The XK140 was introduced in October 1954 at the London Motor Show as the successor to the XK120; it was easily distinguishable from its predecessor by its more substantial front and rear bumpers, a radiator grille with fewer slats, and a chromium strip which ran along the centre of the bonnet and boot. A major improvement was to lengthen the cockpit to make the car more comfortable for taller drivers. Under the bonnet the 140 had the superb six cylinder XK 3.4 litre engine, basically the same as the Special Equipment XK120 unit, producing an impressive 190bhp at 5,600rpm, compared to the 160bhp of the standard XK120. Like the earlier car, however, the XK140 retained independent front suspension with semi-elliptic leaf springs at the rear. The new model sold very well indeed, with orders flooding in for two main reasons: firstly, the proven excellence of the old XK120, which had won so many peoples' hearts, and also because of the enormous success Jaguar was enjoying in its greatest period of international motor racing, winning Le Mans in 1951 and 1953 with the C-type and in 1955, 1956 and 1957 with the D-type.
The Roadster (dubbed the OTS - Open Two Seater in America) features a light canvas top that folds out of sight behind the seats. Much like the XK120 Roadster that pre-dated the XK140, the model featured removable canvas and plastic side curtains on light alloy barchetta-type doors, and a tonneau cover. The XK140 would carry over the removable windscreen from the XK120 Roadster. Jaguar would produce just 73 RHD OTS examples of the XK140, making it an exceptionally rare motorcar.
Our car presented here left the Jaguar factory in June 1955 for the Belfast Jaguar distributor. Originally ordered in Right-hand drive and the attractive colourway of British racing Green over a Suede Green leather interior with bucket seats, just as the car presents today. Furthermore, this particular example was ordered new as an original Special Equipment model or 'SE' as it is known. This is confirmed by a Jaguar Heritage Trust certificate that will be supplied with the car. The car would remain registered to a business in Northern Ireland, RJ McKenney Ltd, until 1964 when the car would pass onto the ownership of Mr David Clarke of Berwickshire. Six years would pass before the vehicle would move to the London area under the new ownership of Mr Derek-Robert Grant of Southall in 1970. Changing hands once more, chassis 800039 would then pass into the ownership of Mr Hugh Bolton of Suffolk in 1974. Mr David Cottingham, a Jaguar marque aficionado, would purchase the car in 2018 and see to it that this now presents as surely one of the very best XK140s existent.
Featuring all matching numbers, the car has over the course of the last four years been totally restored to DK Engineering’s exacting standards. A decision was made to further enhance the already strong performance of this motorcar by upgrading several components including fitment of a racing ‘D’ type cylinder head and camshafts, H8 carburettor, polished crank, and rods, 5-speed gearbox, limited slip differential and alloy rimmed wire wheels. Attention has also been paid to the general road manners of the car through a thorough overhaul and testing program applied to the braking system. Full weather equipment has also been newly manufactured for the car ensuring that it can be used as Jaguar intended. The sale of this motorcar will include the following spares; cylinder head and camshafts, gearbox (freshly overhauled), seats, wheels. The cherished registration shown in the images is not included as part of the sale.
Visually stunning and very fast, this XK140 OTS SE is surely one of the very best examples of Jaguar's classic 1950's sports car to come to market in recent years. Perfect, for runs down to Goodwood or worthy of an entry into many a classic car show, the extensive works undertaken in recent years ensure the cars useability truly match its beauty.