He Paid $250 for This 1951 Jaguar XK120. Now It’s Worth $140,000

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Malcolm Brock's 300,000 mile Jaguar XK120.

A teen’s Jaguar turned out to be a life-long companion, and retirement fund.

For many of us, we can look back on the choices we made as teenagers and wish that they never happened. But for Malcolm Brock, a retired mechanic from Cornwall, U.K., his teenage ride is his ticket to a comfortable retirement.

Malcolm Brock's 300,000 mile Jaguar XK120.

In 1969, when he was just 19 years old, Brock purchased an 18-year old Jaguar XK120 for £180, or about $250. “When I first bought it you could buy old Jags and Aston Martins for next to nothing – it was my rich mates who had Minis and Metros at the time,” he says.

And he enjoyed his Jag to the fullest. The car now has over 300,000 miles on the odometer. It also has a history of competing in a number of hillclimbs. We can’t imagine that there are many XK120s getting muddy out there anymore. He also drove his daughter to her wedding in it, making it a true member of the family.

Of course, he was still a teenager when he bought the car, so he did make some mistakes. Like letting a friend spray paint the bronze XK red. The job was done outdoors. So, for decades, the car had bugs preserved in its paint.

But in 2010, he had the car lovingly restored, returning the body and wheels to their original hue while keeping the interior largely stock. The Jag still has its original 3.8-liter straight-six and comes with a Heritage motoring certificate. The only notable upgrade is a more modern disc brake system, which is probably better than the Dunlop discs offered from the factory nearly 70 years ago. The end result is a well-cared for driver that proudly displays its 50 years of ownership.

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After all this time, Brock is ready to say goodbye to the gorgeous roadster. “If I could get myself something more modern, like a Jaguar F-Type and still pocket a bit of cash, that would be great,” he says. Lucky for him, it looks like he’ll get his wish.

According to Matthew Whitney, the head of the classic car department at Charterhouse Auctioneers: “The Jaguar XK120 roadster has always been a sought after car, but what a car it must have been to own as an architecture student in 1969. Rarely do you come across cars which have had nearly 50 years of continuous ownership.” The car is being sold by the auction house as one of the most original XK120s in the U.K. It’s set to cross the block on February 11 with a presale estimate of £100,000, or $140,000. With provenance like this, we wouldn’t be surprised if it fetches significantly more.

James Derek Sapienza has worked as a writer and editor in the world of automotive journalism since 2015.

He has a BS in History at SUNY Brockport, with a focus on American popular culture. A fan of the classics with a special interest in German cars, he is a proud owner of a 1991 W124 Mercedes. He is a frequent contributor to Mustang Forums, MBWorld, 5Series, Rennlist, and more.

James can be reached at [email protected]

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