Classy Cat: 1955 Jaguar XK140 Roadster – Sold?

Feb 2021 | Classifinds, Sports Car Saturday

March 19, 2021 Update – We just confirmed the listing for this “Classifind” expired, so with no replacement found we’re assuming this ride “Sold?” While this one got away, please reach out either by email or call Rudy directly if you’d like to be informed when we come across something similar.

The E-Type (Later XKE) wasn’t the only Jaguar to ever stun the automotive world when it debuted.  In 1948, Jaguar shocked a rebuilding world its swoopy new XK120.  Jaguar claimed the 120 stood for the car’s top speed capabilities.  Needless to say, the Xk120 won a number of sports car racing titles both during and after production, including three straight LeMans titles from 1951 through 1953.  The XK 120’s follow-up model was the XK140 introduced in late 1954 and sold as a 1955 model. Exterior changes that distinguished it from the XK120 included more substantial front and rear bumpers with over-riders and flashing turn signals above the front bumper.

Jaguar produced the XK140 in three body styles: A fixed Head Coupé (“FHC”), a Drophead Coupé (“DHC”), and the Roadster (“OTS)” – for Open Two Seater) such as this restored burgundy over gray leather example we came across on Craigslist in February 2021 in Lyons, Illinois (Chicago).  We’re a bit fascinated the seller was able to make the Craigslist ad without entering a price.  To provide a pricing perspective, the Hagerty Insurance Online Valuation Tool appraises restored XK140s such as this example between $118,000 for #2 “Excellent” condition and $152,000 for #1 “Concours” show winners. As a second data point, the Collector Car Market Review provides a similar range of $106,000 to $154,000.

The Hagerty Insurance Valuation Tool provides a nice synopsis of the XK140:

When the XK140 took over as Jaguar’s flagship sports car in 1954, it had a serious challenge, following in the tracks of the spectacular XK120. True, it looked a lot like the car it followed, but there were quite a few differences, too. The large bumpers and heavier cast grille may have taken away a little of the model’s inherent grace, but this new trim provided far better protection from the large Detroit behemoths that populated the sports car’s largest market in America.

And while the weight went up slightly, so did the power of the 3.4-liter, twin-cam six, which was up to 190 horsepower in standard trim. As a result, performance remained on a par with its predecessor. The uprated engine was mated to the same four-speed manual unit used in the XK120, although overdrive was now available.

From the introduction, three bodies were offered: the open two-seater, a drophead, and a fixed head with 2+2 seating. In 1955, a three-speed automatic became optional on the drophead and fixed head coupe. There was a further model proliferation in that each of the three body styles was offered in three versions: the standard car, the M version with dual exhaust, wire wheels, and fog lamps, and the MC, which received all the M equipment as well as the cylinder head from the competition C-Type. The top of the line MC (known in the UK as SE) was rated at 210 bhp.

Although the basic chassis remained unchanged, the biggest difference was that the XK140 was fitted with rack and pinion steering, which improved the handling substantially.

When production ceased in 1957, a total of 8,884 XK140 had been built, and the model had been successful at retaining Jaguar’s sports car sales in its most important market—North America.”

Here’s a quick video of a similar ’55 XK140 proving a nice overview and a feel for what these cars are like to drive:

We love the color combination and the fact this example is a base car with steel wheels and poverty-style hub caps.

Here’s the seller’s description:


Show or go: what would you do with this restored Jag?  Comment below and let us know!


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