Grille, 120

Can anyone tell me when (or which body number) the XK120 grille changed from the fluted vertical bars to the smooth ones? – Carl Hanson, ’51 XK120 FHC

My ’51 roadster, Body # F2731, Chassis 660636 has the fluted grills. Ed West has an idea that there were two manufactures of grills, one made the fluted and the other didn’t. – Larry J

Carl Hanson: when did 120s start with the smooth grille bars? The accepted wisdom (therefore, might well be wrong) is that the stamp/press just wore out until the bars had no ridge left late in production. I have done a “survey” i.e. asked all who cared to answer, and looked at a few (dozen) cars myself, and I invite all 120 owners on this list to go out and have a look at their cars and come back and tell me whether you have ribbed or smooth grille bars, AND, give me your chassis number. What I can say so far is that about mid 1951 seemed to be when the smooth became prevalent. Also, all DHC (April 53 on) surveyed had smooth, no stats on FHC. So, let me know, and I’ll report back to all of you. I should add, if needed, that this is a classic totally undocumented 120 change. PS: Larry J’s car 660636 fits my theory above. Did Jaguar have 2 grille manufacturers? I don’t know. I have never heard it suggested before. I would need their names or some other sign (such as definitively different markings on the grilles) to take it seriously. But you never rule out any possibility here… – Regards, John Elmgreen