Jaguar XK — A celebration of Jaguar's 1950s classic

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  • 1787113027
  • 9781787113022
by Nigel Thorley Jaguar is a name synonymous with style and performance, and the XK120,... mehr
Jaguar XK — A celebration of Jaguar's 1950s classic

by Nigel Thorley

Jaguar is a name synonymous with style and performance, and the XK120, together with the subsequent XK140 and XK150, played a major part in establishing that reputation. The XK series became a benchmark for other manufacturers to follow.

Before and immediately after the Second World War, Jaguar concentrated its efforts on its new saloon cars. The new straight-six, twin-overhead-camshaft XK engine that would power them was actually developed during the war. The idea for a new sports car came very late in the day - the car was never intended as a volume production model. It was, if anything, more of a concept vehicle, providing a platform to showoff the fabulous XK engine, which would remain in production until 1992.

Shown at the 1948 British Motor Show, the XK120 took the world by storm, and even Jaguar boss William Lyons did not anticipate the reception that this new sports car would receive. Not only was the car stylish and modern, it could also out-perform virtually every other car on the market at the time. The XK120 was a natural competition car, quickly establishing itself in both rallying and on the race circuits of the world, in the hands of drivers such as Stirling Moss, and breaking several speed records.

By 1954 the XK120 had evolved into the XK140, with many detailed improvements over the original design, and in 1957 the XK entered the final phase of its development in the form of the XK150. By the end of production in 1961, over 35.000 XKs had been manufactured, and engine power had been boosted from 160 bhp to 265 bhp.

With the aid of archive images and stunning studio photography, this book chronicles the history and development of the XK range year-by-year, providing a feast of nostalgia for enthusiasts of these fabulous cars.


  • Introduction
  • Acknowledgements
  • Design and Development
  • XK120
    1948: From concept to production
    1949-1950: Establishing the title
    1951: Consolidation and expansion
    1952-1954: More and less XK120
  • XK140
    1954-1957: Extra power, more space
  • XK150
    1957: Subtle but extensive changes
    1958-1961: XK model expansion
    The XK models: a pictorial comparison
    An XK photo miscellany

Buch, Hardcover, 25,5 x 25,5 cm, 152 Seiten, 150 farbige und 100 s/w-Abbildungen, englischer Text