When Jaguar unleased the XK120 on the world in 1949, it raised the
bar for performance and style at an astonishingly affordable price
point. The follow-up to the 120 came in 1954, which Jaguar dubbed
the XK140, offering a wealth of improvements to address the
shortcomings of the earlier model. With the 140, Jaguar updated
their flagship sports car with a new rack and pinion steering
system, more powerful drum brakes, telescopic dampers, and
increased suspension travel to improve ride and handling dynamics.
Jaguar moved the forward engine slightly in the chassis, which
allowed for a more spacious and comfortable passenger compartment.
Aside from the engineering changes, the beautiful styling got a
subtle freshening, with new full-width chrome bumpers, a slightly
wider grille, additional chrome strips, and new badges celebrating
Jaguar's Le Mans success. The XK140 was a superb driver's car and a
worthy successor to the XK120, elevating Jaguar's flagship to new
levels of luxury and performance. As with the XK120, the XK140 was
available in three distinct body styles, with multiple engine
options to cater to the individual buyer's desire. On the luxurious
end of the scale sat the fixed head coupe, followed by the open
drophead coupe. For the buyer wanting less of a compromise, the
Open Two-Seater, colloquially known as the roadster, offered the
purest experience. This 1956 XK140 OTS is the ultimate iteration,
pairing the svelte and minimalist roadster bodywork with the
high-performance "MC" options. Now offered after 38 years in the
care of one enthusiastic owner, this matching-numbers car has an
attractive, honest character and is a joy to drive. According to
production records supplied by Jaguar Archives, this XK140 left the
factory in its current color scheme of cream over a black interior,
with a black soft-top. It features the desirable "M" package (also
known as Special Equipment), which adds wire wheels and dual
exhaust, in addition to the optional high-flow C-Type cylinder head
and Laycock de Normanville overdrive unit. It was delivered new to
a buyer in Germany, though its early history is not known. The most
recent owner found the car advertised in Hemmings Motor News in
1982, located in his hometown of Syracuse, New York. After
acquiring the Jaguar, it remained in his care for the next 38
years, and he loved using it regularly on weekend drives and in
casual club settings. He had the car repainted in its original
color during his tenure, and the interior reupholstered in the
correct black leather. It received continual expert care and
maintenance but has never been fully disassembled or restored.
Today, this lovely XK140 displays a light careworn character that
makes it ideal for regular enjoyment. The cream paintwork is in
good order, and the car now wears excellent chrome wire wheels
fitted with high-quality, period-style Avon TurboSteel radials.
Brightwork and trim are in good order all around, with authentic
details, including Lucas fog lamps, tripod headlamps, and Lucas
wing mirrors. The black upholstery was restored under the most
recent owner's care, and it has taken on the inviting character of
a nicely broken-in baseball mitt. The leather is supple, with an
even finish and just the right amount of creasing to the surface.
Cockpit rails, door panels, and dash are all upholstered with
factory-correct materials. Correct Wilton carpets line the floors,
and the black canvas soft top fits well and is in good condition.
The boot features black Hardura trim, and the underside of the
spare tire well houses the correct jack, jack handle, grease gun,
and knock-off hammer. Mechanically, this XK is in excellent order.
The numbers-matching 3.4-liter twin-cam inline-six is well
detailed, with highlights including recently restored porcelain
enamel exhaust manifolds, polished alloy cam covers and SU carbs,
and red paint denoting this as the hot C-Type cylinder head. In
testing, it performed exceptionally well, with the cohesive feel of
a car that's never been completely apart. Behind the four-speed
Moss gearbox sits the optional Laycock de Normanville overdrive,
which allows for considerably more relaxed cruising in top gear.
The undercarriage is tidy and consistently finished, with niceties
including stainless steel exhaust and Koni dampers. The XK140 hits
the sweet spot in the XK series, boasting superior comfort and
handling over the XK120 while retaining much of the early car's
graceful and iconic styling. This fine example has been cherished
by one enthusiastic owner for nearly four decades and is now ready
for its next caretaker to carry on enjoying it to the fullest.
Offers welcome and trades considered For additional details please
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