1955 Jaguar XK 140


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1955 Jaguar XK140 Drophead Coupé
Registration no. 2532 FS
Chassis no. S807077DN

'A high-performance car of many qualities and amazing value – 100mph in 26.2 secs! – superb steering, brakes and controllability – an effortless maximum of over 120mph and 100mph cruising on overdrive.' – Autosport assessing the new Jaguar XK140 (4th November 1955).

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 3" 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 forbear, the XK140 was built in three model types: roadster, coupé and drophead coupé, 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-litre, 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 while Laycock-de Normanville overdrive became an option for the first time. Special Equipment (SE) 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.

Only 479 XK140 drophead coupés were made in right-hand drive configuration (there were 2,310 with left-hand drive) making this example one of the rarest of home-market XKs. A desirable overdrive-equipped model, this car was completed in April 1955 and despatched to Rossleigh in Edinburgh; it was supplied by John Brown and Co to a Mr B B Henshaw, the first owner.

This car's subsequent early history is not known, but it is recorded as having been purchased by a James Kirkpatrick Robinson in 1979. In 1995, the Jaguar was restored by Lance McCormack (The Romance of Rust) of Ealing, West London, following which it was kept in a private collection in Dublin for some 20 years before returning to the UK in 2017.

Renowned XK specialists Twyford Moors have recently carried out extensive re-commissioning works and have checked the car thoroughly. These works included fitting new chrome wheels, radial tyres, hubs, brake drums and other items. The quality of the hood and its fit are vital considerations when restoring any drophead, and the making of this car's new bespoke hood and all its ancillaries was undertaken by Mike Thomas's leading XK trimming workshop.

'2352 FS' is now resplendent in blue with red leather interior, and represents a wonderful opportunity to acquire a rare, totally correct, and matching numbers right-hand drive XK140 drophead coupé. There are tax discs on file showing continued use from 2005 to date, and the car also comes with a current MoT and a UK V5C registration document.