XK120 Renovation
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This FiBoy's XK120 website is devoted to a restoration of a Jaguar 3.4 litre XK120 OTS. Updated 14-helmi-2015


A tip: Click on the thumbs to get a larger picture or possibly another view!


"What aroused my Jaguar Interest"


Jaguar XK120 brochure 52

The XK Open Two Seater Super Sports Jaguar show car was a sensation at 1948 Earls Court Motor Show. Its modern design features comprising the long hood progressing from a tapered nosepiece to a wide cowl, and its round headlamps that were housed in appealingly grafted nacelles between grille and the gracefully sweeping fenders pleased the public. The high chrome-mounted divided windscreen was accented nicely by the low-slung doors resulting in an immortal sideline. About 12061 XK's were produced altogether. Road & Track recorded zero to 96 km/h in 10,1 seconds. Top speed was 195,7 km/h. 



Jaguar XK 3,3 l engine

Housed within the lovely body was the XK engine, whose stature would eventually reach epic proportions before it was finally put to pasture after 40 years of production. It was a  dual overhead cam engine with hemispherical combustion chambers designed for everyday use in sedans. With chain-driven camshafts operating huge intake and exhaust valves, it was a brilliant achievement. The XK engine spun 160 horsepower from a displacement of 3.4 liters. Not only did the engine offer terrific high speed potential , it was also wonderfully tractable around town in top (fourth) gear.



Jaguar XK120 racing at Sorsapuisto Altogether 8 XK  120 roadsters were imported to Finland in the early fifties and most of them took part in racing.  This picture is taken in Tampere were  Sorsapuisto race was a hot issue. The car's original owner Olavi Rissanen leads but finished third. The chassis number is 671468.

The registration plate was HR-48 at this time. 

Image courtesy of Jaguar Uutiset 1/98


Jaguar XK120 racing in Eläintarha 1953 The most famous car race in Finland used to be the Eläintarhanajot. Rissanen drives car no 36. This picture is taken in 1953. The same year when Rissanen got a class win in the “Rally of the Thousand Lakes”  . The car number 37 is shown in the below pic at left. 

This "Djurgard" -race is the one that Finland's best driver Curt Lincoln used to dominate. First with his XKC044 C-type (win in 1955) and later with XKD530 D-type (win 1956). 

Image courtesy of Jaguar Uutiset 1/98


Jaguar XK120 These two  former racing XK's ended up to the hands of Pauli Parri, a racing driver himself too. Not at the same time though. The sale of the right  hand car (Rissanen) made it possible for him to buy next week the better left hand car, which eventually was sold further to a friend of mine.  The car to the left was raced by  Mr Järvelin. It was subsequently restored by Risto Forsström and the resulting car can be seen below in next picture. This car is in good hands and still in Finland. This picture was taken in mid seventies. My late cousin Raimo Patrakka bought the Rissanen roadster (to the right) in 1967 for 4000 Finnish marks. I was present during that  unforgettable moment. 

Image courtesy of Risto


Jaguar XK120 The fully restored Järvelin car has one special modification; the doors are cut at skirt level. This was said to give increased life to the hinges and surely was helpful when opening the doors - the risk of hitting high pavement was greatly reduced. The original racing outfit is restored. 

Image courtesy of Vauhdin Maailma 8/94


Jaguar XK120 in Lammi, Finland This photo of my cousin's car was taken in -68 before any renovation had taken place (the green is the same as before although looks lighter). Soon afterwards the car was stripped and renovated the first time with low budget. The engine was fixed; new bearings, piston rings and the valves were shimmed. Some panel beating as well as the car had already corrosion. The side turn signal lights were adjusted to face forwards! Only one clear deviation from originality was made; the dash was made of thick full burl (not veneer). 


Jaguar XK120 honeymoon car in -69, Helsinki, Finland

The car got ready exactly two hours before a very important occasion! I used the XK wedding car for a honeymoon trip in 1969 and learned that driving a XK is really dirty business - a hat and driving glasses are much needed indeed.

