1956 JAGUAR XK140 ROADSTER
Chassis No. 801653
White with black leather interior.
Engine: six-cylinder in-line, twin overhead camshafts, 3442cc giving 192bhp at 5,500rpm, twin SU carburettors; Gearbox: four-speed manual; Clutch: single-plate; Suspension: independent front with double wishbones, longitudinal torsion bars, anti-roll bar, semi-elliptic springs to live rear axle; Brakes: four-wheel hydraulic drum; Steering: rack and pinion; Wire wheels. Left-hand drive.
The SS 100 sports two-seater of the prewar years and its exciting 1940's successor, the XK 120 roadster, with its cutaway doors, dashing vee-screen and fully disappearing hood, had helped establish Jaguar's credentials not only as a manufacturer of luxurious saloons and dropheads, but also of some of the highest performance production sports two-seaters of their day.
When in 1954 the company introduced the upgraded XK 140 range, the tradition was continued with a new roadster. Like its sister drophead and fixed-head coupe, it was a little heavier than its predecessor, but worthwhile improvements had been introduced. More precise rack and pinion steering was provided, making it possible to move the engine forward by three inches, to the benefit of leg-room and the car's handling; the steering wheel too was raised a little. On the roadster, the windscreen was designed to be detachable. Although apart from a slightly raised scuttle, the body shape was largely unchanged, the realities of modern driving conditions were acknowledged by the provision of more solid bumpers developed from those of the MK VIII saloon. To match these, the radiator grille was given more emphasis.
On test, the XK 140 roadster impressed the journalists; in Britian The Autocar recorded an excellent 13.9 secs to 80mph and USA Road and Track found the maximum speed to be 121.1mph. With some 3,300 built, the roadster was clearly the most popular of the XK 140 range. Most were built with left-hand drive.
This particular car is believed to have been one of those originally exported to North America. It was later brought to France, where it now resides and taxes have been paid. Although there was not an opportunity to drive the Jaguar, the engine was started and ran well. There is an indicated 'mileage' of 70,410km. A recent MoT signalled some play in the steering arms, wear in the suspension dampers, oil leaks and non-working stop lights; but the car gives the overall impression of being sound.