The Jaguar XK 120 was available by the factory as open two-seater, a fixed head coupe and a drop head coupe. Jaguar cars never built a XK 120 four-seater. However one extraordinary XK 120 four-seater was designed on special order by Abbott of Farnham, coachbuilders in Surrey, UK.
On April 17, 1951, Jaguar Cars despatched a rolling chassis with number 660750 to Abbott of Farnham. The chassis was commissioned with a custom built four-seater DHC body by Mr. David Stuart Mitchell, businessman and resident of Tauranga, New Zealand. Abbot of Farnham created the special body from scratch starting July 13, 1951.
Following the wishes of Mr. Mitchell Abbott created an all-new four-seater bodywork inspired by the ravishing lines of the Jaguar XK 120. All panels were hand beaten of aluminium sheet and fitted on an ash frame. The Abbott design was subtly lengthened to create extra space for the additional rear seats. This could not be done without altering the lines of the original XK 120 design. To realize excellent proportions Abbott rounded the original straight slope of the front wings and made them carry on lower towards the end of the doors. From there on the waist line was made to curve up more expressively as original and sweeping down over longer stretched rear wings. The extra length was created by placing the boot further behind on the chassis. The added length was brilliantly hidden within the shape of the rear wings. Optically this design solution was complimented by oval shaped spats covering the rear wheels. The result was a surprisingly balanced and harmonious design.
The interior was especially fabricated for the Abbott and the design was largely taken over from the XK 120. The rear bench was of course unique and it followed the shape of the front seats. The dashboard was given a varnished walnut veneer facia with the same overall layout as the XK 120 OTS. All bright work at the exterior were XK 120 OTS items except for the unique windscreen frame. Most of the other parts used to built the XK 120 four-seater were also early Jaguar XK 120 items except for the door locks which were borrowed from the Jaguar SS90/SS100 models. The drop head convertible top had been tailor made for the Abbott. As ordered by Mr. Mitchell the automobile was fitted with extras like a pair of fog lamps, a radio, and a tow bar. Abbott completed their work on the special XK 120 early 1952, as they had the car shipped to Mr. Mitchell in New Zealand.
Read more about this special Jaguar's history and its restoration at www.xk120abbott.com
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