V8 Powered 1954 Jaguar XK120

1954 Jaguar XK120

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Seeing this Jaguar XK120 just about brings me to tears. These find British sports cars can look absolutely breathtaking, plus the big inline 6 that powered them was a marvel. Of course that’s when it was running properly. Apparently someone got tired of the maintenance and swapped the engine out for a Ford V8. The seller doesn’t say what size the engine is, but it looks to have been in this car for quite a while. It’s really too bad, but this could still be an incredible machine with lots of work!

1966 Austin Healey 3000 MK III

I’m really interested in knowing the full story with this find, as there is an Austin Healey 3000 parked next to it. There are also parts and what appears to be an engine laying on the ground nearby, so perhaps the original engine is still around. It sure would increase the value to have the inline 6 with it. If any of you happen to know more about this pair, please share! You can find the Jaguar here on eBay and the Austin can be found here.

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  1. kman

    Instant powdered Jaguar. Another rustOmobile. Unless you’re a skilled body worker; welder; electrician; mechanic; upholsterer and painter with your own shop and tools for all of these trades. What is the point. Yes they WERE beautiful cars. BUT ……

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  2. IanW

    The engine at the RHS of the Jag is a 5 main bearing BMC B series as found in an MGA / MGB so would not fit this sad XK120.

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  3. Jim

    “Blue chip investment”, I almost lost my lunch. Great car, a real piece of automotive history and very cool but not this one, this needs thousands of hours of hand work, a few miles of welding wire and God knows how much coffee and Tylenol. It can be brought back to life but personally the asking price is ridiculous considering the overall condition, including the small block Ford which to me hurts the car not helps it. I have no issue swapping motors but this deserves the right drivetrain. It’ll never be a top dollar car without the original engine with all the trimmings. Somebody really treated this like crap, it’s a shame, didn’t even try to make it look presentable.

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    • Alan Brase

      HUH? Welding wire? No high end resto shop migs bodies, sorry. And where is this Jag suffering from rust perforation? It might be original black paint. I realize there is surface rust in places but most of the surface is dust. That car was always kept indoors. The interior has not been wet.
      If you seek blue chip cars, why would you even subscribe to “Barn Finds”?
      This is about something else, entirely.
      I’d clean the whole car, clean and spot in the black paint, fuel system, brakes, and roll that Ford. Probably a better performer than the 3.4 Jagger anyhow. (Did you ever ride in a 66 Shelby GT350?)
      Make it stock and you will stop enjoying it. Investor cars are useless to all but multi millionaires.
      If you have to put insurance on it, you can’t afford it.
      (I can afford this one.)

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      • Jim

        Did you forget your pills today? Why did you take my comments so personal? Let me respond to clear up any misconceptions. My comment “blue chip investment” I almost lost my lunch” was a sarcastic reference to what the seller stated in the original ad on eBay. Yes there’s really rust under and some in the car and I suspect that the reason for not cleaning out the car is possibly to hide bad areas, on such a high end car who wouldn’t make it look presentable? Its not a $500 beater for parts runs. It’s also my opinion that the car should have a Jag drivetrain, I’m pretty sure we’re all allowed opinions. Yes I’ve ridden in a few Shelby mustangs and regularly go with my buddy in his 67 GT500, one of the last built by Shelby before Ford took over the modifications. I’ve been welding since I was 17, all methods, from paper thin to heavy plate and some structural steel. Almost anyone can muddle through welding with a mig gun or stick with some degree of success. I’ve worked on a few cars that were “restored” and had to cut the quarters off and redo the “professional” installation cause they missed areas or blew holes in the sheet metal and covered it. I do know of high end shops that tig almost everything but you have to pay for the skill level of a guy who swings a tig gun properly. Maybe you have some inside knowledge about restoration shops, I would never make such a broad statement that “no high end restoration shops uses mig” on the bodies. The last few shops I’ve been in when buying cars with friends what I see is the mig machine is on the shop floor covered with paint/dust/dirt ect and looks pretty well used. The tig is in a corner maybe with a cover but the tig looks pretty good without scratches/dents. It’s just something I do from habit to see what welding machines a shop uses. Relax pal, we’re all entitled to our own opinions, none of us are God and always right without exception and part of the enjoyment of Barn Finds is reading everyone else’s stories and thoughts

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  4. Ross W. Lovell

    Greetings All,

    Have a soft spot in my heart for the coupes, though in reality, they have about 3 months of driving weather here in New England.
    Winter – you have to be kidding, heater inadequate and wheel spats and snow?
    Spring – not a good enough heater/defroster if it’s a rainy spring.
    Summer – No air conditioning offered, overheating can be an issue, you’ll bake.
    Autumn – The optimal time and cool enough for the engine and passengers plus the heater might be capable of taking the edge off a 45 degree day.
    Correct but obviously not numbers matching engines around and grab an overdrive.
    Far too many of these gave their extra parts to keeping the Roadsters and Dropheads going.

