Barn Find Alloy Bodied Jaguar XK

Barn find Jaguar XK

A rare alloy bodied Jaguar XK has been discovered and is being sold on ebay. The barn find car has been stored for the last 50 years waiting to be restored. Back in 1969 a 19 year old lady purchased the car with the intentions of restoring and keeping the car forever. However life got in the way and now an elderly lady, the owner has parted with her beloved Jaguar to Seven Gables Motor Garage who have put the car up for sale on ebay.

Here’s the ebay listing –

Barn find Jaguar XK

Barn find Jaguar XK

Below is the story of the barn find from their ebay listing


The phone rang five years ago and on the other end was a fellow that was buying a Jeep from an elderly lady.  He had gone to her farm in rural Wisconson to look it over and he saw a car he did not recognize.  The elderly lady owner, white hair with a purple stark running through it, wearing her Annie Oakley style six shooter strapped to her right leg and a sheathed 10″ Bowie Knife strapped to her left, replied “Thats my 1950 aluminum Jaguar”.  The fellow, being a car guy but knowing nothing about Jaguars, asked her if it was for sale.  She replied that she was going to buy an English Wheel and restore her “Baby”. In 1969 she had bought it when she was 19 years old and her intentions were to keep it forever.  The XK120 cost her $25 and a set of mag wheels.

Barn find Jaguar XK

The fellow was intrigued, hoped to “steal” the XK120 and called me because of my experience concerning Jaguars.  He asked me if I could help him establish a value before he made an offer to the lady owner.  I coached him and after the initial phone call we kept in touch a few times a year.   The update was always the same: just as the owner had said, the car was firmly not for sale.   Meanwhile, I gave the finder, who now had become a bit of a “pen pal” friend, the opportunity to collect a finder’s fee from me if he should ever decide to pass the torch to me.  Of course, being hundreds of miles away, I never met him in person or knew any real information about the Alloy, if it really did exist.  I never saw any photos because the finder was reluctant to even talk to the irascible lady owner let alone ask to take photos of her “Baby”.

Barn find Jaguar XK

Sigh, so close yet so far…  One year went by then another and then two more.   Last August I finally called him and said that I was willing to try one last time to pay him my proposed finders fee and buy the XK.  As my luck would have it, he had just bought a shop and needed the money to repair it. In an hour he had called back and the lady had excepted my offer.  I was elated and  two hours later I had rented a truck and trailer.  Twelve hours later my 91 year old father and I  left for yet another “Jaguar Safari”.  This time the wilds of rural Wisconson.  Aside from being the best dad that ever lived, my WWII  Army hero father and I have cherished a wonderful Jaguar based relationship over the last 50 years. It started when he and I, then at the age of 15, brought home my first car in 1968.  It was an XK140 DHC that, when he drove me to see it, turned out to belong to an old Army friend that he knew in Europe.   But I digress…

Barn find Jaguar XK

My dad and I traveled to Wisconson and we met the finder fellow, Steve.  Unbeknownst  to him, I had described him to my colleagues and  been calling him “The Facilitator” because of his rather rough and tough demeanor.  He did not disappoint when we finally met when I observed he was wearing an enormous gun strapped in a shoulder holster.  He explained that the owner of the car was a little rough around the edges herself, having been married to a biker guy and having been a pinup girl in the Sixties appearing in “Easy Rider” magazine.  Besides, the owner had mentioned to him that that she would be meeting us carrying a heater for her protection and did we mind?   Now, my dad may have seen a lot during the war, but he had been out of the shooting business for the last 75 years.  Therefore I did not mention to him that we were going to have gunslingers at the transaction.  Nor did I mention that I had brought an enormous amount of cash in a large Brinks safe.  I TOLD you nobody can make this up…

Barn find Jaguar XK

We followed Steve a.k.a. “The Facilitator” to the farm and met the owner.  I looked at the car in real life for the first time instead of from a marginal quality few cell phone photos.  It was what Steve had said it was and I was very pleased.  After a little small talk the transaction and exchange of money took place on the alloy bonnet of the car.  I counted out the stacks of hundreds a few times and after a few nervous hours of counting, the never to be forgotten scene in front of me was finished.  Make sure you look over the images because the really telling photo is the “Easy Rider centerfold” owner and The “Facilitator”, each with their rods, standing at each end of the bonnet with an ancient Jaguar title and a Brinks strongbox between them…

Barn find Jaguar XK

It turns out that in real life the owner was a real pussycat.  I felt a twinge of pity for the her as we were winching the Alloy out of the barn after it had been parked there fifty years.  She was having her moment of grieving and was sobbing as the XK120 was pulled out and loaded onto the trailer.  I made a dumb joke to her and instantly regretted it when I saw she was having her moment of separation from her “Baby”.

Barn find Jaguar XK

While I was there I asked if the owner knew where the engine and gearbox had gone off to.  She said that before she bought it they had been sold sometime in the late Fifties or early Sixties along with the dash so that they could be used in a speedboat!  Just so you know, she is earnestly looking for them after I promised her $15,000 if she could produce them.

