1957 Jaguar XK140 Roadster

Jaguar engineers were wise to take an evolutionary approach to the replacement for the XK120, due for the 1953 model year. After all, the XK120's formula for success proved itself well, so it was best to stick with what worked. The XK120 established Jaguar's place in the all-important American market, endearing itself to club racers and boulevard cruisers alike with its gorgeous styling, exotic twin-cam engine, and competitive price point. The replacement XK140 set out to maintain the positive aspects while addressing some of the criticisms of the old model. The outwardly similar XK140 featured larger, full-width chrome bumpers that were more practical and consistent with contemporary style. Other minor styling tweaks included chrome strips on the bonnet and boot lid and a slightly revised grille design. New badges proudly boasted the C-Type's success at the Le Mans 24 hour race. On the surface, one could mistake the XK140 as just a superficial update on its predecessor, yet it was indeed a vastly improved car.

Addressing customer criticisms about the XK120's relative lack of comfort, the XK140's engine, dash, and firewall were moved forward by three inches. On open cars, a single 12-volt battery in the right front wheel well replaced the rear-mounted twin 6-volt units of before. This change freed up space behind the seats, thus allowing for longer seat-sliders. Engineers also ditched the XK120's worm and sector steering box in favor of a quick and precise rack-and-pinion arrangement. In addition, Jaguar replaced the lever-action dampers with modern telescopic-type dampers that gave superior wheel control and suspension travel. Lockheed four-wheel drum brakes were retained, but with a revised master cylinder. Lastly, the superb double-overhead-cam inline-six saw improvements to power and flexibility. The base XK140 used the 190 horsepower 3.4-liter unit previously reserved for the outgoing top-spec XK120 M (aka "Special Equipment"). Of the three generations of XK sports cars, the XK140 had the lowest production, with just under 9,000 vehicles built in all body styles, as rapid development saw the XK150 ushered in for 1957. The XK140 balances the beauty of the XK120 with increased power, better handling, and a more comfortable cockpit, making it an ideal choice for historic rally events and relaxed touring.

This handsome XK140 OTS is a well-sorted example, recently out of the long-term stewardship of a passionate Jaguar collector. This desirable late-production open two-seat roadster was built in December 1956 and is 171 cars from the end of the XK140 line. An original US-market example, this XK presents in its original color of cream with rarely-seen steel disc wheels, rear-wheel spats, and a period-correct aftermarket hardtop with custom side curtains. In the most recent ownership, the car received extensive servicing and restoration work and presents in fine order, suitable to enjoy on the road and in club events.

The Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust certificate shows the first owner was Mr. Grenville Seibals of Columbia, South Carolina. It is a standard car, with the 190 horsepower XK engine, finished from new in cream over a red interior. The most recent owner acquired the car around 2010 and began the process of sorting it for road use, documenting the process through a large stack of receipts. It presents in tidy order, looking particularly elegant thanks to the factory disc wheels, wide-whitewall Firestone bias-ply tires, rear spats, and rare steel hardtop. The cream paintwork suits the spec nicely and is in good overall condition with just a minor blemish or two noted on close inspection. The exterior brightwork and chrome pieces are all in excellent order, showing some slight hazing on the bumpers but with overall consistent, high-quality plating all around. Similarly, the wheels and wheel trims are in good condition, noting just a few small touchups in the paint.

In 2012, the interior was restored in black leather, with factory-correct materials sourced from Jaguar specialist shops OSJI and BAS Ltd. The seats are in excellent order, with lovely black leather showing only the slightest creasing from light use. The upholstered instrument panel was unique to the most sporting OTS models, as coupes and dropheads had a more elaborate wood dash. Features include correct-type instruments, switches, and an original-style four-spoke steering wheel. The steel hardtop has a black upholstered lining and attaches via the factory clips and latches, so it remains secure. The owner recently commissioned a set of custom aluminum side curtains to match the top to complete the unique look.

The 3.4-liter XK inline-six is the original, numbers-matching unit with the original head. It wears proper dual SU carburetors, polished alloy cam covers, and is well-detailed with mostly correct hardware and fittings. Receipts reflect a good deal of sorting and fettling to ensure the car is well-prepared for road use, and it runs and drives very well. A full stainless steel dual exhaust system was added for better flow and to enhance that signature twin-cam soundtrack.

The combination of its unique and stylish period hardtop, the skirted rear wings, and understated color lend this XK140 OTS a particularly elegant presence. It is a beautiful example for enjoyable motoring, dialed-in by a marque specialist, with special features sure to please a discerning Jaguar enthusiast.


Offers welcome and trades considered 



Stock number 6611

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