1955 Jaguar XK 140
Year of manufacture1955
1955 Jaguar XK140 Drophead Coupé
Registration no. 159 RME
Chassis no. 807214
Newly introduced for 1955, 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. The suspension and brakes remained much as before, though with stiffer torsion bars at the front and telescopic shock absorbers replacing 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 and meet new US safety regulations.
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 and overdrive became an option for the first time. XK140 performance was well up to the standards set by its exemplary predecessor, contemporary road-tests regularly recording top speed figures in excess of 120mph.
This UK-supplied car is one of only 479 XK140 drophead coupés originally manufactured in right-hand drive configuration. Its accompanying Jaguar Heritage Certificate reveals that '807214' was dispatched from the factory on 15th July 1955 finished in black with matching soft-top and tan interior, and that the car was sold new via Henlys, London to Sir A Gascoigne.
In 1996 the XK was treated to a major restoration by renowned marque specialists Lynx Engineering, which included refinishing in its original factory colour combination of black with tan interior. Lynx's accompanying invoices total over £40,000 and there are numerous other bills on file from CKL and JD Classics together with a large quantity of old MoTs; tax discs; restoration photographs; an original handbook, etc.
Carefully maintained post-restoration to keep it in good order, the car benefits from a recent service and a new clutch, and is described by the private vendor as in generally very good condition. The only notified deviations from factory specification are an overdrive gearbox (fitted around 40 years ago), an aluminium radiator and wire wheels. This lovely XK140 drophead comes with a large history file containing all of the aforementioned documentation.