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Chassis Numbers

Chassis Numbers

From:   John Elmgreen[]
Sent:   Friday, December 27, 1996 6:38 PM
To:     XK-Lovers
Subject:        XK120 FHC early

Dear Carl, About the numbers: the main numbers most people take notice of are
the chassis, engine, body and gearbox (the ones on the ID plate).  They are all
sequenced differently, just to keep us all interested.  It goes like this:
        Chassis nos.: using your 120 FHC as an example, the RHD cars start at
669001 and the LHD cars from 679001.  So your car is the 12th LHD car built.
Not the 12th XK120 FHC.
        Body numbers:  these are a straight sequence for each body style.  Your
car is 1016 so it is the 16th FHC body built.  They started at 1001 for the 120.
So if you want to say how early your car is as an XK120 FHC, the most accurate
statement is that it is the 16th FHC body built.
        Engine numbers:  these started at W1001 and later went from F1001, and
these numbers are XK120 only (not for example Mk VII etc).  So your car with
W3340-8 has the 2340th XK120 engine built - of course, most of these by the time
your car was built were roadsters.  So you could say that your car was (about)
the 2340th XK120 built (not truly accurate, but an estimate) of all body styles
(the DHC did not exist at the time your car was built).
        Gearbox numbers: these are different again from the engine sequences,
with JH and JL prefixes shared with other models (i.e. Mk V and VII) using the
same sequences.  
        So you have:
Chassis numbers - sequenced RHD and LHD separately for each body style
Body numbers - sequenced for body style, all together
Engine numbers - sequenced for only XK120s but for all body styles generally
Gearboxes - sequenced for all Jaguar models (not just XK120).

        So far as other early FHC owners are concerned, as you have seen I have
no earlier US cars listed, with 2 of the earlier cars being in the UK and
Germany.  Re matters like design and development and the assembly practices, you
have to read everything you can get your hands on (I can't recall exactly where
the best info is at present, but there are various contemporary factory photos
in many books - see some of the stuff in Skilleter's various publications which
have photos of prototypes etc) and beware of those with pet theories as to how
the cars were put together (the Poms are especially susceptible to such theories
in my experience).  I do also have some sort of assembly line instruction order
which someone gave me who had obtained it from a factory source, but it is only
of limited interest to the best of my recollection.
        Regards, John Elmgreen

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