'For 1955, Jaguar present a range of models incorporating not only added refinements, but mechanical advances directly derived from their many outstanding successes in international competitive events. All the wealth of experience gained on the race-tracks of the world and in record-breaking speed and endurance tests is built into every Jaguar to provide for discriminating motorists the highest degree of efficient performance allied to comfort and safety.' - Jaguar Cars Ltd.
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. Tested by Road & Track magazine, a USA-specification XK140MC (as the 'C'-type head-equipped SE version was known there) recorded a 0-60mph time of 8.4 seconds on the way to a top speed of 121.1mph.
Writing in Autosport, John Bolster had this to say: 'The Jaguar XK140 is a very high class machine that has more delightful qualities than almost any other car on the market. I have long ago given up wondering how they make them for the money; for sheer value there is nothing to compare with them in the high-performance field.'
One of only 843 right-hand drive XK140 fixed-head coupés made, this example was supplied new via Jaguar dealer P J Evans of Birmingham. The car was in the last owner's possession for a remarkable 45 years and has covered a believed genuine 74,178 miles from new. 'OSL 436' is described by the vendor as un-restored and in generally good condition, with excellent engine and transmission. Finished in Maroon with biscuit leather interior, the car is offered with an old-style buff logbook, MoT to August 2016 and a V5 registration document.