Flexible Feline — We drive the Jaguar XK120 with both race and rally successes to its name. When new in 1951, this Jaguar XK120 was immediately deployed on rally stages, hill climbs and top-tier circuits. We drive this prowling polymath fresh from restoration.
The Jaguar C-Type’s arrival in 1951 might have quickly made the XK 120 obsolete as a racing car but the British Racing Drivers’ Club still chose the now four-year-old model when it was organising a Race of Champions event at the 1952 Daily Express meeting on 10 May.
If there was a prize for the longest period competing in the same Jaguar car, Dr.Geoff Ottley GP would be in hot contention for it. The only other challenger would probably be Derek Pearce with his Mk2, but most racecars have the ‘triggers broom’ factor and I suspect that a far greater percentage of RDU867 is the actual metal that left Coventry in 1951.
It's now 70 years since Jaguar introduced both the XK 120 fixedhead coupe and the SE model, cars that set the standard for future models. We discover a fascinating history awaits when we drive the very last example produced.