1954 Jaguar XK140 DHC

Current owner since 1989; fully restored to show-winning condition 30 years ago and sparingly used since; LHD American dry state car; driven to the sale

Launched at the 1954 London Motor Show as the successor to the XK120 which had appeared in 1948, the XK140 was broadly similar to the outgoing model but considerably more refined with a host of mechanical improvements.

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.

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 LHD.

This very early Jaguar XK140 Drophead Coupe is among the first 200 made in LHD. 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 700 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. Recently fitted with a new fuel pump, it also had a full service and tune-up in April last year which included rebuilding the carbs and overhauling the braking system.

Driven to the sale, it has been starting promptly and running nicely as we have moved it around on site, with good 40psi oil pressure. The last MOT expired in November 2021 with just a few minor advisories relating to the front suspension ball joints/track rod end dust covers. There is also an agreed insurance valuation of £80,000 issued in July 2021.

A most attractive car, it has won several shows over the years and is only reluctantly being sold due to the advancing years of its long-term owner.

For more information contact James on 07970 309907 or email james.dennison@brightwells.com

Reg No: USK332
Chassis Number: A817188
Engine Number: G1930-8
Engine Size: 3442cc
Docs: V5C; six old MOTs; invoices; Heritage Certificate; insurance valuation

Sale Section & Buyers Premium (ex VAT): Car 12%, Minimum £150

Estimate: £62,000-65,000

Lot 22

Lot ended

Wednesday 03/08/2022

Hammer Price (inc. buyers premium)

Under Offer @ £52,000
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