and tripod. Can anybody reccomend a source for all of that?


(Nick Saltarelli) #15

This is an interesting pic from Xkdata.com


Looks almost like an old pic your car in a different colour

(Jag-ur) #16

Mike I was looking at the photo of the front of your car… I’m not convinced the bumpers are correct… I find it hard to see but the profile of the doesn’t strike me as being correct… have a look at the enclosed images the bumper without the welding on the inside of the curve is an original . The ammeter image I sent is my spare… hard to find today NOS like this one… but good used ones do show up on occasion. expect to pay around 200USD for a good one.

(Jag-ur) #17

first question … re the tribars… do you want mint originals +/- 3000usd, or restored originals +/- 2000usd , or reproductions +/- 5>600usd ? there is a HUGE difference in price and quality. Bill Tracy makes acceptable reproductions which many folks choose, There is a company in the UK which specialises in the restoration of all the Lucas silvered lamps… or if you are patient… possibly VERY patient… you can find NOS originals but be prepared to fork out whatever it takes to get them… last set sold a few years ago for if I remember correctlyXK120%20PF770%20HEADLAMP%20NOS%20WITH%20BOX around 3000+ USD

(Mike Spoelker) #18

This sounds like an enormous amount of money for a pair of headlights, but to put it in modern context, last spring a young woman making an ill-considered lane change in her rented Hyundai Veloster clipped the right front corner of my 2007 BMW Z4. The impact did little apparent damage to the BMW, but was stout enough to break the mounting tabs off the bumper cover and the Xenon headlight. The replacement headlight was $2100.

(Jag-ur) #19

… and that was just one!.. How did you make out with the bumper ?

(Mike Spoelker) #20

Also replaced. Total repair was $4,000+. Black mark was from her left rear tire. Across the street in the background is her rental, on the sidewalk, where it stopped after it hit a roadside power pole.