1955 Jaguar XK 140
Year of manufacture1955
1955 Jaguar XK140 SE Coupé
Registration no. SJF 582
Chassis no. S804459
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. 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. 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 (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 XK140 MC (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.
One of only 199 right-hand drive XK140 SE fixed-head coupés made, this pristine example has the 'C'-type cylinder head and was originally supplied to Fox's Glacier Mints Ltd of Leicester. The original buff logbook records the second owner as W H Peat of Leicester (1958) and lists two further owners: Ralph Hulett (1960) and Ronald Duffin of Leicester (1961 onwards). The XK has had only one owner since 1961 and is offered for sale only because of the death of the last recorded keeper.
'SJF 582' has been restored twice: the second 'last nut and bolt' restoration commenced around 1995 and took many years to complete, while the first restoration appears to have been carried out circa 1980. The rebuilds are documented in six albums of photographs. Finished in black with red leather interior, and equipped with chrome wire wheels, this beautiful car retains matching numbers and is presented in mint condition. Accompanying documentation consists of a JDHT Certificate; some old tax discs; a V5C Registration Certificate; current MoT; and an original Operating, Maintenance and Service handbook and oil chart. Coopercraft front disc brakes and a BroadSport header tank are believed the only deviations from factory specification.