1950 Jaguar XK120: Alloy Bodied Bush Find

Jaguar XK120 Field Find

For the first couple years of XK120 production, Jaguar constructed the bodies of these lovely cars out of wood and aluminum. While it makes repairs difficult, it means the body is virtually corrosion proof, which is a good thing for this one. About 25 years ago this one was discovered as the seller puts it “in the bush”. Since it was discovered, it has resided in the seller’s garage as a mountain of parts. They began restoring it, but never got any further than refurbishing the chassis. It is going to require an extensive amount of work to be finished, including replacing all the original wood structure, but given its rarity and value I have no doubt someone will take on this daunting task! Find it here on CarAndClassic in Brisbane, Australia. The seller is struggling with valuing it, so they are accepting offers. Thanks to Bob for this tip!

1950 Jaguar XK120 In Pieces

As you can see, this car is currently a pile of rusty parts, although the chassis looks great and the seller claims a new firewall has been constructed. As I look at this photo I feel a bit overwhelmed by all the pieces and their lack of organization or labeling. It will take someone who knows these cars extremely well to put it back together. I also have a feeling there will be a lot of fabrication work ahead of the next owner, as we all know how things go when alloy and steel are put together. On the upside, the seller has a lot of extra parts they are throwing in and this one features the Australian built finned wheels. Being an early alloy bodied XK means this car is worth serious money when fully restored, but it is going to cost a lot to get it to that point. Even just getting it back on the road is going to be expensive. If I had the means I would want to finish the mechanical restoration, find all new wood components, and mount the rough looking body back on as is. It would be a shocking sight that pays homage to this car’s past and when or if you decided to give it a proper paint job, it wouldn’t be all that difficult to do.


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  1. Sunbeamdon

    Most interesting car, too costly to get back to North America, but I’m forwarding this link to my retired Boeing machinist now living in Aussie Land – one never knows!

  2. rusty

    josh said “About 25 years ago this one was discovered as the seller puts it “in the bush””

    Aussie term for just about any non urban area. If not commonly known to our US friends.

    Finding a car in the bush was common here before the 80’s when people went restoring crazy snaffling up the good finds. Recently the Chinese cash for scrap metal grab decimated the surviving car population out bush.

    Also refers to Deep in our deserts. Like in yours cars abandoned after breaking down survived well for years to be discovered/saved when restoring became popular.

    Often the past history of a found car was not known being it was simply a car dumped for what ever reason, although it can refer to finding a car on a farming property where it may be known usually dumped when its usefullness expired with most farmers saying “I’m gonna’ fix that one day”. For instance I have some of my cars stored presently “in the bush” on a friends rural property and some may consider them barn finds in the bush. Hee hee

    Now adays finding a car in the bush is surfing the net and buying a car from a collector who lives outside a major city..hee hee. This has got to be one of the better original “finds”.

  3. That Guy

    This is one heck of a find. Fully restored, this will be a $500K car, so it’s well worth someone’s time. It’s not hard to find examples online, so I’m sure the seller isn’t clueless, and isn’t going to let it go cheap. But this car is such a rare and desirable thing that he really should look at consigning it to a major auction house, maybe even outside of Australia. It’s something that will generate interest worldwide, I think.

    • Mick RM classics

      Hi I bought the car and have been restoring XKs for 25 years now i have semi retired i am looking forward to this project it has only done 2007 miles from new and is car 000034 RHD it now lives in Perth western Australia.

      • rusty

        Good stuff and nice to see it stays in Australia where it’s history is. Enjoy the restoring.

  4. That Guy

    Josh, you should change the headline so it’s clear to someone scrolling on the main page that this is an aluminum-bodied car. I almost didn’t click on it because I assumed it was just another XK120 project. But this is really something very special.

    • Jesse Mortensen Jesse Staff

      How’s that? Thanks.

      • That Guy

        Excellent! That will probably get more people’s attention. I don’t pretend to be an expert on Jaguars, but I know these alloy XK120’s are way up near the top of the Jag food chain. I think a lot of very deep-pocketed people will be falling all over themselves to pay whatever it takes to make this car theirs.

  5. david

    its worth doing up send to the us or uk

  6. john e.

    Mechanically speaking to its reassembly isn’t really all that difficult, find the frame, recondition it, build up from there. Even if Jag’s aren’t your cup of tea, but the end game is, the parts you see on the ground only have one place to be. I’d take on this project as owner or a shop mechanic.

  7. TM

    car was stolen in 1952 and after being driven from Melbourne to Brisbane was hidden in the bush I am assuming he was planning to retrieve it later but never did
    It was found in the bush 30 plus years later most metal work rusted away very badly
    new chassis made.

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