1950 Jaguar XK120 Competition Roadster ‘LOB 908’ - Highly Eligible and regular entrant at the Mille Miglia
This fabulous racing XK120 boasts an extensive period competition history that spans over a decade from the early 1950s through to the 1960s in addition to more recent successful appearances at the Mille Miglia.
Constructed in late 1950 this original RHD roadster was registered LOB908 in January of 1951 and delivered via P J Evans, the famous Birmingham distributors, to Geoff Mansell, a well-known local competitor. Mansell had initially started out in trials and rallying but moved onto hill climbing and circuit racing, often teaming up with other Midlands-based drivers such as Lew Tracey and Denis O'M Taylor. Mansell wasted no time in putting LOB908 into action with an appearance at Prescott in June of 1951 and two meetings at Silverstone in August and September where he finished 4th on both occasions. He returned to hill climbing for latter part of 1951 with further appearances at Prescott and at Shelsley Walsh.
The beginning of the 1952 season saw Mansell venturing a little further afield with an entry at Castle Combe in April before more hill climbing and circuit racing at Prescott and Silverstone over the summer. This pattern was to be repeated in 1953 and early in 1954 with the odd minor sprint and speed trail also featuring in his calendar. During Mansell's tenure of ownership the car remained in very standard trim with the exception of aero-screens, which were fitted for circuit events, but by 1956 Mansell had commissioned an HWM (XPA748) and the XK had been acquired by Robin Sturgess who began a program of upgrading the car to keep it competitive in the face of newer machinery. In addition to tuning the engine and improving the brakes he also fitted a lightweight Perspex wrap-around screen and re-painted the car Red from its original Pastel Blue Metallic. Sturgess, of the famous Leicester Jaguar dealership, was a very capable driver and campaigned LOB908 with some success over the next two years. At his hands the XK120 made its first appearances at Brands Hatch and Aintree as well as at the more local Silverstone circuit. By 1959 Sturgess had proved his ability and set his sights on a faster car, eventually buying the ex-works C-Type from Mike Salmon, himself a former XK120 driver. LOB908's racing career did not end here however and it subsequently found its way to Graham Williams, a Welsh racer who had links with the RISCA Garages team. Williams had the engine further uprated with a gas-flowed head and the block bored out to 3.8 Litres. In this form he campaigned the car at many Bentley & Jaguar Drivers Club meetings, again mainly at Brands Hatch and Silverstone. Reunited with the car at XK60, Williams recalled to a previous owner that on one Boxing Day meeting at Brands Hatch he had competed against Graham Hill and even met Steve McQueen in the paddock at another event. While not racing he used the car as his daily driver and even took it on his honeymoon, although unfortunately picking up a parking ticket on his wedding night.
Like many XKs of the period LOB908 had by this time become a little tired and by the mid-1960s had been sold off, eventually finding its way to France. Repatriated in the mid-2000s it passed through the hands of few well-known collectors before being acquired and restored to racing / rallying condition. 2009 saw the return of LOB908 to competition with appearances at the Silverstone Classic and the Algarve Historic Festival at Portimao. These were followed up with entries in the Mille Miglia in 2013, where it was driven by Andy Wallace and Sir Chris Hoy as part of the Jaguar Heritage Racing team, and 2014, successfully finishing on both occasions.
All the mechanicals, suspension and wiring are to current FIA specification and the car comes with a detachable roll cage, aero-screens, FIA HTP papers and a fabulous history file. Furthermore it comes with the correctly numbered early engine block which matches the factory build sheet. An excellent opportunity to acquire a period competition roadster which is eligible for all major events including the Mille Miglia.
Just some of LOB908 Period history :
June 16th Prescott Driver: G Mansell
August 11th Silverstone Driver: G Mansell Position: 4th
September 1st Silverstone Driver: G Mansell Position:
4th September 9th Prescott Driver: G Mansell
September 20th Shelsley Walsh Driver: G Mansell
September 22nd Prescott Driver: G Mansell
April 12th Castle Combe Driver: G Mansell
August 10th Prescott Driver: G Mansell
September 6th Silverstone Driver: G Mansell
September 14th Prescott G Mansell
April 25th Castle Combe Driver: G Mansell
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