Jaguar XK120 SE OTS (1954)
Magnificent sportscar with all the right upgrades.
Now here we have something very special. This Jaguar XK120 SE OTS was the 4th to last built car on the production line before the switch to the XK140. On top of that, it was a special delivery by the factory directly to the owner for competition purposes.
42 years ago, this XK120 was purchased by the late Barry Byford, a well known Jaguar enthusiast and most of all a renowned Jaguar restorer. He restored the car for himself, and improved it just as Jaguar would have done it in the late fifties. The engine was replaced by a 3,8 litre Mk2 block, fitted with a special experimental straight port head with big valves and breathers at both sides. The suspension has adjustable shock absorbers, and the steering rack is from the XK150 which gives much better feedback compared to the original rolling ball system. The XK has both front and rear disc brakes, also from the XK150 in combination with a Mk2 Lockhead servo. Inside it has correct bucket seats as used in period competition cars and a smaller leather steering wheel. Brooklands screens were fitted instead of the standard windscreen and also a competition style rearview mirror. All this is documented in a hand written file by Barry Byford, with lots of technical information. All MOT's are still in the file as well going back as far as 1983 with a then mileage of 62826 miles. For that reason, we believe that the actual mileage of 78562 mls is correct from new. The fit and finish of this car is really exceptional and the paint quality is from a very high level. One small note for the purists : the original matching nrs. 3,4 litre also comes with the car, is included in the sale and is in completely overhauled condition.
Driving this exceptional XK120 is a bit of a revelation. It has lots of power and offers a driving experience as you would expect from a fast fifties competition car. The exhaust produces a most impressive six-cilinder howl and the steering is almost razor sharp if compared to the standard set up of an XK120. It's a sportscar which begs to be driven hard, and it will put a smile on your face from the moment you push that start button. This is definitely one of the most spectacular XK's I've ever driven !
To sum up we can really say that this is an XK120 that ticks all the boxes : matching nrs, one of the very last XK120's, beautifully restored and perfectly upgraded, fully documented (including the original "buff book" from 1954) and an absolute delight to drive. It looks gorgeous in its Carmen Red livery with black wheels, and ready to be enjoyed (a lot).