Car & Classic Premium Dealer

Classic and Sportscar Centre

Corner Farm, West Knapton, Malton, Yorkshire

YO17 8JB

1954 Jaguar XK120 Roadster, Incredibly Original, Race History For Sale

This is an incredible find, a remarkably interesting matching numbers XK120 with an early life of National Sports Car Championship entries , a car that was raced in Florida, California, taken to places such as the Bahamas and Venezuela, and then retired and off the road from the 1970’s to 2019. The car was raced and owned by Henry Casper and Peter Coltrin, the latter a legendary figure in motoring journalism, a California Hot Rodder from Italian descent who in 1958 moved to Italy but continued to race the XK in the USA and various other countries. Peter Coltrin was also an author and photographer, with his photographs from 1954 to 1959 race circuits now in the care of the Klemantaski Collection where they remain as a valuable archive of 1950’s motor racing.

Having been uncovered in 2019, the XK120 was put in the hands of a leading XK specialist who has very carefully preserved the originality of this car. Since being tucked away during the 1970's, the car was coated in prima and left in dry storage. The prima coating was very carefully removed, and the cars original Cream paintwork found to be still in place. Areas of the bodywork are down to the original 1954 prima and even bare metal in places, demonstrating what a real time warp this is. The original body panels and chassis are very impressive and whilst the car may present as a restoration project on first impressions, it must be preserved and carefully owned recognising this car is 66 years old and has never been painted, retains the majority of its original interior, has excellent original running gear and has been very carefully re-commissioned and put back into use.

Our Jaguar XK120 was manufactured on the 6th July 1954 in open two-seater left hand drive format, finished in Cream with Red upholstery and distributed from Hoffman, New York. The XK then spent the 1950's and 1960's being raced by Henry Casper and Peter Coltrin with pit passes, letters and documentation all preserved and kept with the car. The car led an incredible early life and letters between Henry Casper and Peter Coltrin at very stages throughout the 1950's and 1960's make for very interesting reading, written from places such as Miami Springs when the car arrived ahead of a race in 1955, Caracas in Venezuela in 1957 and The Emerald Beech Hotel in The Bahamas.

SCCA events entered included the Willow Springs Road Race, Rosamond California Race, Florida National Sportscar Races, Beverly National Sportscar Race and the International Sportscar Grand Prix Watkins Glen. We have Pit Passes from the Willows Springs Road Race in 1955, National Hot Rod Association Passes in October 1955 and February 1956, Pomona Valley Timing Association Pit Passes, Riverside International Raceway Road Races in 1957 and Paramount Ranch Road Races, California Sports Car Club and finally the Agajanian Enterprises U. S. A. C in December 1958 and February 1959. We also have Henry Caspers 1965 registration card and an Association Automovilista Santaneca of Santa and El Salavador C. A badge.

Our Jaguar is currently going through UK registration and is having further, very careful cosmetic attention and detailing. The XK was re-commissioned and serviced in December 2019 and in the weeks prior to arriving successfully drove from Gloucestershire to Loch Lomond, over 400 miles and nine hours of driving, a test for any largely original 66 year old car. The engine runs beautifully holding very good oil pressure, correct temperature, its four speed Moss gearbox is a lovely to use and the car handles incredibly well with excellent steering, efficient brakes and impressive handling. The XK is far from perfect, but the value of this car is in its origins, provenance, history and whilst it will have the odd oil leaks and no doubt further fettling required, it has proven unbelievably reliable and strong, in probably its biggest test of endurance in over 50 years having successfully long distance toured just days before arrival.

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