The 1954 Jaguar XK120 M Roadster was the US specification version of the famous XK Jaguar model, the SE engine was an inline 6-cylinder 3442cc DOHC powerplant capable of producing 180hp at 5300RPM. This engine was advanced for the day and same basic design remained in production for decades after it was originally introduced.

The DOHC design and twin SU carburettors coupled with the car’s light weight gave it astonishing performance figures for the 1950s, it set multiple world speed records including one in 1952 that saw the car run at an average speed of 100.31 mph (161.43 km/h) for 7 days and 7 nights (only stopping for fuel and driver changes).

The Jaguar XK120 M came as standard with a 4-speed manual gearbox, 4-wheel hydraulically operated drum brakes, independent front suspension, rear semi-elliptical spring suspension – giving it very impressive road holding ability for its time.

Interestingly, the XK 120 was only ever intended to be a limited-production sports model intended to raise interest in a new line of sedans that would be powered by the same engine. When the orders for the car started rolling in enmasse, Jaguar realised that they would never meet demand if they didn’t switch from alloy over ash wood body construction to an all-steel body shell. This new pressed steel shell could be made much faster and would go on to be fitted to all but the first 240 cars that left the Browns Lane factory.

When first released, the XK 120 cost $3,940 in the United States, this was considerably less than similar offerings from other European marques and led to the Jaguar seeing a production run of over 12,000 units. It’s safe to say that this particular Jaguar will go for a little more than that when it rolls across the auction block with RM Auctions at St Johns on the 27th of July 2013 – if you’d like to view the full listing for the auction you can click here.

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Ben Branch has had his work featured on CNN, Popular Mechanics, the official Smithsonian Magazine, Road & Track Magazine, the official Pinterest blog, the official eBay Motors blog, BuzzFeed, and many more.

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