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  5. DolphinMember

    “a barn find”
    Yep, found in a very leaky barn….with no roof, out in the middle of a field. And no walls either, which explains the dust, dirt, acorns, leaves, and other drek everywhere in this car.

    “A real blue chip investment better than stocks or bonds”
    On the other hand, you don’t have to steam clean, endlessly find parts for, endlessly fix and rebuild, paint, and otherwise restore stocks or bonds.

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  6. Jim

    Don’t forget the included accessories, 48lbs of mouse turds and 18lbs of acorn shells. I have to say I’ve seen wrecks in junkyards that looked more presentable. It’s mind boggling. What could be such a classy ride.

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  7. Edgar Hatchel

    I’m not too surprise at pulling the Jag 6 out. Those things constantly leaked oil. It was impossible to get em to stop leaking w/o pulling the engine and having the block worked on. He probably got tired of it and swapped to a solid running V-8.

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    • Ross W. Lovell

      Greetings All,

      Edgar, you have to excuse the English, they just love using leather as a seal. Pull the block, do some machining and that problem goes away with a piece of rubber.

      On the other hand, the number of Jaguar heads I’ve seen that have been overheated and skimmed isn’t a big deal, but becomes problematic when they haven’t line bored the cam bearings after a warp, then they really pump oil.

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      • Alan Brase

        I owned a XK140 roadster project and a MKVII that I got driving, but never dealt with warped heads. (Not to say mine were not warped!)
        BUT, modern practice is to bend warped heads back. I think this will keep the cam bores straight. I know XK engines were troublesome at overheating. Probably someone has it completely figured out now. (Radiator size, water pump velocity, yada yada.)
        the Ford is a better motor in this car. Or, a modern BMW 6, if you like the sound of 6’s. I do.
        This is way better than a parts car. It has zero rust through showing.

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  8. rangeroger

    Edgar Hatchel, I long ago came to the conclusion that British engines are made of a porous metal. You could weld everything and they would still leak oil.

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    • John Fitzgerald

      Roger, I assume you’re including British motorcycle engines in the porous metal category. I’ve never seen an old one that didn’t leak profusely.

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  9. charlieMember

    16 quarts of oil per change, so owners didn’t change the oil, so the engines suffered, and they were every expensive to fix, even then. Swap in a Ford or GM V8 and problem solved.

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    • Van

      I’ve wondered about jag oil for years.
      Is the problem with the dip stick being wrong.
      I know some required much more oil than others.
      I thought you should have been able to put the proper amount of oil in and re-mark the dip stick full level?

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  10. Julles

    First of all this looks like an outside the barn find instead of in the barn find with all that rust underneath but this is an XK120 Fixed Head Coupe which is the most beautiful of all the XK Coupes. If you put it next to the 140 and 150, you can see the difference. And in defense of this car, yes it has been abused and neglected and you think that maybe the owner should get a fine or jail time for cruelty to a gorgeous car but you can’t let it die or part it out. There is a finite number of these beauties and less of them all the time. Find someone with more desire to work on them then money and let them replace the engine and start putting it back together. Yes they might end up spending more but the spending is over years and they are having a great time working on it and searching for parts and will have one of the most beautiful cars ever made when they are done.

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  11. Michael RogersMember

    EXACTLY, Julies! It would make a great piece to make into a vintage racer–it just has to look like one mechanically and outside.
    Of course, every piece is available along with the manuals how to do it but it would cost a BUNCH to restore, i HAD ONE!

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  12. MikeW

    I’d love to have that, polish it up, get that old Ford purring and go cruising :)

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  13. Zaphod

    At the end of the exercise, it won’t ever be original. I’ve worked on bags of these. Unless you modify the car with disc brakes you’ll have a poorly handling car that won’t stop. Frame rail looks split in one picture, replacement frame is around $5k. In my shop the owner wouldn’t get much change from $75k for a car he can buy for half that running. Now if he can get one of the 6 XK four cyliner Jag engines produced, he could have the only XK100.

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    • Ross W. Lovell

      Greetings All,

      Zaphod, Not sure where that number came from, but there were far more than six.

      Lot of blocks produced with a variety of heads before the DOHC was picked.

      I’ve some original advertisement literature on the still born XK100.

      Jaguar had print ads in several magazines before the project was shelved.

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  14. Jubjub

    Never seen a coupe with the steel wheels and hubcaps. Looks awesome. Still beautiful in the rough.

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  15. Mark S

    If you look around the property you will understand why this car is so run down. The owner is a hoarder, one of those guys that has to something like this car than takes it home ( probably in good condition ) than leaves it to rot away for years. What a shame, but if you own one of these right now you might be smiling because you just found yourself a bunch of spare parts, and your car just went up in value a bit because there is one less of them around. Now I agree that this car could be brought back, but it’s going to have to end up in the hands of a dedicated tradesmen that is in it for the long haul.

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  16. Van

    90% of the rust looks to be underneath. That would be a good thing if you’re not a body expert.

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