1955 Jaguar XK140
At a glance: this 1955 Jaguar XK140MC (Special Equipment) Fixed Head Coupe, 4-speed standard gearbox:
- Numbers matching, including Jaguar Heritage Foundation Certificate and Owner’s Manual.
- Odometer reading of 38,985 believed to be true based on the car’s storage for over 40 years.
- Car’s racing history from the ’50s and ’60s is noted and being researched.
- Complete, beautifully done, frame-off restoration by a professional, world-class shop to original Cream color .
- Red interior and new Wilton wool beige headliner. Bumpers, headlight rings and grill re-chromed.
- Total engine rebuild. Stainless steel exhaust. Upgraded to front disc brakes (original components included).
- New wiring harness, voltage regulator and fuel sender unit.
- Lucas fog lights and rare English-made Radyot spot lights.
- Wide whitewall tires and original Dunlop Road Speed spare and tool kit.
- Runs and drives wonderfully!
The Jaguar XK140 was introduced at the 1954 Earl’s Court Motor Show in London. After the widely successful XK120, Jaguar deemed that it was time to improve its next entrant to the world with an eye toward reliability, handling and usability. The result was a car with much improved legroom, a better angled steering wheel, better shock absorbers and very notably, rack and pinion steering and engine improvements.
The Coupe model features a burl walnut dash which was also used on the door garnish rails and the trim fillets around the windows. The dash includes a glovebox, drawer and complete instrumentation. Seats are upholstered in Connelly leather and have a long range of longitudinal adjustment. In the rear, there are “occasional seats” designed for small people. The rear seat bulkhead folds down to extend luggage space. The trunk is spacious and fully trimmed with spare tire storage beneath the floor.
The XK140 is powered by a 3,442cc, dual overhead cam, hemispherical combustion chamber, 7-main bearing, dual-carbureted engine. In itself a work of art with polished aluminum cam covers, intake manifold and carbs. It is a high performance engine that makes over 20 mpg. Quoting from XK140 Explored: “the engine was almost perfect at birth, a rare happening in this field. Its concept, simplicity, adaptability, versatility, longevity, reliability, power and its beauty were to be Jaguar’s crowning glory for 40 years. What customer could resist the boast that he had a car with the same engine that had won at LeMans? There was no equivalent to be had anywhere else.”
The Jaguar XK140 that you see before you, serial # S814322 was built June 3, 1955 and exported to New York on July 18th. It is listed as a Cream Fixed Head Coupe with red interior. The car carries the “Special Equipment Model” indication which means that the engine is equipped with the “C-type” cylinder head used on the LeMans race-winning C-types. This feature provides an additional 20 horsepower. Also included in this package are twin exhausts and fog lights.
The first owner bought the car at a dealership in Minneapolis and he told the second owner that it was raced at Elkhart Lake and given a new paint color yearly for the roughly 5 years in which he competed.. During that time, it had a Paxton Supercharger, magneto, and Isky Racing Cams. These modifications were removed after it was re-sold. The second owner, one of the founders of the Rochester, Minnesota chapter of the Sports Car Club of America also successfully campaigned the car. As he became busy with other projects, the Jag sat in his garage for over 40 years. The third and final owner purchased it from him in 2012.
A complete frame-off restoration began in 2012 and returned the Jag to original color and condition inside and out. Replacement leather and fabric from Hirsch Automotive makes for a beautiful interior and trunk. The tach and clock were repaired.
A more efficient Ron Davis radiator was added and the rack and pinion rebuilt. New brake cylinders, master cylinder, brake lines and brake shoes and later, front-wheel disc brake conversion were installed (original components and other spares saved). Wide whitewall tires from Diamondback add to the period correct appearance. It comes with the original Dunlop Road Speed spare and tool kit.
The motor was rebuilt by a specialty shop that prepares vintage and modern race engines. A new set of 9:1 Mahle brand pistons and rings were used. A complete bearing replacement and valves with hardened seats were installed and all components were balanced. The original water pump and SU carburetors were rebuilt. A new cloth, color correct wiring harness, turn signal and rebuilt generator and starter finish the electrical system.
Restoration was complete by 2014 and the Jag has been driven less than 1500 miles since that time, typically solo country rides in the area. The new owner may appreciate that it has not been entered in judged car shows or Jaguar Club events or seen by large numbers of people. This car is nimble and quick yet provides a very comfortable ride, very suitable for all distances and events. It is a truly fine example of the era and the marque!