The Elegance at Hershey Saturday, June 11th, 2016
Automobiles
LOT125
1954 Jaguar XK120M PHOTOGRAPHY BY Bill Pack
No Reserve
  • 1954
  • Jaguar
  • XK120M
  • S676299
  • Silver
  • Race Trim
  • Matching Numbers
  • Historical Documentation
  • Service History Included
  • Original Colors
  • Running Condition
  • Books / Manuals
  • Tool Kit

The Gentleman Racer

This is an XK120M Jaguar with an exciting and well-documented history, a road car recreated in the image of period factory racers. This irreplaceable one of a kind, stylish vintage patinated Jaguar that is your entry into many different events. The magnificent automobile is owned by B. R. Farrell, CEO of The Finest, and is offered at no reserve.

This Cars Past

The well-documented history of this 1954 Jaguar XK120M is unparalleled in its uniqueness. According to Jaguar Export Sales LTD in Coventry, England, a Jaguar Cars, LTD subsidiary, Jaguar dispatched this XK120 Roadster on August 30,1954 to an American distributor located in New York. Originally finished in a black exterior, red leather interior and black soft canvas top, this Jaguar was about to undergo a modification like no other. Tom Jaycox, Jr., a man of modest means but abundant passion, purchased Chassis No. S676299 from its original owner with the dream of transforming her into a racing car. After acquiring S676299 in the late 60’s, he immediately commenced the transformation. A well known staple in the VSCCA (Vintage Sports Car Club of America) he wanted to emulate the XK120S that raced at Silverstone. To do so, he first stripped S676299 of all its road amenities, then began to lighten the car further by removing the windshield as well as all of its carpets and even its seats. Taking the weight reduction further, he started to drill holes in the frame, boot and bonnet. He eventually found a Jaguar XK120 race seat in Europe that was believed to be a spare from one of the factory works cars LT1. By all indications, Mr. Jaycox was consumed with the transformation. Documents in our possession show that Mr. Jaycox wrote a letter to a well known British racing company, Leyland Motors, requesting information on factory race car builds, including carburetor sizes and other pertinent racing information. Available documents show that, surprisingly, on July 9, 1970, Mr. Jaycox received a response stating “We would suggest fitting 2” carburetors to your existing manifold”. Leyland Motors also suggested “fitting UR needles and setting the tappets at .006 intake and .008 exhaust”. Once Mr. Jaycox was able to source original factory sand casted 2” carburetors, which would be difficult to find even today, he began to continue to modify this XK120M by fitting aluminum rimmed C-type wheels that required him to cut the beaded edge out from under the wheel wells to install them. Later, he removed the bumpers and cut larger air intake holes in the front facia. He also attached a quick filling LeMans gas cap and constructed an aluminum tonneau cover for the passenger side. Still driven by passion, he painstakingly drilled the drum rotors for better cooling and fitted a Moto-Lita handcrafted wooden steering wheel and original Brookland racing screen.

“Many Americans thrashed their XKs during the glory years and neglected them during the bleak years, but the car was always special. Whether screaming away from traffic lights or ratting along to college, it was the XK that turned everybody’s head and filled its driver with pride.”Chris Harvey

In the end, Mr. Jaycox created a beautiful XK120M race-ready machine. Interestingly, Mr. Jaycox’s brother, David Jaycox, took possession of the car prior to painting. Attempting to match the base aluminum, David defied his brother’s wish to paint it red and instead painted it silver. Eventually, Tom sold S676299 to his brother and purchased another so they could race them both. Picking up on this legendary story, Automobile Quarterly ran pictures, in Volume 16, No. 2, of the two brothers racing their respective cars at Watkin’s Glen.
In 1979, David Jaycox decided to retire S676299 from all racing events and tucked it away in his barn for the next 34 years. In 2013 its current owner, saw S676299 advertised for sale in a Jaguar Club magazine and drove to the barn in Connecticut to see it for himself. Like a time capsule, the barn doors slowly opened to reveal a C-Type, the other red XK120M and S676299 with its silver patina showing how it was left undisturbed for decades. The interior revealed how it had played the part of a well exercised privateer race car. The original Goodyear spare tire was still in the boot along with its tools and jack. After prepping S676299 and taking it for a quick spin around the block, he knew there was much work to be done, but knew this XK120M was special. He disregarded the necessary mechanical work and thought to himself, “Where in the world could I find another XK120 in this preserved state with such a unique history?”

Restoration or Preservation History

Upon acquisition by its current owner, S676299 underwent an extensive mechanical restoration. First was the suspension and new tires. Following were new brakes and then a completely rebuilt engine, with new cams, custom headers and new exhaust. Upon completion, he made it a point to drive it to work and back every day for about a year. S676299 became a local staple in New York and Connecticut rallies and concours. S676299 is in perfect running condition and will be accepted at most concours and rallies in the US and overseas. The Quail asked for S676299 to be presented during Pebble Beach weekend and was shown in 2015. Loved by most who have witnessed its preserved patina, S676299 will make any collector’s garage rich in history. S676299 has won Best Comp Car in the Scarsdale Concours as well as the Grand Marshall Award at the 2015 Greenwich Concours given by James Glickenhaus.

History of the Model

Post war, Jaguar’s efforts were directed towards a high-performance luxury saloon, a sports car was an afterthought. Early 120s in fact were using a cut down Mark V chassis with 1 1/2 ft removed from the middle. At this time a styling revolution was happening in Italy and the US. Both Pininfarina and Raymond Loewy were creating full width bodies with integrated fenders. William Lyons soaked up all that was going on in design around the world and used that to create this timeless design. Urban legend says a woman’s body was used as the inspiration for Jaguar’s sensuous curves. The beauty was not just skin deep. The XK120 was the first to utilize Jaguar’s new XK engine. X standing for experimental, K for K series engine and 120 as the estimated top speed. That was found to be an under-estimation when the company ran a car in Jabbeke Belgium and attained a top speed of 132.6 mph. All XK120’s display a plaque on the dash proclaiming this. The XK120 being the first in line, was the purest in design and form. Later cars may have had improvements added, such as disc brakes, rack & pinion steering as well as other creature comforts, they just never came close the genius that was this model.

Market Trend

With prices of C-Type and D-Type Jaguars in the stratosphere. It is sure thing that Privateer racers could be making the same trip. It’s about time these cars are recognized for the passion and creativity put into them to allow them to race and rub shoulders with their factory counterparts. The will and ingenuity these unsung heroes expressed in their cars is unprecedented and should be honored as the people who kept vintage racing alive and well. Jaycox’s XK120M is the quintessential automobile that was transformed in this way. There are many XK Jags to choose from. One thing is for sure you won't find another, like this English beast.

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