Lot 151: Jaguar XK140 Roadster
Although the Jaguar XK120 set new standards in car design and manufacture, some of the marque's suppliers needed time to catch up - they were not used to making lights and brakes for 120mph+ cars. It is to Jaguar's credit that it ran a development programme which continued to within months of the last XK150. When the XK140 was announced in 1954 it was essentially a 'Mark 2' version of the XK120, retaining the latter's excellent dynamics, startling performance and superb levels of appointment and attention to detail, and making the new model more 'user-friendly' than ever. Engine power increased to 190bhp; there were stiffer suspension torsion bars and improved lights, improved cooling, and optional disc brakes. One very welcome improvement, however, was moving the engine and scuttle three inches forward which gave better weight distribution and improved cockpit space without compromising the car's stunning lines. The XK series is one of the few which truly merits the term 'great' only much more expensive exotica could match them either under real driving conditions or for kerbside presence. Taking into account reliability, refinement and sheer pleasure of driving, the XK140 was one of the outstanding cars of its day and it remains one of the greatest classic cars, having attained genuine classic status almost while still in production. Since the XK was born in the post-war era of 'export or die' a very large proportion of all three series were sold new in the United States, and in fact it could be argued that this is the origin of Jaguar's US reputation. The example offered today is an early XK140, a 1957 car, and was supplied new in the USA, and is in the very desirable colour scheme of Embassy Black with contrasting Cherry Red leather upholstery. The car has plainly been the recipient of attention to both paint and leather, since both are are of relatively recent origin and are of good quality, though the car must have been well-preserved beforehand cosmetically since the chromework, nearly all original, is in strikingly nice condition, the panel fit is very good, and the panels themselves are very pleasingly straight. The car is fitted with weather equipment in the form of hood and sidescreens. By the time of the auction it is hoped that the car will have been issued with a new MOT certificate since it runs well, with a good, quiet drivetrain and correct oil pressure. A very pretty example of an exceptionally rare and desirable Jaguar model.
HISTORIC COLLECTORS MOTORCARS|
Coys, Blenheim Palace, Woodstock, Oxfordshire, OX20 1PX
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