Jaguar XK Challenge-winning, ex-Le Mans Classic 1955 Jaguar XK140 Competition Coupé Registration no. SOM 213 Chassis no. 804394
This well-known and hugely successful XK140 was converted for competition purposes by highly respected XK specialist, Trevor Groom, and made its racing debut, driven by him, in the 2001 Jaguar XK Challenge. Chosen for its solid and rust-free chassis, '804394' was initially built to comply with the Challenge's 'Class A' regulations for mildly modified cars, with preparation being limited to a thorough going over and fitting disc brakes all round. Soon afterwards, twin 2" SU carburettors replaced the original 1¾" items, while later in the season a high-compression cylinder head - polished and ported and fitted with 1¾" valves - was installed. Other improvements at this time included a straight-through stainless steel exhaust system plus an alloy header tank and radiator complete with special cowling to improve airflow. The engine is mated to a standard four-speed gearbox with overdrive. Augmented by AVO adjustable shock absorbers, the front torsion bars and rear leaf springs remained standard but with the suspension modified to achieve as low a ride height as possible.
The competitiveness of this driver/car pairing was demonstrated at its first wet race at Castle Combe where 'SOM 213' finished 2nd overall and set the fastest lap, which was followed by 2nd overall in another wet race at Cadwell Park, despite competing against a full grid of modified 'Class B' and fully modified 'Class C' XKs. Those and other good results saw Trevor finish 2nd in class in the Challenge in only a first season of racing. 'SOM 213' was then track-tested for Classic Jaguar World magazine (February 2002 edition) by Paul Chudecki. Capitalising on his successful debut season, Trevor went on to secure to overall victory in the XK Challenge in 2002.
With further detail modifications, including adjustable torsion bars, a competition overdrive unit, 3.3:1 limited-slip differential, and wire rather than disc wheels, the car moved up to 'Class B' and won that category outright the following year. Since then it has been raced extensively at major events including the Le Mans Classic in both 2004 and 2006 when it was the first XK in its category to take the flag. The XK has also competed successfully elsewhere in Europe, notably at Spa Francorchamps, Zandvoort, Croix, and Phoenix Park, as well as in other national and international events.
The current vendor purchased the car at a UK auction in 2008. It was acquired for his daughters to race but they found the car too heavy to handle and it has remained unused for the last ten years, being stored and maintained by his personal mechanic. The only modification has been to make the seats adjustable.
Finished in dark grey metallic with red interior, this highly competitive XK140 comes complete with FIA and HTP papers; photographs of the Le Mans Classic and Brands Hatch; and a UK V5C registration document. An historic racing Jaguar that can also be enjoyed on the road, it represents an opportunity to acquire a highly developed XK140 competition car eligible and ideal for numerous historic motor sports events worldwide. An opportunity not to be missed.