Wed, 19th Oct 2011 13:30

The Pavilion Gardens

  Lot 77

1954 Jaguar XK140 Roadster

Estimated at £75,000 - £85,000

Lot details
Registration No: 240 YUG
Chassis No: S810070
Mot Expiry: July 2012

Jaguar's XK story is the stuff of legend. Once upon a time there was the prototype XK120. Initially a testbed for the company's new, alloy-headed DOHC 3.4-litre, straight-six engine, it caused such a sensation at the London Motor Show of 1948 that the model was rapidly pressed into production. It immediately became the fastest production car in the world and quickly found fame in racing and rallying. The engine itself was so successful that variations of it powered Jaguar saloons and sports cars for a staggering forty-four years.

In 1954, the all-conquering XK120 gave way to the XK140. Visual changes included more substantial bumpers with over-riders, a one-piece radiator grille with fewer but thicker vertical slats and a chrome strip that ran up the centre of the bonnet and continued down the middle of the boot lid, where it proudly incorporated a red shield with the words 'Winner Le Mans 1951-3' inscribed in gold. The mechanical specification comprised a number of fundamental upgrades. Braking was improved, the recirculating ball steering was replaced by a rack and pinion system, suspension travel was increased and the lever arm rear dampers superseded by more modern telescopic units.

An additional three-inches of legroom was achieved by moving the engine, firewall and dashboard forwards. What had been the SE options for the XK120 engine now became standard and the SE package for the XK140 comprised: the C-Type cylinder head fed by a pair of H8 SU carburettors, twin exhaust pipes and stiffer torsion bars for the front suspension. The newcomer was offered in three body styles - Roadster, Drophead Coupe and Fixed Head Coupe. The latter pair featured a jump seat and additional interior space courtesy of a more forward-mounted windscreen. The XK140 was a quick car by any standards. In SE trim, it could accelerate to 60mph in under 9 seconds and rapidly on to a top speed approaching 125mph. The model remained in production until 1957 when it was replaced by the XK150 - the final iteration of the original XK line.

The now right-hand drive XK140 being offered, is a Roadster model that was manufactured on October 27th 1954 and whose British Racing Green two-seater coachwork is teamed with Cinnamon-coloured interior trim. '240 YUG' apparently started life as a left-hand drive North American C-Type specification, rust-free car and was imported by the vendor from a deceased estate. The Jaguar is understood to have benefited from an extensive mechanical and body restoration by a range of concours winning companies. Along the way it has also been equipped with a number of desirable upgraded parts including: a straight-port cylinder head, overhauled two inch HD8 SU carburetters, stainless steel exhaust, five-speed manual gearbox, XK150 disc brakes all round, alternator, Kenlowe fan, radiator and alloy fuel tank etc. The car has also been rewired and rides on new wheels and tyres.

The vendor regards this splendid looking and undoubtedly rapid cat as having "A1" bodywork, paintwork, trim, engine and transmission. It is now being offered for sale with MOT valid until July of next year.

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