1954 Jaguar XK140 DHC
Total nut-and-bolt 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 email email@example.com
MODEL HISTORY 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 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.
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 LHD.
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