1956 Jaguar XK 140
Year of manufacture1956
1956 Jaguar XK140 SE Roadster
Chassis no. S813025
Engine no. G9611-8S
"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" (76mm) 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 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 (195km/h).
According to its accompanying Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust Certificate, this beautifully restored XK 140 SE Roadster left the factory on 23rd November 1956 and was despatched to Jaguar Cars, New York on 6th December of that same year. Importantly, this is a Special Equipment model with the C-type cylinder head. The certificate also confirms the matching-number engine ('G 9611-8S') and lists centre-lock wire wheels and twin fog lamps as items of original equipment. The original colour combination was black with matching interior.
The first owner is not known, but the car later spent time in Englewood, Colorado with another owner (from 1975 to 1994). In 1996 the Jaguar was imported into Italy where it is believed to have remained, awaiting restoration, for some 18 years. In 2014 the car was purchased by the current owner, who commissioned a comprehensive, frame-off, bare metal restoration, which was finished in 2018. Judging the original all-black colour combination to be too sombre for his taste, he opted for a contrasting magnolia leather interior, while the wire wheels were painted black to match the body. Most importantly, this car retains not only retains its original engine block but also its original cylinder head, which both correspond correctly to the numbers on the Heritage Certificate.
The XK is offered with the aforementioned Heritage Certificate; photocopy of old US title; EU customs documentation; a German TüV certificate issued April 2019, classifying the car as sound; and German registration documents. Full weather equipment as well as sundry photographs documenting the restoration are present also. An unmissable opportunity to purchase a beautifully restored XK 140 SE Roadster that ticks all the boxes.