Jaguar XK120

The Jaguar XK120 is so instantly recognisable, there is little or no need for formal introduction. I will however, share with you the unique biography that sets apart this particularly fine motorcar apart. From the rest on the pack, which left Browns Lane gates.

This is the biography of chassis #660545


Built on the 4th of January 1951 as an original home market OTS, finished in bronze with biscuit and tan interior; a colour combination to dissimilar too HBC226 ex-Roy Salvadori car.

Our car was destined for Henlys London, sold by them to a Mr Oswold Salvador soon after initially registered as MGT889, I’m sure Mr Salvador looked the part about town.

In the August of 1969 she was acquired by Mr Brock, who retained ownership for the next nearly 50 years, during his ownership the registration was changed to VDR120.


During Mr Brock tenure he used VDR120 both on the road and in mild competition. At venues like Winscombe Park along with other AMOC competitive events. In 2010 in Mr Brock’s 60th year, VDR120 was treated to a sympathetic restoration. Including having the car stripped, chassis hot galvanized, in order to assure the future of VDR120. Other subtle modifications for enhanced drivability and performance were also applied at this time, including;

2010 upgrade highlights

  • uprated rear springs.
  • stiffer anti roll bars.
  • Salisbury rear axle.
  • Disc brakes all round.
  • Guy Broad cylinder head with straight ports (original head inc in the sale).
  • 9.1 compression ratio.
  • Sports profile cams.
  • 2” SU carbs.
  • Original block opened up to 3.8 litres.
  • New-pistons
  • Fitting a 5 speed gearbox T5 (moss box inc in the sale)


Fast forward to 2019, VDR120 found her way into the hands of our client. On completing the adoption papers (V5C), attention turned immediately ,to driver practicality along with aesthetic detailing. Given that the new custodian was 6’2” tall, the pedal box needed to be extended for driving practicality and comfort. There were also aesthetic detailing issues in regard to body panels gaps and door alignment from the earlier 2010 restoration.

This period in the workshop also provided an opportunity for other modernisation upgrades; including a five speed T5 gearbox, upgraded suspension front and rear. Once these aspects were completed to satisfaction. The final detailing was re-spray this was to be departure from the original factory colour, a fresher more contemporary tone, ‘Speed’ Grey (my own name for it), sitting on anthracite grey 16” steel’s, shod with Blockleys. There was a conscious decision not to change the interior in 2019, even though it would have been very simple to tick the bucket seats option and re-trim in new leather and carpets. Personally the older leather and interior adds to the overall presentation and desirability of VDR120.

Original engine now 3.8 litres, guy broad straight port head, 5 speed box & disc brakes

2019 upgrade highlights

  • Lengthened pedal box (for taller driver)
  • Steel wheels (wires inc in the sale)
  • New 16” Blockley Tyres
  • Upgraded suspension
  • Re-cored radiator
  • All panels re-aligned, followed by complete re-spray in Speed Grey

As the vendor puts it; “I have got VDR120 to that all-driver-immersing, addictive sweet spot”. The larger 3.8 capacity along with the Guy Broad head and uprated cams, produce a fantastically tractable drivers car which keeps going. The 5 speed T5 gearbox make overtaking a dream. Precise finger tip steering, making the backroads default mode to your destination. All the former backed up with the assertiveness of all-round disc brakes.

Going back to my opening paragraph, the importance of a car’s particular biography. The VDR120 edition is not going to occupied for much more that a short train ride to work. But what we have, is a simple timeline of low ownership, careful maintenance and development. Most importantly remaining true to the original pure William Lyons design, but with subtle usability improvements. All this makes VDR120 stand apart, from the many.

Footnote, there are a number of removed parts included in the sale, from the original head and gearbox including prop-shaft, to 5 wire wheels plus associated mounting hubs and original drum brakes.

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