SINGLE FAMILY OWNERSHIP SINCE 1956 - JCNA CONCOURS WINNING CAR
1955 JAGUAR XK 140 MC FIXED HEAD COUPE
Chassis No. S814488
Engine No. G4243-8S
Royal Battleship Grey with red leather interior
Engine: six cylinder, twin overhead camshafts, 3,442cc, 210bhp at 5,750rpm; Gearbox: 4-speed manual synchromesh; Suspension: front - independent, rear - semi-elliptic leaf springs; Brakes: four wheel drum. Left hand drive.
The six year life span of the fabulous XK 120 model suggested certain refinements such as more room, standard wire wheels and more power. In response, October 1954 saw the introduction of the XK 140 with major changes in appearance and engineering. The classic lines were retained but were protected by sturdier bumpers and a tougher grille. A chrome strip ran down the length of the hood, and another on the rear trunk lid drew attention to the medallion in the middle proclaiming the Le Mans wins of the marque. The rear bumper wrapped around the fenders and sported overriders.
Inside, the front seat and dashboard remained the same, but with considerably more leg room than the XK 120 because the engine block was moved forward on the chassis. There was also space behind the front seat. Moving the engine forward led to better straight line stability, and with the adoption of the Alford and Alder rack-and-pinion steering came a much more direct response to the wheel. On the Special Equipment models, designated 'MC' like the car represented here, were wire wheels and Lucas FT576 foglamps mounted above the front bumper. With the C-Type head, developed for the C-Type Le Mans race car, the bhp was raised to 210 at 5,750rpm. Also with the C-Type head came a special high speed crankshaft damper and a dual exhaust system which used two separate silencers, with pipes running through holes in the chassis cross members and emerging below the rear overrider.
This spectacular XK 140 has been in the owner's family for forty-two years. It was purchased new by James R. Heising from Mohamed and Abdulgabbar Kooheji distributorship in Saudi Arabia on August 13, 1955. While he purchased the car through this dealership, the car actually remained in England for a few months (original documentation proves this) before it was exported to Pasadena, California. It was first registered in January 1956 as a new car and the current owner's father, also of California, purchased it shortly thereafter. His father owned a number of Jaguars and this was his favorite of all time. He was fastidious in his care for this Jaguar and would not allow shoes to be worn inside and insisted on closing the doors himself. He also would dress formally whenever he drove the car!
In late 1991, the current owner's father passed away and the Jaguar passed to his son. Although the mileage was only 86,000, his father had already embarqued upon a restoration and had disassembled the car and repainted the bodywork red. The new custodian, however, decided to restore the car completely and to prepare the car for shows. The majority of this work was entrusted to the renowned specialist, Mike Wilson, who undertook a full frame off, nut and bolt restoration to the highest standards possible. This restoration lasted from 1992 until 1996 and great care was undertaken not to over-restore this car. It should be noted for our regular attendees at Pebble Beach that Mike Wilson restored the two famous powder blue (Jaguar Club of North America winning cars) XK 140s that set new record prices when sold by Christie's. Mike Wilson openly admits that this is the most thorough and best restoration he has ever undertaken on an XK. The restoration cost in excess of $60,000.
As an example of the lengths the owner went to in order to achieve perfection, he sent the wood out (all thirteen pieces) to a veneer specialist in Las Vegas to be finished at a cost of $2,600. Early in the restoration, the powder coated chassis and running gear were invited to be shown at a Concours d'Elegance. Every piece of glass was renewed and even the Triplex watermarks were replaced. To get the shut lines and bodywork perfect the car was painted black initially to check for ripples! Not only was this car restored for show, the owner insisted that it should be driven and shaken down before hitting the show circuit. Some 800 miles running in was undertaken. During 1997 this car was campaigned for the JCNA Championship in the highly competitive class 3 division which had 48 entrants in 1997. This car was the highest placed car on the west coast with an average score of 99.95 points and ended up 2nd overall in the country. This car had intially been the overall Championship winning car but lost to another vehicle, which successfully protested an early score. Despite this, the car on offer took two Best of Shows and was the class winner on two different occassions, with one score of 99.99! This is a remarkable feat for a closed car that must compete against the more favored roadsters and drophead coupes.
This story speaks for itself and we are very proud to present what must rank as the very best XK 140 fixed head coupe in the world. In many observers' eyes, the delicate lines of the closed cars are far more attractive than the already beautiful open cars. This one is simply stunning in every aspect and deserves very close attention.