THE JAGUAR XK140 SE ROADSTER
Newly introduced for 1955, the Jaguar XK140 was broadly similar to, though more refined than, its sensational XK120 predecessor, major engineering changes being confined to the repositioning of the engine 3″ further forward and the adoption of rack-and-pinion steering. The suspension and brakes remained much as before, though with stiffer torsion bars at the front and telescopic shock absorbers replacing lever type at the rear. Outwardly the newcomer was distinguishable by its revised radiator grille, rear lights incorporating flashing indicators, and larger bumpers. The power unit remained Jaguar’s well-tried, 3.4-litre, twin-cam six, which now produced 190bhp in standard trim. A close-ratio gearbox enabled better use to be made of the increased performance, and overdrive became an option for the first time. Special Equipment (SE) cars came with wire wheels and Lucas fog lamps, and could be ordered with an engine developing 210bhp courtesy of the C-type cylinder head. XK140 performance was well up to the standards set by its exemplary predecessor, contemporary road-tests regularly recording top speed figures in excess of 120mph (193km/h).
The Jaguar XK140 SE Roadster we are offering here is chassis S811180. The car left the works on 18 March 1955 before it was dispatched on 4 April to the US market. As a factory left hand drive example, this car was originally black with grey, red-piped leather interior. Supplied new in Honburg in the Los Angeles area, S811180 will remain in the United-States for the next couple of decades before being re-imported in Europe during the mid-80s.
In 1989 the car was briefly registered for a year in the Paris area before it was acquired by Philippe Lauriat in 1990, another Paris-based enthusiast. At that time it was decided to take S811180 down to bare metal and perform a ground-up restoration by marque specialist Harper, of which most invoices and photography documentation are still available in the file.
At the same time Mr Lauriat decided to have the car repainted in very dark green with beige hide trim, a livery which the car still remains with today.
In 2000, S811180 was acquired by its current owner who had the car maintained continously and regardless of costs during nearly 20 years !
The XK140 is a much better balanced car than the XK120 and less bulkier than the XK150. It represents the perfect compromise of one of the most iconic 50’s British sports cars. Benefiting of a more spacious trunk than the XK120, it allows the driver to easily go on historic rallies and / or weekend trips. Equipped with the rare S head and stronger H8 carburetors, the car is an ideal entrant for more major historic events.
This example has received a thorough mechanical maintenance and is on the button, ready for immediate enjoyment.