For sale

1949 Jaguar Alloy XK120 Roadster

Swiss Registered From New With Period Competition History

  • Imported new to Switzerland, and bought by famed Swiss racer Albert Scherrer
  • Thought to be the first Jaguar to compete on the Continent after the war and the most successful XK120 in competition in Switzerland
  • Multiple contender, and winner of, The Grand Prix Von Bremgarten, Berne.
  • Owned for many years by Swiss XK ‘guru’ Urs Schmid

The early development life of the XK120 is Jaguar folklore, chief among which are William Lyons original intention to make the car simply a showcase and testbed for his all-new XK twin-cam, straight-six engine. It took just two weeks to build the initial XK120, in time to take the 1948 London motor show by storm; demand was so overwhelming that Jaguar decided to adjust its plans on the spot, following its 240-car limited run of alloy-bodied cars, all virtually handmade, with a full-production steel version.

Chassis 670063 is one of those very early, aluminium cars, the 63rd made and one of 10 allocated to the Swiss market. Its buyer on 18 January 1950 was businessman Albert ‘Bätsch’ Scherrer of Riehen, Basle, who immediately set about doing what Jaguar wanted most – campaigning the new sports car on the race track. It was the first Jaguar-marque sports car to compete on mainland Europe after the war.

For the next two years, Scherrer was omnipresent in the numerous local hillclimbs and road races which, because of Switzerland’s neutrality, attracted a very international grid and, consequently, huge interest in this glamorous new Jaguar sports car from England. He amassed notable trophies at the Bremgarten-Ring road circuit, winning the production sports car prize outright in 1951, and coming second the following year.

Keen to promote motor sport all over Switzerland, Scherrer was on the organising committee of the Racing Instruction Weekend staged by the Swiss Automobile Racing Association in 1952. Held in the Italian enclave of Campione, Scherrer was club president and chief instructor. He used the XK120 to give each of the star guests – which included hallowed names such as Alberto Ascari, Rudolf Caracciola and Alfred Neubauer – a familiarisation tour of the course. Along with Hermann Lang and Gigi Villoresi, they all enjoyed a passenger ride in this car.

In 1955 a Mercedes-Benz 300SL became his main race car, and the Jaguar was sold to Max Weiss of Flums, Switzerland, who was to enjoy it enormously as a road car for 33 years. Then, in 1988, XK enthusiast Urs Schmid acquired it and instigated a light and sympathetic restoration, the key part of which was reinstating its original bronze paintwork, although Scherrer’s 10cm lowered suspension has been retained. A non-original engine block is a reminder of its intense period spent as a very active competition machine.

Indeed, the racing exploits of 670063 are documented in the two-volume, highly illustrated book Jaguar XK120 – The Anatomy of a Cult Object by XK Urs Schmid.

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