The XK120 was launched in the open two-seater or roadster format at the 1948 London Motor Show as a test and show car for the new Jaguar XK engine.

The display car was the first prototype, chassis number 660001. It looked almost identical to the production cars, except that the straight outer pillars of its windshield would be curved in the production version.

The sports car caused a sensation that convinced Jaguar founder and president William Lyons to put it into production.

Beginning in 1948, the first 242 cars used 2-seater open-frame bodies with aluminum panels.

Production changed to all 1 cwt or 112 lb (51 kg) heavier steel in the early 1950s.

The CO "120" in the name referred to the 193 km / h (120 mph) top speed of the aluminum car (faster with the windshield removed), which made it the fastest production car in the world in the world. moment of its release. In 1949, the first production car, chassis number 670003, was delivered to Clark Gable.

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