The Classic Jaguar XKE Post War Dual Cam Roadster
by: Terry Z. Voster
There were a whole host of different and varied sports cars and even motorcycles that arrived in the US after World War II. To this day their very names elucidate a passion among enthusiasts – be it Triumph, MG, Austin-Cooper, Lotus, Austin-Healey, Mini-Cooper or in the world of British motorcycles –BSA, Norton, Greeves and Triumph bikes. However in the eyes of many sports cars the original Jaguar roadster was “it”.
It can be said and noted that the Jaguar Automotive Company had over time and previous to the War (World War II 1939-1945), had built sports roadsters previously. Indeed Jaguar had carved out a name and reputation with these products especially the Jaguar Roadster SS-100. However things being what they were economically after the war , with the home market for such premium vehicles being very small indeed if not non existent , the export market especially to the United States – the USA as well as the smaller but emerging automotive sports market of Canada.
To this purpose both Jaguar’s engineering staff – with the chief engineer at the helm as well as innovative indeed daring new styling , with one of Jaguar’s co-founders being in charge of the styling end.
The Jaguar XKE 120 became an instant hit – both for its innovative and graceful styling, as well its speed, acceleration and agility. It can be said that the Jaguar XKE120 came to symbolize its name – that of a sleek, fast feline and hunter. Speeds were up to 120 miles per hour, with a then modest price of approximately $ 2,500 US dollars.
To this day of all the post war British sports car and vehicles – be they cars or even motorcycles it is said among enthusiasts of vintage cars and racing automotive products that nothing comes close or matches the mystique of that early classic Jaguar Roadster the XKE120.
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