At idle, the signature throaty and dark growl of the 3.4 liter straight six of the XK120 already seems to be a confirmation of the promise Jaguar made when it first introduced this model at the London Auto show, in 1948. 120 mph, which is 200 kph on a production car, a true supercar of the times.
As soon as you insert the first gear on the Moss crashbox transmission, a flick of the accelerator is enough to find yourself immediately racing with the wind blowing through your hair, accompanied by that magnificent and unique sound. The spring breeze brushes the shiny and sinuous car body, the steering wheel trembles under the safe grip of the driving gloves, inevitable in these occasions.
On the country roads of Parco Monte Netto, where a long time ago cars like this one completed the last, terrifyingly fast kms during the Mille Miglia, the XK120 seems to be right at home.
The elegant design elegantly blending with the surroundings makes you think about Clark Gable driving his XK from the wineyards of Provence to the French Riviera with a random lover. Just a few light shirts in a Duffle Bag and the insatiable desire to enjoy the sun on your face…
The strong torque and the exhilarating sound reverbering across the countryside evoke emotions from a past era, where you could chase speed freely, without modern-day restrictions.
Although it is a car from the 1950s, the XK120 maintains intact its charm, equally collecting looks of admiration and ill-concealed envy.
While driving it, the desire to savor and capture every single moment becomes unmanageable: a photo stop, from time to time, is something that must be granted. Either to the most modern individuals, always ready to pull out tablets, digital cameras and smartphones from their leather Document Case...
…or to the most nostalgic ones and devotees of analog stuff, who will bring back some gorgeous motion-picture camera from past decades to catch memories on film with a retro flavor and experience an ultimate journey back in time.
A prestigious roadster, able to connect you with the surroundings while giving you the most satisfying driving experience, just as a proper open top car can do.
The straight empty roads allow magical moments that will make you savour lost emotions, back when speed was a dream and cars a real desire.
Jacopo Villa, contributor
Photo credits: Federico Bajetti for The Outlierman © 2018
Car: courtesy of Colpani Motori
GREAT PHOTOS. LOOKS LIKE MY XK 120.
What a great series of photos. We are shipping our 1953 XK120 from Michigan, USA to England for the XK70 event at Shelley Walsh June 8-15. Goal is 700 Jaguars. Hillclimb, Nostalgia events, driving tour of the Cotswolds, etc. Our best friends are shipping their 1951 XK120 too. Can’t wait. Dave and Lori.