XK120 OTS LHD Handbrake Confusion

(Christopher Potempa) #1

Okay, for those with left hand drive cars, is the open side of the handbrake lever (where you can see the rod) supposed to face towards the driver or passenger? I’m confused here. I pulled my old one off some time ago, purchased a replacement (the original being bent and too deeply pitted with rust in the midsection to bother with rechroming) and now that I’m finally refitting it, it doesn’t seem aesthetically “right” that the open side of the lever should be facing the passenger side. Maybe it won’t matter since it will be covered with the leather gaiter, but, still…? Any thoughts here? Has this been covered before? Adding to the confusion is that Jaguar assigned the lever with two different part numbers but I’m told it’s still the same part.

Thanks guys.

(Tadek) #2

As found on my 36k mile car:


(Christopher Potempa) #3

The open side of yours is just like mine. If this is representative of most OTS left hand drive cars, then this answers my question – thank you.

(CP120) #4

Hi Chris:

Porter’s “Original Jaguar XK” (2003) shows 3 photos on pages 44-46 of LHD XK OTS cars with the handbrake lever mounted exactly as in Tadek’s photo with the open side towards the passenger seat. I recall having the same trouble with mine and leafing through the literature to ascertain the correct position.



(Rob Reilly) #5

Open side to the right is correct also on my LHD FHC. It is bent to the right to clear the gearbox tunnel. The leather sleeve does NOT cover it.

I’m not sure about RHD cars. I thought they were the same handle but just bent to the left rather than the right. So thus the open side would be against the tunnel. Is that correct?

From mid 1954 the handles were curved forward.

(Christopher Potempa) #6

Thanks Chris. I’d think that best practice would’ve been to have the open side of the handle – whether the car in question is right or left hand drive – always facing the transmission tunnel. As it is, only the right hand drive cars seem to have it set up right. I’ll chalk this up as another quirky example of having originally rushed this model into production. Thanks too for the Porter book reference. I’ll look it up when I get home.

(Christopher Potempa) #7

Rob, leaving aside those late production curved handle levers, my old lever also has a slight bend down around the fulcrum pivot point. As I’m at the office I don’t remember if it bends left or right. Regardless, reproductions are sold without any bend. I was comparing the two last night and noted that the internal rod from the old one had to be bent slightly in order for it to move up/ down freely inside the lever.

I will take a picture of the two side by side when I get home.

(XK-SS) #8

Since there appears to be only one straight style and one curved style part for all models. I would guess that drivers over the years have bent them (easily done as they are brass) probably because you tend to force if you do not understand how to release it also it is very difficult to fit the tunnel carpet behind it when it is straight.


(Christopher Potempa) #9

Okay, I’m not at the re-upholstery stage just yet so I won’t argue with you there but…brass? My original is pretty thick cast steel. I wish it had been made of brass as it would have been more amenable to saving.

(Tadek) #10

Do you have the bracket fitting for the gear lever leather



(Jag-ur) #11

Tadek I am open to correction here but the bracket which secures the gaiter on mine was covered in rexine… not leather. and it was totally covered not just three sides.

(Christopher Potempa) #12

I’m uncertain as to whether I have that bracket assembly or not as I received an upholstery kit about a year back but didn’t dig so deep in the boxes as to itemize everything. If not, it’ll be another thing to order. Thanks for pointing it out.

As mentioned, here’s a side-by-side comparison of an original and reproduction levers united with a shaft loosely fitted. The original has a slight bend.

(Tadek) #13

You are correct Sir!
Mine too was rexine, but I had no rexine available at that time…


(Tadek) #14

If you need one, e-mail me offlist. I have made a couple and have the correct wood screws :slight_smile:

(Rob Reilly) #15

From the SPC
C.3714 Handbrake Lever - RHD only
C.3272 Handbrake Lever - LHD only
C.3717 Rod, Operating, through Handbrake Lever - RHD only
C.4169 Rod, Operating, through Handbrake Lever - LHD only

No mention of the curved version in my J.8 amended June '54.
However, it is in Service Bulletin 152 dated Sept '54, described as a “modified handbrake lever”.
C.7905 Lever
C.7906 Rod
C.8445 Ratchet
Beginning chassis numbers RHD/LHD
OTS 661170, 675763
FHC 669185, 681477
DHC 667271, 678390
So there was apparently only one curved lever for both RHD and LHD from mid 54 to the end, but by my figuring using Urs’s final chassis numbers that’s only 811 cars, mostly LHD OTS, and using Porter’s monthly totals that puts the change in June.

(Jag-ur) #16

Here’s something which might interest you … see images . As fitted to some 120s This is the original 1953 Earls Court display model. G

(Eric Capron) #17

How lovely. Must be the only one in the world that’s never been used. Did you manage to get the amplifier as well?


Shropshire, UK

(Jag-ur) #18

Unfortunately no… this part really is quite amazing… how do these things survive? But I’m glad it did!

(Christopher Potempa) #19

Thank you Mr. Tadek – fortunately, I do have one.

(Tadek) #20

Beautiful radio Godfrey!!