Disheveled Drop Head – 1953 Jaguar XK120 DHC

dhc drophead coupeThe XK120 Jag hardly needs an introduction here. Unveiled at the Earls Court Motor Show in 1948, it stunned crowds, convinced William Lyons to actually produce and sell the car, and introduced the now legendary XK engine. The 120 was also hugely successful in racing, and its $3,900 price tag meant that it, like the later E-Type, offered an exotic product at a much more attractive price than most of its competitors. Historically, it’s a truly significant automobile and one that’s become a true icon, so it’s no wonder that many collectors feel that they absolutely must have one. And as the seller of this particular car rightly points out, not all collectors want a flawless show-quality XK120.

This example, located in Houston, Texas, is a Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust-certified numbers-matching car, and is an SE Drop Head Coupe. Delivered new to Hoffman Motor Co. in New York, it doesn’t have much more in the way of history other than that it appears to have been restored some time ago and that it was part of an impressive British car collection for roughly the last twenty-five years. Currently, the car isn’t a runner and needs overall sorting. The sellers apparently have the car listed for $76,500 locally (too high), but since they seem to busy to really get the car straight they are now putting up for auction at no reserve.

The Drop Head Coupes were the most luxurious of the 120s, and though they are not the most valuable, they are still quite collectible and of course a little quicker when fitted with the SE bits like this car is. If the necessary work is minor enough and the bidding doesn’t get too crazy, this could actually turn out to be a nice buy. Rarely does a “barn find” look this good, so hopefully we’ll see it running and showing off very soon.

Check out the 1953 Jaguar XK120 DHC here on eBay, where bidding has reached $31,000.


  1. Vinnie J. Apicella says:

    Thank You Andrew for choosing to write this article about the XK120 DHC, I just purchased it from Brandon of Drivers Resource in Houston, TX.

    Because of my reading your article and becoming “snagged” on the baited “lure” I am now the extremely proud owner of all three XK120 models ,i.e., OTS, FHC , & DHC with a 1960 MK IX to round out the collection.

    However, my daily driver is, to me, one of the all around finest Jaguars manufactured…the 2006 XK8 (convertible-Zircon/Ivory).

    If ever you are interested in exploring the possibility of writing about how I came about accumulating these fine “cats” let me know.

    You know Andrew, it is a rare opportunity to have a chance to realize one’s dream in one’s lifetime and I’m extremely fortunate to have had a second chance to accumulate another
    “pride” of these Jaguar cats. Back in the mid-seventies ( as a bachelor between marriages) I fed and groomed nine of these beautiful babies, i.e., XK120 OTS, MK2 RHD, MK8(2), MK 10 (2), XJ12L, XK150S, 3.8S Saloon. When I remarried my main focus had to be my new bride and not the Jaguars…we sold all but the XK120 OTS (which I still have after 30 years).

    Vinnie J. Apicella
    661 972-4300 Cell

  2. I bought my 1953 Jaguar XK120 DHC from it’s original owner in May 1967, just five months after I got married.
    Forty-nine years later, I STILL have the 120DHC (worth considerably more than the $300 I paid for it) and I STILL
    have the same wife!!! Glad I kept both of them, they both are priceless!!

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