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XK120

Jaguar XK120

Jaguar's postwar supercar. Produced from 1948 to 1954.

Originally fitted with a 600-16 crossply tyre, a suitable radial replacement would be a 185HR16, or a 600R16.

One of the most desirable post-war cars of all, the Jaguar XK120 was a turning point in the history of the sports car, with its sensational design and 120mph top speed. First shown at the 1948 Earls Court motor show, the XK120 was fitted with Jaguar's all-new XK straight-six twin-cam engine in 3442cc form. Jaguar didn't expect to sell many XK120s and it couldn't afford to tool up for steel bodyshells so the first 242 cars were made of aluminium.

Overwhelmed by the demand, by 1950 Jaguar had invested in tooling to make the XK120 from steel panels instead. A year later there were two key developments: a Fixed-Head Coupé was introduced and so was a Special Equipment (SE) option, which brought revised suspension and a tuned engine with 180bhp instead of the usual 160bhp. A third body style was introduced in 1953: the Drophead Coupé, with winding windows and a heavily lined hood. By 1954 the XK120 was dead though, replaced by the XK140.

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