Tormented By Beauty

Last Saturday I was in the throes of passion over an old Purdey shotgun.  Not to sound too romantic, but my heart today has been captured by this vision of liquid steel, namely:

1954 Jaguar XK-120 SE

But wait!  It gets worse!

And how did it reach this speed?  Why, through its 3.4-liter inline-6 engine:

As with most Jags, it has a truck (boot) capable of holding a couple of shotgun cases.

No prizes for guessing which shotguns I’d carry in it, either:

For more pics and its back story, go here.  What the hell, why should I be the only one to suffer?


  1. Steering wheel on the wrong side, no CD player. Bet the hood leaks too, (This is England)

  2. Oh Kim; You’ve done it again. That 120 Jag is gorgeous! It almost hurts me to see it.
    The reason is simple. For 26 years I was possessed by a 1954 Jaguar XK 120 SE, Drop Head Coupe in British racing green with interior identical to the one you tease us with. (One does not own an early Jaguar, one is possessed by the car.) Mine, the drop head coupe, had roll up windows, a truly folding top that leaked much less than the roadsters “top” The DHC was known as the Gentleman’s Express. The 180 horsepower (@ 5500 rpm) ‘Special Equipment’ model had dual exhaust, wire wheels, different generator, & a few other adjustments.
    60 years after its manufacture, it still would reach red line in top gear.
    I sold it a few years ago when the maintenance of the car became more than this elderly curmudgeon could handle. During the years, the Jag and I attended events from Watkins Glen NY down to Sebring FL. and many shows, rallys etc. The car was ALWAYS driven to the events, never trailored and in the 26 years never had to be towed, trucked or trailored home.
    Finally, the steering wheel on the car you display IS on the proper side as Jaguar sold many more 120s in the US than the UK and the tool kit in the boot is not properly secured with leather straps just forward of the fuel filler shield on the left side.

  3. I have a friend who still daily drives his XK120 Alloy Bodied Coupe….. OK – he’s pushing 80 so not a lot of “daily driving” … and the driving is all leafy suburbs here in the Boston area where only a few people realize it’s a $ 300,000 car. But at least he doesn’t have to deal with the erector set top that claims to keep out the rain and cold.

  4. In the Late-50’s I assisted two older cousins (brothers) in overhauling a ’53 XK-120 FHC, my reward was being allowed to attend a pro-race at Riverside and driving the car for the week-end – Sweet.
    Between driving more than a modest number of miles in the Jag, and an 850 Mini that got me back and forth to college at a SoCal commuter school, and endless miles on Italian motorcycles, I picked up many of the finer points of “motoring”.

  5. Perhaps the most elegant auto ever made, I did get to drive one a few times and I owned a few other Brit Car cousins including an E Jag but the XK-120 with the split windscreen was the ultimate sports car.

  6. In BRG no less…stunning. Today’s auto manufacturers simply do not understand art coupled to design. Beautiful.

  7. Looks nice but I hope there is a place to plug in my phone for music and podcasts. Other than that, it’s passable


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