In 1954 Jaguar replaced their seminal XK120 with the slightly 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 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 increased standard output to 190 bhp. The transmission ratios were slightly shorter and the front torsion bars were increased.
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.
Live Axle w/Half-Elliptical Leaf Springs, Telescopic Shock Absorbers
1383 kg / 3050 lbs
2591 mm / 102.0 in
1295 mm / 51.0 in
1283 mm / 50.5 in
4470 mm / 176.0 in
1638 mm / 64.5 in
1397 mm / 55.0 in
3.38:1, 1.98:1, 1.37:1, 1.00:1
~201.2 kph / 125.0 mph
0 – 60 mph
0 – 100 mph
52.99 litres or 14 gal.
Auction Sales History
1956 Jaguar XK140 MC Roadster 5811630D/N – sold for $110,000 From the collection of Tony Hart. This handsome XK140MC Roadster was completed August 24, 1955 and delivered to the Charles Hornburg Motor Company in Los Angeles on September 5th. Its first owner is unknown, but the car eventually found its way to the east coast where it was restored cosmetically. Around 2007 it came into the possession of Mr. Derek Gilchrist, who had the car’s engine, transmission, and rear axle overhauled by Dan Kelly at British Car Service in Sacramento, California. Additional attention was also given to the interior. To address the chronic overheating issues common to this series, a modern aluminum radiator with an electric cooling fan was fitted. Restoration costs exceeded $150,000 over a three-year period. In October of 2012, the car was consigned for sale in Sacramento, and was purchased by the current owner. The car had been fully serviced by Dan Kelly’s shop prior to sale. Auction Source: 2015 Quail Lodge Auction by Bonhams
1955 Jaguar XK140 MC Open Two Seater S811260 – sold for $209,000 Delivered new to the Charles Hornburg Company of Los Angeles on May 10, 1955 in Pacific Blue paint with a blue leather interior. No-expense-spared, bare-frame restoration by Steve’s Auto Restorations in Portland, Oregon. engine was rebuilt by Dan Hall’s Automotive in Portland, and the twin carburetors were sent to SU specialist Joe Curto in New York. Auction Source: 2015 Quail Lodge Auction by Bonhams
1955 Jaguar XK 140 SE Roadster S 811156 – sold for €83,440 The car presented was sold new to Los Angeles, according to the Jaguar Heritage Trust certificate, built to SE (Special Equipment) specification. It was restored by the previous owner between 2010 and 2012 and fitted with a more powerful 3.8-litre engine, Pertronix electronic ignition, stainless steel exhaust, new oil pump and new electrical circuit. The fuel tank and the electric pump are new and the carburettors have been reconditioned. The brakes have been completely overhauled, as has the wiper motor. The grey leather upholstery has been tastefully redone, and it is worth noting that bucket seats, optional in period, are very rare. The car comes with a rare tonneau cover, but no hood. The body is painted in the prestigious Ecurie Ecosse tint, and it boasts a sporty 16″ Moto Lita steering wheel. Auction Source: Rétromobile 2015 by Artcurial Motorcars
1956 Jaguar XK140 MC Roadster S812042DN – sold for $93,500 The XK140 offered here is a desirable “MC,” or Special Equipment, model, outfitted by the factory with a high-compression cylinder head, as used on the C-Type racing cars, giving it the ability to produce 210 roaring horses; a crankshaft damper; a dual exhaust; wire wheels; fog lamps; and windshield washers, producing an ideal automobile for fast Continental touring. Restored only a few years ago, it is presented here in Carmen Red with a complementary red leather interior, and it has been driven only about 1,000 miles since. It promises numerous opportunities for exciting travel for its new owner. Auction Source: 2013 Arizona Auction by RM
1957 Jaguar XK140 Roadster S812485 – sold for $63,250 Sporting a striking combination of red exterior with biscuit leather interior, this car is highlighted by chromed wire wheels and Lucas driving lights. The owners have completed a minor freshening, including new paint and interior. The car presents nicely and is well suited for driving. In addition, this example benefits from new tires and an engine rebuild to enhance its touring potential and overall enjoyment and reliability. A service manual and tool roll are also included. As one of the few XK140 roadsters produced during the model run, this car is a fitting addition to any enthusiast’s collection. Auction Source: 2012 St John’s by RM Auctions
1957 Jaguar XK140 Roadster 812462 – did not sell for $110,000 This 1957 XK140 OTS (Open Two Sweater) roadster is finished in beautiful Old English White and features a professionally installed Red leather interior with leather-bound wool carpets. The new Black canvas top, fitted with a glass rear window, disappears completely inside the bodywork to emphasize the Jaguar’s sleek lines, which are further accentuated by full rear fender skirts. Although most enthusiasts include wirer wheels in their image of the XK, this example’s painted steel wheels, small center caps and wide-Whitewall Firestones add a distinct touring element to the overall look, which is heightened by excellent chrome and superb underhood detailing. Auction Source: 2011 Monterey Daytime Auction by Mecum
1956 Jaguar XK140 MC Roadster – sold for $82,500 This XK140 MC Roadster is an original left-hand drive, U.S.-delivery example featuring the top-line and very desirable “MC” package, a fabulous option combination comprising the “M” or “Special Equipment” package including a crankshaft damper, wire-spoke wheels, dual exhaust pipes and fog lamps. As indicated by the “C” designation, the 3.4-liter XK engine is equipped with a high-compression “C”-Type cylinder head raising output to 210 bhp. It was completed on April 13, 1956 and purchased new by Mr. Edmund Normandie of Merrimac, Massachusetts. Complete with its matching-numbers engine and transmission, as well as a matching spare wheel and tire, a folding top and a Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust certificate, this XK140 MC never fails to draw attention wherever it goes with its glossy red exterior finish, bright chrome work and black leather upholstery. Auction Source: 2011 Monterey Auction by RM
1956 Jaguar XK 140MC Roadster – did not sell for $90,000 The 1956 Jaguar XK140 presented here is equipped with the “MC” option. The current owner purchased it in April 1976 from “Jeopardy” host and television personality Alex Trebek, who had owned and enjoyed the car for many years, accumulating approximately 68,000 miles during his ownership. Auction Source: 2009 Meadow Brook Concours
1956 Jaguar XK 140MC Roadster – sold for $82,500 The 1956 Jaguar XK 140MC Roadster offered here continues to benefit from a complete concours-level restoration that was completed in late 2003. It continues to present beautifully with an Indigo Blue exterior finish and a red leather interior, perfectly complemented by a tan canvas top and matching side curtains. Since restoration, the Jaguar has been judged at 99-plus points, winning no fewer than three awards under JCNA scrutiny. It was equipped from the factory with optional Laycock de Normanville overdrive and today it is equipped with the very desirable “MC” Package that includes a C-Type cylinder head, dual exhaust, fog lamps and wire wheels, among other features. Mechanical upgrades dating to 2004 and 2005 include a brake adjustment as well as a new brake reservoir, new rotors, new brake lines and the installation of a new condenser. Auction Source: 2009 Meadow Brook Concours