Colin Davidson's 1951 Jaguar XK-120

Photos and story by Tom Strongman

If Colin Davidson’s 1951 Jaguar XK-120 were a beauty queen, it would be Miss Jaguar America.

 This winter-white roadster is currently the top-scoring XK-120 in the Jaguar Club of America with an average score of 99.805 out of a perfect 100. It received 99.7 points at the Heart of America Jaguar Club show on May 28.

 Davidson’s Jag is a near-perfect time machine. Because it sat in a museum for 25 years, it has a near-new appearance. Tiny paint nicks, often picked up on the way to a show, and chrome rear bumper supports (they should be painted black) are two of the things that cause deductions in judging. The odometer has slightly more than 4,000 miles, although Davidson said he is unable to document the authenticity of the mileage.

 The XK 120 made its debut in 1948 at the Earl’s Court Motor Show in London. With long, swooping fenders, low-cut doors and a 3.4-liter, DOHC six-cylinder engine, it created a minor sensation in postwar England. Top speed was estimated to be 120 miles per hour, although a slightly modified version recorded a speed of 132 mph. The XK 120’s seductive shape and startling performance helped it become popular in America during the early 1950s. It is considered one of the all-time great cars in automotive history. Variations of the XK’s 3.4-liter engine were used in Jaguar cars for nearly 40 years.

 Davidson, of Overland Park, grew up in England. About three years ago he sold his business and decided it was time to pursue his automotive interests.

 “When I was a kid, I loved cars,” he said. “We didn’t have much money, so I bought old cars and tried to keep them running. My work kept me traveling all over the world, and I was never in a position to collect cars because I didn’t have the time.” Now he does.

 He’s also putting the finishing touches on a 1936 Mercedes-Benz 290 Cabriolet C.