1954 Jaguar XK140 DHC
restoration to show-winning condition 30 years ago and sparingly used
since; current owner since 1989; original LHD American dry state car; never goes
out in the rain; lovely condition all round
This very early Jaguar XK140 Drophead Coupe is among the
first 200 made in LHD out of 2,789 Dropheads built in total. The Heritage
Certificate shows that it was completed on 28th
January 1955 and was
originally Birch Grey with red trim. Despatched new to Hoffmans of New York, it
was to remain in the USA until 1988 when our vendor acquired it.
A rust-free car from a dry American state, it was then
treated to a body-off restoration which took five years to complete. The chassis
was shot blasted, painted and liberally waxoiled inside and out – a large
quantity of desert sand being disgorged in the process! To the vendor’s
annoyance, it turned out that the rear wings were made of fibreglass and as
replacement panels were hard to come by in those days, two new wings were
expertly hand-made in steel and a new alloy boot skin was also fitted before it
was treated to a bare metal repaint in Old English White. The interior was
completely retrimmed by Aldridge Trimming with new red leather seat covers and a
new top-quality Mohair hood lined in wool.
The engine was stripped and rebuilt with new piston rings,
main and big end bearings, core plugs, gaskets etc. All other mechanical aspects
of the car were overhauled as necessary (brakes, steering, suspension etc) with
many new parts fitted, as detailed in various invoices on file.
Finally returned to the road in 1993, the car has only
covered some 600 miles since the restoration was completed (as evidenced by
various old MOTs) and we are told that it has never been out in the rain.
Starting promptly and running nicely as we moved it around for these photos, it
has an MOT until November 2021 with just a few minor advisories relating to the
front suspension ball joints/track rod end dust covers.
A really lovely XK all round, it has won several shows
over the years and is only reluctantly being sold due to the advancing years of
its devoted long-term owner.
For more information contact James on 07970 309907 or
Launched at the 1954 London Motor Show as the successor to
the sensational XK120 which had appeared in 1948, the XK140 was broadly similar
to the outgoing model but considerably more refined with a host of mechanical
Under the bonnet the XK140 retained Jaguar's well-proven
3.4-litre twin-cam six, which now produced 190bhp in standard trim thanks to
higher-lift camshafts and revised porting – up 30bhp from the standard XK120 and
easily capable of speeds in excess of 120mph. An optional close-ratio gearbox
enabled better use to be made of the increased performance, as did stiffer
torsion bars on the front suspension and new telescopic shock absorbers to the
rear. Steering was also improved with the adoption of the rack-and-pinion set up
from the Le Mans-winning C-Type racer.
The superbly trimmed cabin was also notably roomier as the
engine and bulkhead were now three inches further forward, a modification which
also improved weight distribution and handling. External changes were limited to
a wider radiator grille, rear lights incorporating flashing indicators, and
larger bumpers front and rear.
Three body styles were offered, fixed-head, roadster and
drophead, the latter being the rarest (and the most attractive) of all. A total
of 8,950 XK140s were made before it was replaced by the larger XK150 in 1957, of
which just 2,789 were dropheads, all but 479 in