During the early seventies I used the car a lot. I clocked some 15.000 kilometres all in all. The car is just fantastic to drive in all whether conditions. Some old gravel roads had to be taken carefully because of the solid rear axle that soon got loose on uneven surface.


Jaguar XK120 wedding car

The car's owner decided to follow the same pattern a couple of years later. It difficult to imagine a car more difficult to creep in wearing a wedding dress!

The original colour was probably Opalescent Silver Grey.


Jaguar XK120 in Katajannokka, Helsinki Later in the seventies the car was little used and was partially neglected. This picture is from Helsinki, Katajannokka in the year 1977. The terrible fender mirrors incorporate a radio antenna amplifier.


Jaguar XK120 in Lapua, Finland My Jaguar hobby was intensified during the eighties when I got my own Jag, the Mk7. This picture was taken during the Lapua Jaguar Club meeting - one of the last occasions we were still together. Sitting on a XK120 and holding a speech - perhaps thanking the kind police forces who attended the meeting and helped measuring the end speed after acceleration tests. 


Jaguar XK120

Also my cousin lost his interest in the car and shortly after his sudden death it was sold. The new owner restored the car and sold it to Sweden.
The registration in this time was NAA-52.


Image courtesy of Mobilisti


Jaguar XK120 Most XK owners prefer wire wheels. My friend Sten has kept the original steel wheels and the spats


Jaguar XK120

This is the classic Jaguar posing angle as seen from this and the next two pictures


Jaguar XK120 The original XK120 brochure picture is pure art.





Jaguar XK120

This early XK was caught in a meeting in Germany.


Jaguar XK120

I have never owned an XK and therefore not been in the position to make improvements. But the same passion is taken by other nuts too. In the series of V12 Jaguar Engines in odd places the enclosed picture from the US is a winner candidate - XK120 with double six power plant! 

Image courtesy of Glasermotors


Jaguar XK120 "Classic automobiles are always perceived as having feminine identities. The complex role of the feminine goddess becomes embodied in the vehicle itself in its sensuous design, form and lines and the pilots and drivers enter into an intimate dance with the machine and experience profound joy in possession of the object"  - is the outcome of an excellent article by The Northstar Gallery.

This gives some perspective into understanding why the XK cars - and more generally - the sports models never had any portruding mascots on their hoods. 



"Jaguar Sports Cars compared"


Launch 1938 1948 1957 1964 1981 1998 1954
Model SS100 XK120 XK150 E-type S1 E-type V12 XKR D-type
Engine litre 3.5 3.4 3.8 4.2 5.3 V12 4.0 V8 3.4
Wheelbase mm 2640 2591 2591 2438 2667 2589 2286
Front track mm 1330 1295 1311 1295 1378 1504 1270


1,98 2.0 1.98 1.88 1.94 1.72 1.8
Length mm 3890 4420 4496 4458 4674 4760 3920
Weight kg 1180 1300 1400 1250 1500 1845 880
Effect DIN hp 93 * 120 * 164 * 197 * 235 * 370 207 *
Torque Nm 247 265 349 382 420 525 324
0-96 km/h second 10.4 10 10 8 7.0 5.2 4.7
Max speed km/h 158 192 200 230 230 250 limited 270


12.6 10.8 9.25 6.3 6.4 5 4.25
Final drive      - 4.25 3.54 3.54 3.07 3.31 3.06 3.92



- The wheelbase/track - ratio differentiates the E-type S1, XKR and D-type from the others. Measured by weight/horsepower-ratio these models belong to same family too.

- First with the launch of XKR, Jaguar got a model substantially as capable as the D-type! 

- Performance wise the SS and early XK cars were close to the contemporary Jaguar saloons.

- Classic Jaguars were long and narrow except the racers, also in sense the XKR resembles the D-type and C-type.    


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If you have questions about the car, please have a look on the Introduction - page, where my contact information is.    

XJ12C Rebuild
Mk1 Remanufacture
MkVII Restoration
XK120 Renovation


Other XK120 links: For other links see the links page

If you have got a XK120 website, contact me!




Copyright © 2015 Fib Oy.