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Lot 157: Jaguar XK140 Fixedhead Coupe

Fine Motor cars incl. The Jaguar Legend, Coys (14 July 2012)

The XK140 was introduced in October 1954 at the London Motor Show as the successor to the XK120; it was easily distinguishable from its predecessor by its more substantial front and rear bumpers, a radiator grille with fewer slats, and a chromium strip which ran along the centre of the bonnet and boot.

A major improvement was to lengthen the cockpit to make the car more comfortable for taller drivers. Under the bonnet the 140 had the superb six cylinder XK 3.4 litre engine, basically the same as the Special Equipment XK120 unit, producing an impressive 190bhp at 5,600rpm, compared to the 160bhp of the standard XK120. Like the earlier car, however, the XK140 retained independent front suspension with semi-elliptic leaf springs at the rear.

The new model sold very well indeed, with orders flooding in for two main reasons: firstly, the proven excellence of the old XK120, which had won so many peoples' hearts, and also because of the enormous success Jaguar was enjoying in its greatest period of international motor racing, winning Le Mans in 1951 and 1953 with the C-Type and in 1955, 1956 and 1957 with the D-Type. The XK 140 variant on offer is the agelessly handsome fixed-head coupe, which had an interior trim far more elaborate than the roadster, complete with superb wood cappings.

The special C-Type cylinder head was also carried through from the XK120 catalogue as an option, specified at 210 bhp. A car fitted with the C-Type cylinder head, 2-inch sandcast H8 carburettors, heavier front torsion bars and twin exhaust pipes were designated XK140 SE or special equipment and with '420 AVT' having an S prefix chassis denoting it had these desirable options fitted when new. Originally delivered new to Byatt Jaguar in 1956 it was converted to race specification by the Reverend John Fellingham who campaigned the car with much success throughout the 1970s including a win at the Thoroughbred race in 1979 and hence it became known as 'The Vicars Car', no doubt helped by the fact he wore his dog collar while behind the wheel!

In 1999 420 AVT was purchased by well known Bentley racer Paul Carter who invested over �60,000 in the car in order to compete in the Carrera Pan America. The car was rebuilt by respected Jaguar specialist David Sedge who lightened and strengthened the car and rebuilt the engine which reportedly produces 315bhp in its current guise.

Unfortunately Carter was unable to run the car in the Carrera Pan America, but did take part in the Monte Carlo Retro and various club events, which showed this vehicle to be a very competitive winning car. Subsequently 420 AVT had a light refurbishment at renowned Jaguar specialists CMC which included a brake overhaul and new tyres in order for the car to be at the front of the grid.

With superb race winning history and well maintained throughout its racing career, this fabulous XK140 is described as being in very good condition throughout and is eligible for a plethora of historic race and rally events.

Road legal and supplied with a V5 document and history file, this is a wonderful motor car for a first foray into historic motorsport or equally as challenging for the seasoned pro.

Lot Details
Auction Fine Motor cars incl. The Jaguar Legend
Coys, Blenheim Palace,Woodstock, Oxfordshire, OX20 1PX
Lot Number157
Outcome NOT SOLD
Hammer Price-
Hammer Price (inc premium)£69000
Condition rating2
Registration number420 AVT
Chassis numberS804840
Engine number
Engine capacity (cc)
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors2