The Jaguar XK 120 is widely regarded as one of the most beautiful cars ever created, and its popularity was further boosted by the model’s association with contemporary celebrities, the most famous of which was Clark Gable. Despite passing away 62 years ago, Gable is still regarded as one of the greatest actors in film history.
- One of the most famous XK 120s in the world
- Delivered new to legendary Hollywood actor, Clark Gable
- Specified by Gable with unique competition-inspired features
- Subject of an extraordinary restoration; revealed at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este in 2016
- Retains its matching-numbers body, chassis, and engine
- Offered for the first time at public auction after 41 years of single-family ownership
First registered “MDU 420”, chassis number 672282 was finished in the stunning colour combination of Battleship Grey over a Red interior. Gable specified his XK 120 to have competition-inspired upgrades such as wire wheels and bonnet louvres, while a requirement for a custom luggage rack for his golf clubs was met by the factory.
During the next 18 months, Gable used “MDU 420’” to make journeys across the continent. One of these garnered the attention of the press as he toured with his rumoured fiancée, Suzanne Dadolle, making a very long trip to Rome via Paris, including a three-week stay at Villa d’Este. Gable returned with his XK 120 to the USA before the end of 1953, and soon after it was registered in California he sold it to Irving Robbins Jr.
In 1982, it was purchased by the consigning owner’s father. By 2011, the XK 120’s age was catching up with it and the consignor contacted world-renowned Jaguar restorer Georg Donni, who discovered the significant early history and commenced a restoration.
Today, “MDU 420” is presented as one of the finest XK 120s in existence thanks to a restoration that spanned nearly five years and cost over CHF 400,000, during which the originality of the matching-numbers body, chassis, engine was confirmed. The restoration was finished just in time for the 2016 edition of the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este where its re-emergence from years in obscurity was greatly lauded.
Despite being one of the most famous XK 120s in existence, “MDU 420” could easily be enjoyed on a long trip across the European continent, just like Clark Gable did, or admired on any concours lawn for its outstanding condition and incredible beauty. Few cars can claim to combine such charm, originality, condition and screen legend provenance, and “MDU 420” will forever be one of them.
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