Ghia Supersonic Jaguar XK120
In addition to the one-off Alfa 1900 'Conrero', one Aston Martin DB2/4 and a number of FIAT 8V chassis, the Supersonic design also appeared on three Jaguars XK120.
This red Jaguar XK120 Supersonic, #679768, is one of two ordered via the French Jaguar importer in Paris, by a Lyonnias businessman, a Monsieur Malpelli.
The other Malpelli XK120, finished in blue, is known to exist in France while the third example's whereabouts are unknown.
There are numerous detail differences between the coachwork of the red and blue Supersonics, while the red car is the only one fitted with a cylinder head modified by Virgilio Conrero to accommodate three twin-choke Weber carburettors instead of the standard twin SUs.
The engine is reputed to produce 220bhp.
After completion, #679768 was exhibited at the Paris and London Motor Shows in 1954 and took part in the Concours d'Elegance competitions in Montreux and Cannes.
Originally registered "69 BJ 75" and subsequently "66 BJ 75", it was retrieved by the Paris dealer following the disappearance of the mysterious Malpelli, remaining with the company until 1969 when proprietor Charles Delecroix ceased importing Jaguars.
When the Paris Jaguar dealer sold up, the Supersonic was bought by Philippe Renault and subsequently sold by him to Roland Urban, who displayed the car at his motor museum devoted to special-bodied Jaguars in Montlhery.
When the current owner, a prominent Jaguar collector and member of the French Jaguar Drivers Club, bought the car from Roland Urban in 1994 it had recorded only 9,400 kilometres from new.
Since restoration the car has covered only 10,000-or-so kilometres.
This unique XK120 is not only an important piece of Jaguar history, but also a milestone in the development of Italian coachbuilding in the innovating post-war years.
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