1954 Jaguar XK120
Owned by Eric Moore
Members of The Jaguar Drivers Club of Natal, South Africa, are justifiably proud of their cars. Some are brand new; others in original condition and some have been restored to their former glory, having been found as wrecks.
This page features the Jaguar XK120
The Jaguar Drivers Club of Natal
KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Date of manufacture: 13th January 1954
Date of first registration: 11th February 1954
Registered in UK as: UPE 7
Original colour: Dove Grey now Teal Blue
Engine number: F1659-8S original
Chassis number: S669119
Only 152 right hand drive fixed head coupes were built, 3 in 1952, 76 in 1953 and 73 in 1954 as opposed to 609 open tourers and 263 drop head coupes. Refer "original Jaguar XK" by Philip Porter.
The S669119 is a special equipment model only built to order for racing and rallying. It differed from the standard XK120 in as much as it was fitted with up rated torsion bars, lightened fly wheel, uprated rear springs, high compression head with high lift camshafts and wire wheels.
Rear wheel spats were not fitted due to the fitment of wire wheels. The XK120 FHC is purely a 2-seater with the space behind the seats filled with a storage box with the two 6-volt batteries below that. A unique feature of the XK was the rev counter which revolved anticlockwise due the fact that it is driven by the left side camshaft.
XK120 chassis number S669119 was sold by Henleys London, registration number UPE 7
The registration book which is a "follow up" shows that the owner on the 13th Aapril 1964 was a Keith Joseph Peter Kerr who sold to Ian Dennis Boyle on the 28th July 1965.
Ian Dennis Boyle brought the XK120 to South Africa in 1966/67 and after using it for a couple of years parked it off.
I discovered this car and purchased it from him on the 25th February 1982.
I spent many years, as time allowed, restoring the xk 120 to original and registered it on 16th october 2003 as XK120 ZN.
The engine has been sleeved back to standard with new pistons and rings and the crankshaft ground to 20 thou.
The slinger on the rear of the crankshaft has been machined off to take a split seal in a special housing to stop the inherent rear main oil leak.
Refurbished carburettors were imported from the UK and the original fuel pump has been replaced with an electronic unit, i.e. no points, which fits directly onto the original base without modification.
All the original hydraulic cylinders have been re-sleeved in stainless steel.
The original gearbox has been replaced with a 5 speed overdrive all syncro Getrag gearbox which reduces the engine revs in 5th to +- 2300 rpm at 120 kph and has no detrimental effect on the performance of the car.
The original gearbox is crated and can be refitted without any modifications.
Electronic ignition has been fitted which results in instant starting even after standing for long periods.
The original wire wheels are in perfect condition but the vehicle is shod with 205/70 x 16 tyres which have improved ride and lightness of the steering.
The two rear splined hubs were replaced as the splines on the originals were worn.
The exhaust has been remanufactured per the original in stainless steel.
The oil filter housing has been adapted to accept a screw on filter but can be put back to original without any modification.
The two original 6-volt batteries are in place with their original covers etc. but a 12-volt high performance sealed battery has been fitted in the engine compartment at chassis level, unseen and connected via a "dead man switch" under the fender. The 6-volt batteries are now dummies but can be reconnected with ease.
An electric radiator fan has been fitted with automatic switch in and manual override and a header tank with siphon system has been fitted to improve engine cooling.
Two “flame thrower”, spot/road lamps have been fitted as per original.
A period driver’s door mirror has been fitted.
There are two factory workshop manuals and a factory parts manual, in mint condition.
Original jack and jack ratchet.
Two suitcases have been made and fit neatly into the boot.
The XK120 is in perfect condition other than the paintwork which looks very good until inspected closely when paint lift can be detected, caused I suspect through non adhesion of undercoat as a result of poor preparation.
The colour coat was applied in 2002 and has taken a number of years to show defects but appears to have settled so only the areas affected should have to be reworked.
Jaguar XK120 left and Jaguar XK140
South Coast Sun newspaper article, 26 May 1982
click image for larger view