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Lot 155 - 1955 Jaguar XK140 Drophead Coupe

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££112,680

Auction Blenheim Palace July 2015
Auction Date
Day of Auction

Lot Details

Lot Number 155
Reg. Number RGW 357
Chassis Number 807112
Year 1955
Make
Model

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Description

The XK120 set new standards in car design and manufacture, but some of Jaguar’s suppliers needed time to catch up – they were not used to making lights and brakes for 120+ mph cars. It is to Jaguar’s credit that it ran a development programme which continued to within months of the last XK150.

When the XK140 was announced in 1954 it was essentially a Mk II version. It retained the excellent dynamics of the XK120 and its superb level of appointment and attention to detail. Engine power increased to 190bhp; there were stiffer torsion bars and improved lights, cooling, brakes and steering. The main improvement, however, was moving the engine and scuttle three inches forward which gave better handling and improved cockpit space without compromising the car’s stunning lines.

On the coupés models there were additional seats for children but – nice touch – the back squabs were detachable so that an adult could use the space seated across the car. The entire range abounded with clever details such that the XK series is one of the few which truly merit the term ‘great’. Of the three variants the factory offered, the drophead coupé was the least common and just 2,789 were made. With its permanently attached hood (the frame is a minor masterpiece) and wind-up windows, it is an ideal compromise between the more sparsely equipped roadster and the fixed-head coupé.

All three models were outstanding, however, and only the most expensive exotica could match them either under real driving conditions or for kerbside presence. Taking into account reliability, refinement and sheer pleasure of driving, the XK140 was one of the outstanding cars of its day and it remains one of the greatest classic cars.

One of only 480 right hand drive cars produced, this fine example was delivered new by Henley’s of London. The current owner informs us the car has been restored to an impeccable standard throughout, with meticulous attention to detail, and completed in 2006.

The owner describes the car as being in excellent condition in every respect, with the red paint work complemented with a biscuit hide interior which boasts a fine veneer dash.

A rear mounted luggage rack adds versatility and a cigarette lighter enables charging of sat nav and other electronic devices for those weekends away. Supplied with a UK V5 document and Heritage certificate, this iconic British sports car is as exciting to drive today as it was in the 1950s, and still turns heads.

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