Barn find Jaguar XK

After four years of pursuit the Alloy was mine and we did not waste any time driving back home to Seven Gables.  Now lets flash forward to a year later to the present.  I had entertained the hope of hopes that I could keep it but this important XK120 deserves someone with a healthy bank account that can restore it to its original state.  I could drag it out, hold onto it and it would even increase in value every year, as is.  However, its out of my financial league to expect to be able to afford to restore it.  One reason I am willing to sell it, and a reason that helps take the pain away, has to do with my very first Jaguar I bought when I was fifteen.  That is the fact that last week I found “my” XK140 DHC again!  The very person that I sold it to in 1971 had it all along in his garage. Its the way I left it down to the RAC badge on the grill and a metal sticker on the dash showing my participation in a sports car race in 1971.  Wow, what are the odds???  Now lets talk about the condition of the Alloy.

Barn find Jaguar XK


1) Built 11 January 1950 and sent to Max Hoffman, the New York, East coast Jaguar distributer

2) I have a Jaguar Heritage Certificate for it.

3) The other relevant numbers on the data plate and recorded on the Heritage Certificate are being, for the present, withheld due to the unfortunate haze of fraud that sometimes envelopes the classic car world.  The original data plate is still on the car.  It is attached with screws rather than rivets.  The rivets often disintegrate through alloy/steel electrolysis and lest the plates fall off the cars, owners have to attach them with screws at times.  In the case of this XK, the previous owner yanked it on one corner while “repairing” it and damaged an ear on one end.  I believe a jeweler can repair this brass end as is simply bare brass with no stampings in that area.  The body tag is gone.  In its place are the rusted remnants of the alloy rivets.  There is an photo shown of the chassis stamping on the left side chassis rail.  Its faint and as I recall I heard someone say the Alloys had faint markings.  This may or may not be accurate but its the faintest XK markings I have ever seen on an XK chassis.  Its not due to rust or any other natural cause but appears to be a weak effort with the stamping tool.

4) I have a bill of sale from the lady owner and her 1969 Wisconson title with her name signing off ownership.

5) There are many things about this XK that differ from an “ordinary” steel body car.  I am not an Alloy expert and I hope that the potential owner is versed in these fascinatingly different XK120’s.  I can see obvious things are are missing:

a) The engine and gearbox are long gone as explained in the sad tale above.  I have a very early engine can be purchased with this car.  Its one of the first steel bodied XK120 engines and its #1423-8.  Its not so very far from the original number and is from, I believe, a May 1950 XK120.  By the way, all of the early engines were XK120 only.  The Mark VII had them also but the saloon came a bit later.  I may even have an age appropriate SH gearbox from a Mark V.  Also available Is a correct “flat bottom” bell housing from the very early cars.

b) The dash is gone but they are available.  I passed one up last month for $650 that was largely complete and even had its original leather facing.  I know of an actual dash from an Alloy for sale.  It is complete and even has the rare “Owls Eye” lighter.

c) Many of the under the bonnet parts are still present and have the correct date codes.  I think this car was taken of the road a very long time ago.  Perhaps with low enough milage to still have many original factory electrical components.

5) What is present with the car:

a) The original chrome plated hood frame is in the car

b) Present and stored in the boot is the irreplaceable, Alloy only, windscreen

c) I have four correct 5″ Dunlop wheels that will replace the non-original wheels that are shown on the car when discovered.  I can muster up some 16″ tires somewhere.

d) The brakes are original and complete.  I easily backed off the adjustors and the car rolls freely.

e) The bonnet is in surprisingly good condition considering how battered the body is.  We have speculated that the car may have seen racing in its murky past.  It would certainly account for the bangs and knocks.  The owner explained to me that “Baby” suffered a large whack on the right side rear shortly after she bought it.  A tenet living on the farm backed into it while leaving her cottage on the property.  The body is an amazing amalgamation of wood timber, steel and alloy.  As you may already know, among other places the sills and door pillars have thick wood under the alloy skin.

f) When you break it down, the car is pretty simple, even crudely so.  I have been in touch with someone that has two Alloys.  He maintains that they are “simple” to restore.  In some ways I agree with him, that are pretty basic.  On the other hand I have spoken to a well known shop that has restored several Alloys.  They said to expect them to charge between $200,000 and $300,000 if they did all of the work themselves.  I think I could do the restoration for less if I did what I could myself and farmed out the rest.

g) The chassis is very sound and well preserved.  It has had a Chevrolet engine installed with an automatic gearbox.  This was done by the previous owners husband in the early days of her ownership.  Fortunately the project was never completed and the drivetrain needs to be removed.  A modest amount of chassis repairs needs to be done where the drivetrain was installed.  The owner was astute enough to keep the few parts from the car that her husband removed in the drivetrain conversion.  Just what is it with American owners of Jaguars and their resolute desire to plop in good ol’ boy Chevy engines?

h) The owner saved part of the accelerator linkage and the unique mounts are still on the scuttle.  Some parts are unique to the Alloy and some parts interchange with the steel cars.  I am confident that a lot is here with the car and what is needed can be sourced.

There are other items that can be described but look carefully at the images and you will get an idea that , aside from the Chevrolet lump seats and dash, its still there and never apart.

Barn find Jaguar XK


Barn find Jaguar XK

Possibly one of the best barn find cars with a great back story. I hope whoever buys this amazing barn find lavishes the time and money this car clearly deserves.

See the ebay listing here –

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