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Lot 421: Jaguar XK140 Drophead Convertible

Quail Lodge Sale, Bonhams (16 August 2012)

* 3,442cc in-line six-cylinder * 4-speed manual transmission * Special Equipment model * Desirable Drophead Coupe bodywork * Recently recommissioned older restoration

Launched in 1954, the Jaguar XK140 was broadly similar to, though more refined than its sensational XK120 predecessor, major engineering changes being confined to the repositioning of the engine three inches further forward and the adoption of rack-and-pinion steering as used on the racing C-Type. The suspension and brakes remained much as before, though with stiffer torsion bars at the front and telescopic shock absorbers replacing the previous lever type at the rear. Like its XK120 forbear, the XK140 was built in three model types: roadster, coup� and drophead coup�, the latter two offering usefully increased cabin space and occasional rear seats. Outwardly the newcomer was distinguishable by its revised radiator grille, rear lights incorporating flashing indicators, and larger bumpers - the latter adopted to withstand the cut and thrust of urban parking.

The power unit remained Jaguar's well-tried, 3.4-liter, twin-cam six, which now produced 190bhp in standard trim thanks to higher-lift camshafts and revised porting. To ensure reliability, steel bearing-caps replaced the previous cast-iron type. A close-ratio gearbox enabled better use to be made of the increased performance, and Laycock de Normanville overdrive became an option for the first time. Special Equipment XK140s came with wire wheels and Lucas fog lamps, and could be ordered with an engine developing 210bhp courtesy of the C-Type cylinder head. XK140 performance was well up to the standards set by its exemplary predecessor, contemporary magazine road-tests regularly recording top speed figures in excess of 120mph.

This XK140 Drophead Coup�, finished in Old English White over red leather with a Navy Blue top, was restored approximately 15 years by the former owner. Sadly the owner passed away shortly after completion and the car inherited by his three sons, who kept it in dry storage, but never drove it. After the current owner acquired the Jaguar recently, a re-commissioning was carried out to bring the freshly restored but completely unused car back up to speed after a decade and a half of inactivity.

Gorgeously styled and benefiting from roll-up windows and greater protection from the elements than its Roadster cousin, the Drophead Coup� offered here is a lovely machine indeed. Mountain roads, open vistas, and nights on the town await.

Lot Details
Auction Quail Lodge Sale
Bonhams, Carmel, California, USA
TypeCar
Lot Number421
Estimate$90000-$110000
Outcome SOLD
Hammer Price$80000
Hammer Price (inc premium)$92000
Year1956
Condition rating0
Registration number
Mileage-
Chassis numberS817679
Engine numberG4475-8S
Engine capacity (cc)
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors2