Those not quite in the know – perhaps of a younger generation – could be forgiven for sniggering at some of what was written in the description sat in the window of a lovely green Jaguar XK120 at Breakfast Club Classic Car Sunday.
It opened as follows: “The Lamborghini Miura or Bugatti Veyron of its time”. It is admittedly quite the leap of the imagination, at least at first. What followed on this slip of paper was a valid point. As of its debut in 1948, it was the fastest production car in the world. No prizes for guessing how quick that was, either. Jag has a history of christening a car as per its terminal velocity.
The truth is that Jaguar was that most exotic of marques in the ‘40s and ‘50s, being very much in the business of setting unprecedented standards in motorsport (variations of the engine sat under that sloping snout would take five victories at Le Mans in very nearly as many years) and breaking records. How does a 100mph-over-24-hours endurance record and a scarcely believable 170mph+ flying mile sound? The 120 and the machinery it would spawn put Jaguar on the map and arguably moved the motorcar on fifteen years in the space of five.
What’s the story of this specific example, then? It spent many years locked up in a collection but is as of Classic Car Sunday back in action being driven as its creators intended, as evidenced by the excellent early-morn’ effort at Breakfast Club. We wonder if it made it to Revival?
If you trundled past it at Breakfast Club Classic Car Sunday dismissing it as a pretty but rather quaint old nail, we don’t blame you, but come back next year and see if it’s back. Look at it through the eyes of a ten-year-old in the ‘50s, utterly dumbfounded at the possibility of cracking a dizzying 120mph (still legally at this point!) on his way to the shops. To those youngens of yesteryear, this was the go-to supercar pinup.