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Jaguar roared back to sports car prominence with the postwar introduction of the XK120, which became an instant favorite for rallies and racing. Predictably, enthusiasts craved more performance – resulting in the SE “Special Equipment” model, which featured dual exhaust, revised camshafts, and wire wheels.
The SE offered here received a nut-and-bolt restoration completed in July 2015 with an emphasis toward spirited driving. The engine was rebuilt by noted XK race-engine builder Antech in Monterey, Massachusetts. Rare, optional SU H8 sand-cast carburetors and a C-Type specification cylinder head were substituted to provide peak horsepower while maintaining a relatively stock, if uprated, specification. Other improvements include a more modern five-speed gearbox, aluminum radiator, electric fan, oil cooler, and a discreetly hidden alternator with corresponding negative-ground conversion.
The paint and frame-off assembly work were completed by Jaguar specialist Tom Jaycox of Canaan, Connecticut, utilizing the original color scheme of Battleship Grey over Red leather. A new wiring harness was fitted during the chassis rebuild. A wood-rim steering wheel was also added, along with a hydraulic clutch conversion and modified pedal box, which increases comfort for taller drivers. New 60-spoke painted wire wheels and Blockley tires complete the aggressive, near-stock appearance. The finished car is an extremely handsome example of a fully restored SE Roadster, with tasteful performance and reliability upgrades to maximize its next owner’s enjoyment.