They say that beauty is only skin deep, and while today’s Nice Price or No Dice candidate is a replica of one of the most beautiful cars in the world, there’s a question about what’s actually under that skin. Let’s see how questionable its price might also prove to be.
Mercedes-Benz offers a lot of models for sale in the U.S. In fact, it’s quite remarkable that the company is able to sustain such a broad range in what is today’s SUV and crossover-crazed environment. The company even has the audacity to offer fully three four-door models it designates as coupes owing to little more than an aggressive roofline.
The 2008 Mercedes-Benz CLS 63 AMG we looked at yesterday represented one of the first of the company’s four-door coupes, and while its handsome lines somewhat overcome that unfortunate naming convention, the hot edition we considered couldn’t overcome the hurdle of its $20,500 asking price. In the end, that fought its way to a 60 percent No Dice loss.
We’re going to start out our discussion of today’s Jaguar XK 120 replica by noting just how perplexing the ad’s description of the car appears to be. In that ad, the seller rightfully notes that the car is a replica, and further explains that it carries a drivetrain from Ford, comprised of a carbureted 302 V8 and a C4 three-speed automatic.
That’s all pretty straightforward. The weird part is that the seller then says that the car is built “on a modified 1982 Alfa Romeo Chassis.” Huh? I’m pretty sure the only models Alfa Romeo sold in the U.S. in 1982 were the GTV6 and the Spider and those were both unit-body designs. One of those had a rear transaxle and de Dion suspension, not a Ford C4. This odd conundrum is further clouded by a VIN plate placed above the brake booster that has the odd model descriptor of “1948 Jaguar XK 120 / Alfa Romeo.”
Adding to that strange origin story, are some other anomalies here. The seller, and that VIN plaque, calls the car a 120, and claims the model year it is replicating to be 1948. Despite that, the car wears a grille off the later XK 140. That grille fronts a hood that needs obvious adjustment. A bit of the Jag mystique is also lost by the use of round amber turn signal lenses mounted above the bumperettes rather than the real deal’s chrome fender-topping units. The Cabin has a dashboard sourced from the lumber yard, set with center-mounted gauges. That would be appropriate were this a fixed-head or drop-head coupe, but in the OTS, the dash would have been vinyl-wrapped. The B&M shifter doesn’t speak to authenticity either.
Ok, enough bad-mouthing, let’s look at the car’s positives. First off, the XK 120 is quite possibly one of the top five most beautiful car designs ever pounded into metal. From many angles, this fiberglass replica does its progenitor right. Aside from the grille and turn indicators, the car does appear to ape the 120 design more so than the later 140. That means lovely thin bumperettes and round tail lamps on chrome-plated mounts. The cabin also looks to be that of the more cramped 120 than the three-inch deeper 140.
There’s a lot to be said about the reliability and repairability of the Ford drivetrain over the real 120’s 3.4 liter DOHC straight-six and JH Moss gearbox too. Along the same lines, the steel wheels and faux wire wheel covers are probably easier to maintain than the real car’s knock-off wires. By the way, if the real car had steel wheels it would have worn skirts.
Other issues here include a top that needs to be replaced and an issue with the title that means the car will be sold with a bill of sale only. For many areas, and especially for a car as odd as this, that should be all you need. No warranty is offered, but I’ll bet the seller will wish the new owner good luck before they drive away.
Getting into any old Jag sports car demands a bit of dexterity due to the small doors and big steering wheel. Getting into this odd bodkin of a replica also demands $22,500. That’s a good quarter of what a real XK 120 would set you back, and it’s now time for us all to vote on whether that’s a good enough deal to cosplay a Jaguar.
What do you think, is this kind of weird replica worth that $22,500 asking? Or, does price make this a cat with no lives left?
Westchester, New York, Craigslist, or go here if the ad disappears.
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