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Book Review: Jaguar XK 120 The Anatomy of a Cult Object, Volume 1 Author Urs Schmid
Reviewed by Daniel Thompson

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A Great Book!

Let's see..... there are movies, then there is "Gone With the Wind" or "The Godfather". There are record albums, then there is "Dark Side of the Moon" or "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band". There are books about Jaguars, and then there is "Jaguar XK 120 The Anatomy of a Cult Object, Volume 1" by Urs Schmid.

I think you can probably get my drift from the preceding statements. This is a GREAT book! Let me give you some background a few years ago I began to hear gossip about a new Jaguar book appearing on the market; a book about the XK 120. I heard it was really, really good.... incredible research and detail. The only "hitch" was, the book was in German! So I ignored it for a few months, reasoning in my mind that a book about Jaguars in German could not possibly be of use to me (even though I speak some German and I am restoring an XK 120 FHC). But the eulogies continued to flow in, Jaguar enthusiasts around the World were gushing about how good this book was. The interesting part was English speaking Jaguar enthusiasts were raving about how good a German language book was! Surely there must be a reason for this! So, armed with my credit card, I took the plunge by checking out the website http// and ordered my German language version of the book. I was not disappointed, the book is fabulous!

How to describe it? Well picture this an 8.5 x 11 inch book, hardcover, very high quality paper, over 270 pages long, EVERY page filled with extremely high quality full color pictures of every possible little detail of an XK120. TONS of historical information, factory photos and photos/descriptions of original, unmolested cars. The book is a masterpiece, a "magnum opus" by Jaguar enthusiast Urs Schmid. Want to see what the constant pinion shaft looks like on a "J.H. 6569" gearbox, part number C.2685? You'll find it here, in full color and photographed professionally on page 133. The detail is mind boggling, the quality exceptional.

Two important points to remember first, the book has now been successfully translated into English for those of us who don't read German very well (the original German language version is sold out). Second, this is only "volume 1" of the series. The author plans to do a second book detailing the interior trim and exterior trim and chromework etc. of the XK 120's. Wow!

Yes, it is a book about XK 120's only (there is no material at all about XK 140's or XK 150's) and it is "slightly" expensive, but anyone who has even a remote interest in Jaguars, in XK's or in classic cars will love this book. I give six stars out of a possibility of five!

To order your copy, check out the website at http// or send an email to

posted 1/28/2003