1956 Jaguar XK 140 MC Roadster

From 1948 through 1954, the brilliant XK120 firmly established Jaguar at the forefront of sports-car manufacturers with its graceful bodylines and impressive performance. Featuring Jaguar’s DOHC ‘XK’ inline six-cylinder engine, the XK120 was the first series-production sports car to be equipped with such a sophisticated powerplant. Competition success was immediate on both sides of the Atlantic, with the new ‘XK’ victorious in circuit races and the arduous long-distance rallies of the era. It also propelled young, up-and-coming drivers to victory lane, including Stirling Moss and eventual Grand Prix World Champion, Phil Hill.

While approximately 12,000 XK120s were produced, its sound original design could easily be improved and updated. The refined XK140 arrived in late 1954 with comprehensive improvements – some derived from Jaguar’s racing program – that were designed to overcome the few shortcomings of its predecessor while maintaining the sleek Jaguar’s strong sales appeal, especially in the crucial U.S. sports-car market.

Among the upgrades applied to the XK140, most notable among them were the welcome addition of precise rack and pinion steering, hydraulic shock absorbers, improved brakes, and upgraded engine cooling. Greater passenger comfort and legroom were facilitated by more forward engine placement and relocating the battery to the engine bay. While the basic 102-inch wheelbase remained unchanged, overall length and width were increased. Body styling was only subtly updated for the XK140, with the widely acclaimed basic design cues of the XK120 thankfully left intact.

The most popular XK140 model in America remained the OTS (open two-seater), commonly called the Roadster, and according to marque authorities, of merely 3,350 XK140 roadsters built, only 49 were sold in the British Home Market. Priced in the USA from $3,745, the cars continued to provide Jaguar’s characteristically excellent performance and startling value for the money, consistent with Jaguar founder William (later Sir William) Lyons’ proven “Grace, pace, and space” maxim.

Bearing Chassis Number S811871, this visually stunning and highly desirable 1956 Jaguar XK140 OTS is an original high-specification SE (Special Equipment) model, alternatively known in the USA as the “MC,” which delivered 20 extra horsepower (210 bhp total) via the high-performance C-Type cylinder head and 2-inch sand-cast S.U. H8 carburetors, supported by beefier torsion bars and dual exhaust pipes. This outstanding XK140 has been treated to a meticulous and detailed restoration performed by the respected marque specialists at JK Restorations in Oswego, Illinois. Finished in a breathtaking color combination of Maroon over Dark Tan leather upholstery, the XK140 has been comprehensively updated for fast road enjoyment with a later-model 3.8-liter ‘XK’ inline-six, fully rebuilt and tuned with a C-Type cylinder head and matched to an upgraded Tremec 5-speed gearbox unlocking exceptional performance, with improved stopping power via four-wheel disc brakes.

Paint quality is superb, applied to straight and meticulously aligned panels. Brightwork has also been completely restored, and the car retains an authentic appearance thanks to correct XK140 bumpers, Lucas head and fog lamps, and chrome knock-off wire wheels. The wheels are shod with Vredestein Sprint Classic radials for excellent ride and handling characteristics.

While restored and upgraded for fast touring, the XK140 is accompanied by the original and unrestored, numbers matching 3.4-liter engine and four-speed manual gearbox for the purist. A factory tool roll, unrestored side curtains, mounted spare wheel/tire, roadside jack, and wheel tools are also included with the sale of the vehicle.

The added grunt of the 3.8-litre engine and quick-shifting 5-speed make it an absolute joy to drive. Beautifully dialed-in, this is simply one of the best-sorted, most enjoyable Jaguar XKs we’ve ever experienced. This choice XK140 OTS is a fabulous performer and certain to thrill its next custodian on a wide range of prestigious driving events, including the California Mille and Colorado Grand.

 

Offers welcome and trades considered

 

$289,500

Stock number 7339

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