When the new Jaguar roadster, the XK120, was shown at the Earls Court Motor Show in London in 1948, it stopped the hearts of all who saw it. Of course, Jaguar only planned to build a small batch of 242 aluminum roadsters for publicity and development of their new engine. But the overwhelming demand for the car sent Jaguar quickly making plans for a production model. The cars were put into the hands of celebrities, sent out the motoring press and tore up race tracks by amateurs and professionals. Although top speed was not tested prior to the first showing of the car, several high speed test runs were made going faster and faster until Chief Test Engineer Norman Dewis ran a slightly modified car at 172 mph.
Alternative Power cars will make up one of the class features at the Milwaukee Concours d’Elegance on Sunday, Aug. 6. While electric and steam powered vehicles trace back to the 1800s, by the turn of the century there was a quite a competition between steam, electric and gasoline power.
Early electric cars were particularly popular as taxi cabs within urban areas. The driving range on a Detroit Electric was advertised at exceeding 80 miles, but in actual use some early electric cars exceeded 200 miles.
The two-day Milwaukee Concours d’Elegance is scheduled for the first weekend in August at Veterans Park. The open Show & Glow by the Lake car show, a motor tour and the annual Style & Speed Social are scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 5, followed by the Concours d’Elegance on Sunday, Aug. 6.