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The Benchmark Sports Car

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Topics:  Jaguar XK120

The Benchmark Sports Car

William Jason (SubmitYOURArticle.com)
April 29, 2011


http://musclecarmonster.com/

Cars are elevated into the classic car level not just with age but also with its impact on the car industry. One perfect example is the Jaguar XK120, an era-defining sports car manufactured by the well known car maker, Jaguar. Though it was introduced in 1948 at the London Motor Show, it gained fame in the fifties when people yearned for greater speed and power for their rides. The Jaguar XK120 was one of the cars that set the gold standard for sports cars in its time. Its features were well ahead of its years, and even with decades of existence, some of its prominent features are even available on modern day sports cars. This article will walk you through the basics of the Jaguar XK120, and hopefully convince you to believe that this is indeed one of the best classic cars that ever existed.

The Jaguar XK120 was launched as a roadster at the 1948 London Motor Show. Its main purpose was really as a test bed and a show car for a new powerful engine developed by Jaguar, the XK engine. But its presence in the motor show stirred a commotion and attracted a lot of interest, that's why Jaguar founder and head designer William Lyons didn't hesitate to roll it into mass production.

The Jaguar XK 120 got its name from the speed that the car can muster. It has a listed top speed of 120 miles per hour or 193 km/h, making it the world's fastest standard production car during its launch. The car is capable of running even faster when the windscreen is removed, though it would be really hard for the driver and his unfortunate passenger to stand the wind speeds at such a set up.

The thing made the Jaguar XK120 a true classic car is that its engine is well advanced for its time. The XK engine features an allow cylinder head with twin side draft SU carburetors. The 3.4 liter straight 6 XK engine is unlike any other mass produced engine unit during its time, that's why it easily eclipsed its competitors in popularity and in the racetracks.

A Jaguar XK120 roadster was tested and it has garnered a top speed of 124.6 mph or 200.5 km/h. It was also able to accelerate from zero to 60 mph at an astonishing time of 10.0 seconds. It also has a decent mileage of around 19.8 miles per imperial gallon or around 16.5 mpg. Because of its fame and performance, the Jaguar XK120 is highly coveted by collectors worldwide.

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William Jason is an avid muscle car collector. You can view his personal blog at: http://musclecarmonster.com/

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