Coachwork by E.D Abbott of Farnham
Chassis no. 660750
Engine no. W3023-7
•The only four-seater Jaguar XK120
•Unique aluminium coachwork by Abbott
•Delivered new to New Zealand.
•Documented ownership history
•Extensive restoration by Upper Classics
•'Best Restored Car' at Techno Classica Essen in 2007
Very few Jaguar XK120s were completed with bespoke bodies, most customers being more than satisfied with the three two-door designs on offer from the factory: roadster, fixed-head coupé, and drophead coupé. Indeed, in his seminal work on the model - Jaguar XK120 In Detail – motoring authority Anders Ditlev Clausager lists just seven, only one of which, the unique car offered here, was bodied as a four-seater (pages 202/203). It was commissioned by Mr David Stuart Mitchell of Tauranga, New Zealand, a wealthy businessman who loved XK's but needed something more practical than a two-seater. So, in 1951 he ordered a rolling chassis from Jaguar and commissioned the famous Surrey coach builder Abbott of Farnham to make a four-seater body. Mitchell also specified that the car should be delivered with a radio, tow-bar, and a pair of fog lamps.
Slightly longer than that of the stock XK120, the body was hand crafted in the traditional manner, using aluminium panels on an ash framework. Abbott went out of their way to ensure that the adaptations required to accommodate the extra rear seats, including moving the boot rearwards, did not ruin the XK120's graceful lines. Abbott made few changes to the XK's front end, but the front wing line sloped dramatically downwards toward the rear, while the rear wheel spats were elongated to disguise the increase in length. Another obvious difference was the Abbott's flat one-piece windscreen, replacing the standard car's two-piece item. No expense was spared to make this unique car of the highest quality. The completed XK was shipped to New Zealand early in 1952. It would be another 12 months before Jaguar got around to introducing its own (two-seater) drophead coupé on the XK120 chassis.
Mr Mitchell enjoyed his bespoke XK120 for a few years before the car passed to Mr Harold Stone, another native of New Zealand. All owners of this car are known and officially recorded. In 1982, the Chamberlain family trust bought the XK with the intention of restoring the car to its former glory. As is so often the case, the restoration was never started, and the Jaguar remained stored in a barn.
In May 2002, with 105,000 miles on the odometer, the XK was discovered and purchased by the well-known restoration company, Upper Classics of Christchurch, NZ. They embarked on a painstaking restoration, which consumed no fewer than 5,000 man-hours we have been advised. Completed in 2006, the Abbott XK120 has since been featured in numerous magazines, on TV shows, and at Concours d'Élégance events, winning the prize for 'Best Restored Car' at Techno Classica Essen in 2007.
The XK120 Abbott is presented in cream body colour with burgundy interior exactly how it left the coach builder. All owners are recorded, so '660750' has a complete history from new to the present day. It even has its original registration document from 1952! Upper Classics' restoration is documented by circa 1,000 photographs every detail of the process, no invoices are available though. The car also comes with a large box containing old documents; registration forms; magazines; videos and photographs, weighing some 5kg! Also on file is a recent valuation report valuing the car at more than €300,000 after restoration. A potential winner at prestigious Concours d'Élégances worldwide, Abbott's beautiful creation represents a wonderful opportunity to own a unique piece of Jaguar XK120 history.