Become a Member: Get Ad-Free Access to All Our Content
Jaguar XK140 Drophead Coupe

Jaguar XK140 Drophead Coupe

1954→1956 Jaguar XK140 Drophead Coupe

In 1954 Jaguar replaced their seminal XK120 with the upgraded XK140. It used the same basic architecture as the preceding model but featured several interior and body upgrades including full-width bumpers, increased interior space and rack & pinion steering. As before, it was offered as an Open Two Seater roadster, Drophead Coupe convertible or Hardtop Coupe.

Fresh from their victories at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Jaguar used their competition pedigree to sell the XK140. The principle brochure said “All the accumulated wealth of knowledge and experience gained in the hard school of racing have been built into the new XK140 models which are powered by the famous 3½ litre twin overhead camshaft XK engine.”

Upgrades to the body included a new grill with fewer slats and an integrated Jaguar badge. Front turn signals were installed on top of the fenders and amber driving lights were positioned just above the bumpers. The rear trunk lid featured a new central chrome accent and badges that spelled out “Winner Le Mans 1951–3.”

To make more interior room, the engine, firewall and dashboard were moved three inches forward. This relocated the battery to the inside of the driver’s side fender. The result was increased leg room and more space for the new occasional seats in the Hardtop Coupe and Drophead Coupe convertible.

Power was up slightly from the outgoing model thanks to the XK120’s SE package which had more agressive camshafts and an increased standard output of 190 bhp. The transmission ratios were slightly shorter and the front torsion bars were larger.

Options for the XK140 included wire wheels, a Laycock de Normanville overdrive and a Borg-Warner automatic transmission for the Hardtop Coupe and Drophead Coupe. Color options were Black, Birch Grey, Pastel Green, Pearl Grey, Pacific Blue, British Racing Green, Dove Grey, Suede Green, Red, Lavender Grey, Battleship Grey, Cream, Pastel Blue and Maroon.

An optional MC performance package used the C-Type’s competition cylinder head with 2-inch H8 carburetors to produce 210 bhp at 5750 rpm. Further upgrades for the MC cars included twin exhausts, a high-speed crankshaft damper, adjustable fog lamps and windscreen washer jets.

1954 Jaguar XK140 Drophead Coupe Gallery

In Detail

type Series Production Car
production years 1954 – 1956
built at Coventry, England
price £/td> £1,644
engine Inline-6
position Front, Longitudinal
aspiration Natural
ignition Lucas Distributor
block material Cast Iron w/Aluminum Cylinder Head
valvetrain DOHC, 2 Valves per Cyl
fuel feed Twin SU Carburettors
displacement 3442 cc / 210.0 in³
bore 83.06 mm / 3.27 in
stroke 106 mm / 4.2 in
compression 8.0:1
power 141.7 kw / 190 bhp @ 5500 rpm
specific output 55.2 bhp per litre
body / frame Steel Body over Steel Ladder Frame
driven wheels Front Engine / RWD
wheel type Steel Discs or Optional Spoked Wires
front tires 6.00×16 Dunlop
rear tires 6.00×16 Dunlop
front brakes Drums
rear brakes Drums
steering Rack & Pinion
f suspension Double Wishbones w/Torsion Bars, Telescopic Shock Absorbers
r suspension Rigid Axle w/Half-Elliptical Leaf Springs, Telescopic Shock Absorbers
wheelbase 2591 mm / 102.0 in
front track 1295 mm / 51.0 in
rear track 1283 mm / 50.5 in
length 4496 mm / 177.0 in
width 1562 mm / 61.5 in
height 1334 mm / 52.5 in
transmission 4-Speed Manual
gear ratios 3.38:1, 1.98:1, 1.37:1, 1.00:1
fuel capacity 52.99 litres or 14 gal.

Auction Sales History

Jaguar XK140 Drophead Coupe

1957 Jaguar XK140 MC Drophead Coupe G8354-8S – sold for $79,200 Beautifully presented XK140 MC Drophead Coupe. Equipped with the rare, optional Borg-Warner automatic. Wonderful model for tours and rallies. Exceptional performance and elegant styling. Offered with Heritage Trust Certificate. Auction Source: The Amelia Island Auction 2015 by Bonhams

Jaguar XK140 Drophead Coupe

1956 Jaguar XK140 Drophead Coupe 818594 – sold for $203,500 Jaguar’s Iconic Mid-1950s Sports Model. Early-2000s Restoration by a Marque Specialist. Balanced and Blueprinted Engine. Frame-Off Restoration with Virtually No Expense Spared. Upgrades Include 5-Speed Manual Gearbox. Auction Source: The Scottsdale Auctions 2015 by Gooding & Company

Jaguar XK140 Drophead Coupe

1955 Jaguar XK140 MC Drophead Coupe S818857 – sold for $104,500 A matching-numbers XK140 MC. A high-quality restoration. Upgrades for effortless touring. Auction Source: 2014 Motor City Auction by RM

Jaguar XK140 Drophead Coupe

1956 Jaguar XK140 SE Drophead Coupé S818897BW – sold for €67,200 This XK140 SE was completed on 13 September 1956, and it was delivered to Jaguar Cars in New York on 5 October. It was one of a very few Special Equipment XK140s with left-hand drive, an automatic transmission, and the C-Type cylinder head, and it found its way to the collection of World War II hero, author, and car collector Albert R. Pincus. During his ownership, it was completely restored, repainted from the original cream to light grey metallic, and upholstered in burgundy leather. During his tenure, it won many awards. Auction Source: 2014 Paris by RM Auctions

Jaguar XK140 Drophead Coupe

1955 Jaguar XK140M Drophead Coupe 817696 – sold for $115,500 This left-hand drive XK140M was completed on July 21, 1955 and delivered to Delacroix, the Paris distributor, on August 15. It was then sold to Second Lieutenant G. McKelvey, then stationed at St. Mihiel in eastern France. It has been faithfully restored to concours specification and is accompanied by a Jaguar-Daimler Heritage Trust certificate attesting to its matching numbers. Auction Source: Amelia Island 2012 by RM Auctions
Jaguar XK140 Drophead Coupe

1957 Jaguar XK140 MC DHC – sold for $50,000 Rare number matching car. MC drophead. Slave cylinder needs replacing. Long term Museum vehicle. Auction Source: 2011 Monterey Daytime Auction by Mecum
Jaguar XK140 Drophead Coupe

1956 Jaguar XK140 Drophead Coupé 807355 – sold for €157,560 Purchased by the current vendor in 1999, this XK140 drophead coupé previously belonged to a Goran Strok, of Weybridge Surrey who acquired the car in 1992, and before that to a Gareth John, of Chelmsford, Essex (1990). The car comes with Jaguar Cars Limited build details, confirming that it was sold new via Henlys and retains matching chassis/engine/gearbox and registration numbers.  Auction Source: 2010 Collectors’ Motor Cars at Goodwood Revival by Bonhams
Jaguar XK140 Drophead Coupe

1957 Jaguar XK140 Drophead Coupe S818689BW – sold for $85,250 Rare automatic transmission. This Jaguar is equipped with the rare Borg Warner automatic transmission; the XK140 was the first Jaguar to offer this as an option. Its current owner regularly used the car which sports chrome wire wheels, driving lights and dual exhaust. While painted a vibrant red with tan leather interior and tan top, the interior sports tan wool carpets and very nice interior wood trim along with a period European radio. It would be ideally suited as a driver or for anyone looking for the cachet of a vintage Jag with the convenience of shiftless driving. Auction Source: RM Auctions’ 2010 Sports & Classics of Monterey