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.
This Special Equipment XK140, fitted with the desirable C-Type cylinder head is presented in the beautiful combination of Slate grey over red leather interior. Over the past few years, # S812855 has been subject to extensive work and the new slate grey paintwork and red leather interior trim are difficult to realistically fault. The car is also supplied with a new roof, and tonneau cover, and benefits from new bright work all round and a new set of wire wheels.
Furthermore the engine has been overhauled by a renowned marque specialist, right down to the rings, bearings and springs, while new pistons, filter and clutch have also been fitted. The gearbox on the other hand was in good order and as a result only required a refurbish, – a good omen for how the car has been treated in the past.
Additional work carried out on the cars mechanics includes; rebuilt carburettors, overhauled dynamo, new petrol pump, all suspension joints replaced, wishbone rubber repaired, brake cylinders repaired, master cylinder rebuilt, shoes / drums overhauled, new stainless steel exhaust system fitted with new hanging kit and gaskets, petrol tank flushed tested, painted and new hoses fitted, new wiring loom, tyres, tonneau and chrome wire wheels.