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Jaguar XK 120

Jaguar XK 120
EngineSix-cylinder in-line
Displacement (bore*stroke)3442 cm³ (83,0 mm * 106,0 mm)
Compression ratio
Engine controlDohc (chain)
Mixture preparation2 SU carburetors
DrivetrainFront engine, longitudinal,
Rear axle drive
TransmissionManual four-speed
Front suspensionDouble wishbone, torsion bar springs
Rear suspensionRigid axle, leaf spring
Wheelbase2.590 mm
Length4.420 mm
Width1.560 mm
Total weight1320 kg + driver
Maximum speed200 km/h
Purchase price998 pounds
Manufactured1948 - 1954

The three best brains of Jaguar: chief engineer William Haynes, Head of Development, Walter Hassan and the draughtsman Claude Baily put the heads together during the darkest days of the war. Assistance provided Harry Weslake, the working independently and repeatedly fetched cylinder head specialist. Still others should be mentioned, but certainly the then still civil boss William Lyons.

They have used the days of war production to be able to present a new engine directly after the war. Lyons has even the Labour government behind in the first times of peace, which he could only convince with a possible export share of more than the usual 50 percent required to exclude him from the strict raw material restrictions.

The project is a luxury sedan that aims to create with a new six-cylinder in-line engine with two overhead camshafts well 160 km/h. And if today the Jaguar models are denoted with XF, XJ and XK, then that has the tradition of the always prefixed 'X' together with the ongoing sequence of letters according to the model series. Maybe you already guess why one of the most attractive is called 'XK' today.

In any case, that is (by chance) the designation of the former project. But unfortunately, it threatens to fall into the water, because the all-important motor show is already in six to eight weeks and the Pressed Steel company does not get together the necessary sheets. Now you can imagine something under 'Deadline'. Not so the boss who still finds a way out here.

He has always had large share of the Jaguar or (formerly) SS bodies. The recovery mission benefits that he not brings first his ideas on paper, but let realize the directly. He obviously has the right people for that, the his descriptions can implement in a wooden frame with aluminum planking. He obviously has the right people for that, the his descriptions can implement in a wooden frame with aluminum planking. He also includes lay people such as his family as potential critic.

Long story short, it should actually be only a covering for the new engine which is subsequently replaced by the body of the new sedan. But as the new XK 120 is presented in London, the world is apparently no longer the same as before. The car has such a great success so that only remains one way out: One has to produce it.

Can you guess now, why Jaguar now used again the name 'XK'? No, of course not, because it is the successor of any XJ, but because one wants to tie in with the successes of 1948 and following. What was that also for a time full of ancient bodies, into which this car came. Almost exclusively pre-war goods.

Yes, the XK 120 made its way. By the way, the '120' imply the final speed in miles per hour, ie about 200 km/h. Today this is not much, but in 1948? The accessibility of this value is of course questioned promptly, especially under the hand is known that the performance specification for the engine is a bit too optimistic. Nevertheless, succeeds, though perhaps with specially selected cars, on a Belgian (!) highway to provide evidence.

On the contrary, the XK 120 will even still to a racing icon. What with the normal version fails in 1950, one wins with the XK 120 C (for Competition - see below) at the legendary 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1951 and many other competitions. 12/13

Jaguar XK 120 C
Mixture preparation
Wheelbase2.440 mm
Length3.980 mm
Width1.630 mm
Kerb weight1016 kg + driver
Top speed