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Lot 278: Jaguar XK140 Roadster

Cars & Motorcycles, Historics at Brooklands (26 May 2012)

The Jaguar XK140 was manufactured between 1954 and 1957with some 3,283 lefthand drive models predominantly destined for America and a mere 74 left for the rest of us. It was the successor to Jaguar's highly successful XK120. Upgrades included better brakes, rack and pinion steering, increased suspension travel and modern tube type shock absorbers instead of the older lever arm design. The primary visual change however was the more substantial front and rear bumpers and larger overriders. Another new feature was modern flashing turn signals, operated by a separate switch on the dash. The twin amber lights positioned above the front bumper helped to distinguish the XK140. The front grille size stayed the same but became a one piece cast unit with fewer, thicker vertical slats. The Jaguar badge was fitted to the grille itself, rather than being mounted between the grille and hood/bonnet as on the XK120. A chrome trim strip also extended back over the bonnet and at the rear continued down the centre of the boot lid, where it contained a red shield with the words 'Winner Le Mans 1951-3' inscribed in gold.

The interior was also improved for taller drivers with an addition of three inches of legroom as a result of relocating the engine, firewall and dash slightly forward. The new arrangement left no room for the XK120 battery compartment and the single battery was now located low down inside the wing on the inlet side. It continued with the now famous six cylinder XK engine. Interestingly, in 1956, the XK140 became the first Jaguar sports car to be offered with automatic transmission. As with the XK120, wire wheels and dual exhausts were options, although most cars imported into the United States had wire wheels. Cars with disc wheels continued to be offered with spats closing the rear wheel arch.

The XK140 was available in three body styles - The Drophead Coup�, Fixedhead Coup� and by far the most desirable and rarest, The Open Two Seater or Roadster. This had a light canvas top assembly that, when lowered, fitted behind the seats and thus completely disappeared inside the body. The interior was trimmed in leather and leatherette; including the dash and, as with the XK120 Roadster, the XK140 Roadster had removable canvas and plastic side curtains on light alloy doors, and either a long or short tonneau cover to keep the cockpit dry with the top down.

With just 74 Roadsters ever made compared to the 1,323 drophead and fixedhead versions, it is no surprise that these now command appropriate values that reflect their rarity. Originally built in 1955, this model was then shipped to Oregon on the west coast of the United States of America. Latterly it was acquired in 1989 and bought back to Ireland. Restoration then commenced in 1990 and continued through to 1992 by Classic Marques in Downpatrick, County Down. Classic Marques are classic restoration specialists and their attention to detail can easily be seen upon inspection. At the same time, it was converted to righthand drive configuration with the obvious possibility to revert back to its original lefthand drive should the new owner require. With a full engine and body rebuild, complete re-trim including new hood and weather equipment, and finished in maroon with a contrasting tan interior, this must represent one of the finest XK140's in the country. Described by the vendor as ten out of ten in all respects, these very specialist sporting tourers are available for sale once in a blue moon.

Lot Details
Auction Cars & Motorcycles
Historics at Brooklands, Brooklands
TypeCar
Lot Number278
Estimate£70000-£80000
Outcome NOT SOLD
Hammer Price-
Hammer Price (inc premium)-
Year1955
Condition rating0
Registration numberRZ6724
Mileage-
Chassis number810963
Engine numberG19358
Engine capacity (cc)
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors2