Lot 137

2014   |   Pebble Beach Auctions 2014

1953 Jaguar XK120 M Fixed Head Coupe

SOLD $99,000


$110,000 - $140,000| Without Reserve



Car Highlights

An Outstanding Presentation of a Most Original Example
Sympathetically Serviced and Detailed California Garage Find
Single Family Ownership for over 58 Years
Top-Specification, Original “M” Model
A Fascinating Discovery with Irreplaceable Charm

Technical Specs

3,442 CC DOHC Inline 6-Cylinder Engine
Twin SU Carburetors
180 BHP at 5,300 RPM
4-Speed Manual Gearbox
4-Wheel Hydraulic Drum Brakes
Independent Coil-Spring Front Suspension with Anti-Roll Bar
Live Rear Axle with Semi-Elliptical Leaf Springs

Saleroom Addendum

*Please note this vehicle is titled by its engine number. Please also note that this car has independent torsion bar front suspension, not coil springs as stated in the catalogue.

Register to Bid

Lawrence Brancato, Los Angeles, California (acquired from prior owner in 1955)Second Brancato Family Member, San Jose, California (inherited from the above)Current Owner (acquired from the above)

Launched to acclaim at the 1948 London Motor Show as the world’s first volume-production twin-cam automobile engine, Jaguar’s new “XK” six-cylinder unit was the product of wartime development work with preliminary design sketches completed while William Heynes and his engineering staff were on fire-watch duty. Still awaiting its intended saloon chassis, the new XK engine was showcased in a sleek new roadster that soon gained fame as the XK120. Intense and unanticipated demand forced production.

Proven in competition, the XK120 also provided the foundation of the mighty purpose-built C- and D-Type sports racers that earned Jaguar’s dominant five-victory tally at the 24 Hours of Le Mans during the 1950s. In short, the historic, influential, and beautiful XK120 simply marks the definitive postwar sports car. The sophisticated XK120 fixed head coupe arrived in 1951 with a sweeping roofline evocative of prewar Bugatti designs and a decided grand touring character. While published production numbers vary by source, as few as 2,581 coupes were built through 1954.

Retaining a majority of its rare original pastel green paint, this XK120 M was discovered in 2013 having been in single family care for over 58 years. Following its acquisition by the consignor and beginning in early 2014, an intensive refurbishment by the Bay Area’s Steve Gordon returned this time capsule to the road for the first time in decades. Many of its factory-installed interior components including its headliner remain, and the surface dyed leather has been expertly re-trimmed to match the character of this fascinating Jaguar.

Registered on year of manufacture California plates and retaining factory chalk markings on the underside of the trunk mat, this very special fixed head coupe has been a California car since it was first retailed by Charles Hornburg Jaguar in Los Angeles in 1953. Following the Jaguar’s long period of dry storage, necessary service to the fuel and braking systems has been performed, also by Steve Gordon, as well as attention paid to the electrical and cooling systems. This work was performed without disturbing the essence of the car as a whole.

Just 421 XK120 Ms were manufactured for export in 1953, with as few as 30 sharing this unrestored example’s colors and options. Accompanied by a Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust Certificate, plus researched and documented licensing history, tools, and miscellaneous NOS and used spare items, this irreplaceable benchmark 1953 Jaguar XK120 M Fixed Head Coupe has never been shown. As such, it provides the new owner the possibility of a competitive preservation-class concours entry.