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Jaguar XK120

Jaguar XK120
the anatomy of a cult object, volume 2. Written by Urs Schmid, 318 pages with 1200 illustrations, size: 300 x 220 mm, binding: hardcover, language: English
Author Urs Schmid
Pages 318
Format 220 mm x 300 mm
Blurb Ten years have passed since and once again the subject under scrutiny seems to be limitless. As far as the XK120 goes, Sir William Lyons and his team appear to have deliberately planned to test the patience and research capabilities of future generations. Anyone who attempts to unravel the complex sequence of production modifications and the constructional secrets of the iconic XK120 sportscar is faced with new issues and queries over and over again. These do not only concern the technical components and the construction of the cars, both of which aspects were covered in Volume 1, but also the characteristics of the equipment and model finishes under investigation hereafter. The appearance and aesthetic aura of the XK120 are primarily influenced by the design and construction of its equipment, the choice of materials and the colour and trim finishes. In a car's lifetime however, it is exactly these elements which suffer most from wear and tear and changing tastes in fashion. The XK owner who seeks originality above all else will pay particular attention to these points, in the full knowledge that the XK can only fulfil its function as a means for a trip back in time to the sportscar culture of the Fifties when it is as close as possible to the original.
The anatomy of the XK120 as a cult object would be incomplete without an understanding of the documentation which accompanied the vehicle on delivery to its first owner, of the manuals, catalogues and contemporary advertising material distributed to dealers and garages.
Finally, I feel that a closer look at XK drivers from a historical standpoint would not be out of place: A large part of the XK120 legend is based on the successes which were attained all over the world in countless sporting competitions. To go into too great a detail of the XK's racing history would exceed the capacity of this book. Yet, using Swiss privateers as examples, it will be demonstrated that the XK120 could claim to have achieved its own social and cultural value as part of the social elite of its day. Working on the stories of the Swiss privateers discussed in the Appendix turned out to be a fascinating challenge, especially as this part of the XK myth has received until now far too little attention in XK literature.
Kind readers will forgive me that hunting down and following up on all these tracks took longer than anticipated. I hope that the readers of Volume 1 whose patience I have stretched to the extreme with the late publication of Volume 2 have retained their interest for the material and maintained their enthusiasm for the labour of love to which I have devoted my spare time. The overwhelmingly positive reactions of readers to Volume 1 have acted as an encouragement and incentive to carry on with the project and to finally bring it to a conclusion.
The completion of the work would not have been possible without the valuable support of numerous voluntary helpers. In this connection I would like to repeat my thanks to the persons and companies named in the Introduction to Volume 1 who have also contributed to Volume 2. I would like to thank them wholeheartedly. They have all helped to keep alive the legacy of an exceptional automotive creation.