1956 Jaguar XK140 MC Drophead

When the XK120 was introduced in 1949, it set new performance and style standards at a surprisingly affordable price point. The follow-up to the 120 arrived in 1954, dubbed the XK140, and offered numerous improvements to address the shortcomings of the early models. With the 140, Jaguar endowed their flagship sportscar with rack and pinion steering, improved braking ability, telescopic dampers, and increased suspension travel. The engine was relocated in the chassis, and the cockpit enlarged for more passenger comfort, while the styling got a subtle freshening with full-width bumpers, a slightly wider grille, and additional chrome trim. All in all, the XK140 was a superb driver’s car that took the XK formula to a new level, with high levels of refinement and the same gutsy performance that Jaguar enthusiasts know and love today.

Superb in every respect, this outstanding XK140 is a rare and desirable drophead coupe, equipped from new in high-performance MC specification. The accompanying Jaguar-Daimler Heritage Trust certificate shows this XK140 was completed on March 26, 1956, destined for the USA via Jaguar Cars, New York. It was finished in cream over black trim and a black hood and delivered to its first owner, Mr. John Reid Topping in Clearwater, Florida. The production records confirm this is a genuine MC equipped with the optional close-ratio gearbox, an unusual combination of the more luxury-oriented drophead coupe. Little is known of the car’s early history, though it wound up in the Northeast by the early 1970s. The most recent owner discovered this XK in somewhat tired condition in 1974 and immediately fell in love with its beautiful shape. Scraping together the funds with help from her mother, she purchased it and brought it to her family’s barn, where it sat virtually untouched and undriven from 1974 to 2017. Finally, after years quietly tucked away, the owner of this XK140 treated it to the restoration it rightfully deserved.

By the time the restoration commenced, the owner was an experienced concours judge at prestigious events around the country, and used that experience to guide the project. They commissioned Phoenix Auto Restorations of Hackettstown, NJ, to perform a nut-and-bolt, body-off restoration finished to concours standards. The owner selected a stunning period-correct color combination of British Racing Green with complementing green hides. Finishing it off is a dark green canvas hood, matching green boot cover, and sparkling chrome wire wheels for a final flourish. The results are nothing short of spectacular, with concours-quality paintwork, gorgeous chrome, and superlative detailing inside and out.

The interior is beautifully finished in green leather with matching carpets. The seat upholstery is taut and crisp, showing minimal signs of use since completion of the restoration. Door cards, seatbacks, and interior panels are trimmed using factory-correct materials. Extensive burl woodwork sets the drophead coupe apart from its sportier roadster sibling, all restored to a very high standard. The Smiths instruments and Lucas switchgear are correct, as is the distinctive four-spoke steering wheel. The boot is well detailed and trimmed using authentic Hardura vinyl material and houses a beautifully restored jack, jack handle, grease gun, knock-off hammer, and an original tool kit.

Per the Heritage Certificate, this car retains its original, matching-numbers 3.4-liter block and highly desirable C-Type cylinder head, which bumps output to a factory-rated 210 horsepower. Combined with the optional close-ratio 4-speed manual gearbox, this XK140 delivers the performance to match its sublime looks. In keeping with the restoration’s quality, the engine is exquisitely detailed, with beautifully polished alloy cam covers, carburetor dashpots, and intake manifold. The exhaust manifolds are finished in proper black porcelain enamel and in excellent condition, affixed with the correct brass nuts. The head is painted the proper shade of red, while the plumbing, wiring, fasteners, and hardware are all fitted to factory-correct standards throughout the engine compartment. The brass ID tag was replaced with an accurate reproduction, though the original piece is included in the sale.

Now offered to the public for the first time in over 40 years, this exquisitely restored and desirable XK140 MC is sure to capture the gaze of any Jaguar devotee. It is ideal for enjoyment judged JCNA events or a wide range of concours, and it will undoubtedly be a welcome addition to any enthusiast’s stable.


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