1952 XK120 roadster NBU120 (1952)




1952 XK120 roadster NBU120
Making its first appearance at the 1948 London Motor Show, the XK120 was the first Jaguar to use the all-new engine that had been designed by Jaguar Chief Engineer William Heynes. The display car was the first prototype and differed slightly from the production cars by the design of the windscreen, which had straight pillars, whereas the production car had curved outer pillars.
This striking new car caused a sensation, with sleek and purposeful styling, it was the first Jaguar sports model since the pre-war SS100.The ‘120’ designation referred to the car’s maximum speed, which made it the World’s fastest production car at the time of its launch. The first production car, bearing chassis number 670003,was supplied to the American film star Clark Gable.
On 30th May 1949 on the Ostend - Jabbeke motorway in Belgium, and XK120 prototype which was fitted with a single aero screen and a tonneau cover over the passenger side, was timed by officials of the Royal Automobile Club of Belgium and achieved an average of runs in opposing directions of 1
The flowing lines of the XK120 were to influence several other manufacturers and set the trend for what was to become the ‘golden age’ of British sports cars. The open two-seater version was joined by a fixed head coupe in 1951 and a third variant appeared in 1953, this being the drophead coupe.

NUB120 is perhaps the most famous Jaguar of all, and Jaguar won't be parting with it any time soon. This 1952 XK120 roadster wears NBU120, and though in no way a copy, it is a homage to Ian Appleyard's Alpine Rally winning car. It's the right colour, and the spot lamps, plate and bonnet strap are in the configuration that NUB120 used in the year this XK was built. It has confused a few, but with beautiful dark red wheels and interior it can't really be mistaken for NUB120.  A unique union of a very special car and an important registration.

This XK went to the States when new, and at some time in the '90s it was shipped to New Zealand. The Heritage Trust certificate states it was pastel blue with a duo-blue interior. It was changed to Old English white and a new dark red interior fitted. The paint is excellent, and the interior is very nicely worn in. It was also changed to RHD.

In 2016 Roger Williams of Suffolk Sports Cars brought it to the UK as his personal car. Although in superb cosmetic and structural condition, over £30,000 of work was carried out in the SSC workshops. This included; all new suspension bushes, rear springs, C Type 72 spoke wheels with Blockley tyres, stainless exhaust, aluminium radiator, 11 blade engine fan, electric cooling fan, negative earth conversion, Petronix electronic distributor, correct headlights, Moto Lita steering wheel, dark red tonneau, front disc conversion and many other items.
This stunning example boasts an excellent specification and should please the most fastidious enthusiast.
For more information and to arrange your appointment to view, please call us on 01420-474919 or 07710-364945

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  • Year: 1952
  • Doors: 2
  • Body type: Convertible
  • Transmission type: Manual
  • Fuel type: Petrol
  • Colour: White


  • Engine size (Litres): 3.4
  • Previous owners: 1

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Robin Lawton

Hants, United Kingdom

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