Sounds Like A Cobra: 1952 Jaguar XK120 Replica

While most replicas tend to be a disappointment, the recreations of the classic Jaguar XK120 are among my favorites in the kit car game. For some reason, it seems like the proportions of the replicas actually improved over the real thing, perhaps because they tend to be wider and sit lower, adjustments the classic XK120 shape definitely benefits from. This replica rides on an Alfa Romeo chassis and has a Ford 302 under the hood with a four-barrel carburetor, hooked up to a C4 automatic transmission. The seller claims “…sounds like a Cobra, but in an XK120 body.” I could live with that. Find the Jaguar replica here on craigslist for $21,500 in southern Vermont.

Now, of course, the interiors of replicas are often a let-down from the real thing, especially a vintage Jaguar. The XK120 was a textbook study in British elegance, so a copycat model is going to struggle to create a mold that is actually sympathetic to the real thing. As seen here, the rudimentary dash with what is likely fake wood trim, and the aftermarket head unit grafted into where a glove compartment might otherwise be are details that leave much to be desired when considering this as a replica. The automatic shifter makes no attempt to hide its origins from a domestic automobile, and all the aftermarket steering wheels and white-faced gauges in the world couldn’t convince me that this XK120 was the real thing.

The 302 under the hood likely makes some noise that the tea and crumpets crowd would consider quite unbecoming of an XK120. Don’t mind them – this is a sound that never gets old, and the drivetrain will also likely be far cheaper to run over the long-term as opposed to a Jaguar with its original inline-six under the hood. Now, I’m just as much of a purist as some of you as it relates to believing that some cars should not be copied and only be experienced in their original form, but I’m willing to make an exception here. Some of the brands that made replica XKs include Autotune and Nostalgia Cars, but the seller doesn’t identify a manufacturer.

From all angles, the proportions are close enough to fool non-car people, and even those who claim to be in the know might not realize at first that they’re looking at a replica. Now, I’m sure a dyed-in-the-wool Jaguar enthusiast could take one quick look and point out any number of indicators that paint this car as an impostor, but who cares? That’s not why you buy a replica, and $21,500 certainly isn’t going to buy you the real thing with a healthy engine and rust-free bodywork. The seller claims there are only 1,495 miles on the build, which means the next owner will have many years of stirring up trouble in the parking lot of the local country club.

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  1. 86_Vette_Convertible

    This looks pretty good IMO for a Replica car but the big thing that bothers me is the ‘missing title’ reference. I assume Vermont has car titles, so why doesn’t this one have a title?

    Like 6
    • Steve Cota

      Vermont only issues Titles for cars 15 years old or newer

  2. Freddy

    Hmm. Fake car with no title. Pass.

    Like 1
  3. Larry Brantingham

    Alfas have been unit-body since 1950. What chassis is this?

    Like 1
    • ChingaTrailer

      Look at the actual Craigslist ad – I suspect the only Alfa part is the V.I.N. tag, perhaps illegally grafted onto this car which also bears a Florida license plate.

  4. Ben T. Spanner

    I think the proportions are wrong. Similar to the Camaros turned into 1957 Chevies. They make 7 grades of fake Rolexes for this very reason.

    Like 5
  5. Gerard Frederick

    Any Jag replicar with an american drive line is a vast improvement over the original. The interior is poor, being very charitable. That radio is a visual disaster. In the mid sixties I test drove an XK 120 for sale in San Francisco. All I remeber is that the driving position was very unconfortable, the steering wheel being much too close and to operate it, the brakes and the clutch required an inordinate amount of effort. I have a picture of an XK 120 Coupe with leather straps holding the hood down – a gorgeous looking car.

  6. Kurt

    I’ll save up for an original thank you very much.

    Like 4
  7. DavidC

    I would want more info on what chassis this is for starters but the automatic ruins it for me. I just don’t see driving around with the top down in anything whether it’s an MG, Miata, or a Jag replica with an automatic! But someone will probably love it.

    Like 6
  8. Jwaltb

    Jeff, I disagree with your second sentence.
    That’s what makes the world go around, eh?

  9. Maestro! Member

    There are several replicas out there in various outfit. This one begs for at least some authenticity externally and I can live without the Cobra implications.

    Like 1
  10. Kenn

    Had I the money, I’d be on my way to pick this up. Love the looks outside – the interior isn’t a problem for me.

    Like 2
  11. Seamus8491

    SLUSH BOX?????

    I’ll pass on this.

  12. Laurence Kent

    I politely disagree with Gerard Frederick. The Jaguar twin-cam six is an excellent powerplant. To many V-8 aficionados anything that is not an American powerplant is no good, but when it appeared in 1948, the XK-120 was both the fastest sports car in the world as well as the fastest car overall. The first Corvettes had chassis that were essentially copies. As for the car itself, the automatic slush box kills it for me, as well as the very “kit car”, totally unoriginal, dash and interior. The fifteen inch wheels are also a total give-away of fakeness…

    Like 3
  13. Milt

    A kit car by any other name is still a kit car. (With apologies to Bill Shakespeare)

    Like 2
  14. Kurt

    Hey at least it’s not on a VW chassis…

    Like 5
  15. Julie

    My first car was a 120 Jaguar that was a love hate relationship. Always parked on a hill if possible so I could pop the clutch when it wouldn’t start, etc. in the interim I’ve owned just about every sports car on the planet. If I hadn’t just bought a second Jaguar I didn’t need it would be tempting. I would try to redo the dash. Then just enjoy!! So beautiful!

    Like 2

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