The Jaguar XK140 was introduced in September 1954 for the 1955 model year, building on the positive attributes of the XK120, but with notable improvements. Rack and pinion steering, a more spacious cabin, full-width front, and rear bumpers, improved braking, telescopic shock absorbers, and flashing turn signals were all new with the XK140. Aside from the larger bumpers, visual cues included a subtly revised grille and bonnet and boot lids adorned with a central chrome strip running fore and aft with a rear emblem that proudly declared “Winner Le Mans 1951-3.
Powering the XK140 was a 3.4-litre double overhead-cam inline six-cylinder first seen in the XK120. Manual transmissions were standard, but an automatic was available for the first time with the 1956 model year. Special Equipment modifications carried over from the XK120 elevated the output on standard models to 190 horsepower while opting for the C-Type cylinder head yielded 210 horsepower. The XK140 boasted impressive performance, with zero to sixty coming in 8.4 seconds, on the way to a 121 mile per hour top speed.
As the majority of XK140s were exported, most were built as left-hand drive, with an overwhelming majority coming to the critical North American market. Most 140s to arrive on our shores were fitted with optional wire wheels, but those equipped with the standard disc wheels featured elegant fender skirts over the rear wheel opening that highlighted the car’s slick, aerodynamic form.
Originally finished in Pastel Blue over a Duo Blue interior and French Grey hood, this XK140 Drophead Coupe was constructed July 3rd, 1956, and was dispatched to Jaguar Cars in New York, New York, on July 27th, 1956. It is one of just a handful of XK140s equipped with the optional Borg-Warner gearbox, and it is presented with an older restoration that has been well-maintained and remains quite attractive. The body is finished in a lovely shade of warm grey and displays good quality finishing with consistent panel gaps throughout. The replated chrome bumpers and exterior brightwork are in excellent order. Factory steel disc wheels are color-keyed to the body and adorned with polished trim rings and correct Jaguar caps.
The cabin of this XK140 is in fine nick, with Navy Blue leather showing light patina, the result of consistent use and care. The blue canvas hood fits snugly, ensuring a comfortable cabin should Mother Nature come calling, and a matching dark blue canvas boot cover for brighter days. The dark blue wool carpets are colorfast and in good overall order. A distinguishing feature of the drophead coupe versus the open-two-seater is the lavish burled wood dash and door caps. In this car, the woodwork is restored to a high standard, with a lustrous finish. This car also features a period-accessory Bluemels Brooklands four-spoke steering wheel. Gauges are clear and crisp, switchgear is in good order, and a BMC-branded pushbutton radio resides in the dash. Notably, the rare Borg-Warner automatic transmission shifts from a stalk mounted on the left-hand side of the column.
Jaguar Heritage Trust documentation verifies that the 3.4-liter inline-six is original to this car. It resides in a tidy engine bay, with well-polished aluminum double overhead camshaft covers and SU carburetor bodies. Detailing and ancillaries are essentially period correct, with an honest character appropriate for a driver-quality example such as this. Additionally, the Borg-Warner gearbox pairs well with the relaxed, luxurious nature of the drophead, transforming it into an enjoyable and care-free grand tourer, which is ready to be enjoyed for years to come.
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