The May Sale 2017

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1955 Jaguar XK140 SE

Lot No.: 322

Registration: VSL 116
Chassis Number: S810874
Engine Number: G2301-8S
Number of cylinders: 6
CC: 3400cc
Year of Manufacture: 1955
Estimate (£): 75,000 - 85,000
(+buyer’s premium of 15% including VAT @ 20%)

Jaguar Cars launched the XK140 at the London Motor Show in October 1954 with a raft of improvements over its predecessor, the 'landmark' XK 120. The styling was enhanced with a revised grille and larger bumpers along with new rear lights, which now incorporated the indicators. The handling was improved by rack and pinion steering and telescopic dampers and the interior space was enlarged to allow the addition of occasional rear seats.

The power unit remained Jaguar's well-tried, 3.4-litre, twin-cam six, which now produced 190bhp in standard trim thanks to higher-lift camshafts and revised porting. To ensure reliability, steel bearing caps replaced the previous cast-iron type. A close-ratio gearbox enabled better use to be made of the increased performance whilst a Laycock de Normanville overdrive became an option for the first time. Special Equipment (SE) XK140s came with wire wheels and Lucas fog lamps and (as in this case) could be ordered with an engine developing 210bhp courtesy of the 'C'-type cylinder head. XK140 performance was well up to the standards set by its exemplary predecessor, contemporary magazine road tests regularly recording top speed figures in excess of 120mph.

This superb, left-hand drive XK140SE left Browns Lane on the last day of January 1955 and was shipped to California by the legendary Jaguar distributor, Max Hoffman. In 1998 the car was repatriated by John Condon on behalf of a customer (a well known London restaurant owner at the time) to be totally restored and when finished, added to his collection in Cyprus. The restoration took over five years and was completed to a very high standard. Our vendor believes, but can't confirm, that the work was carried out by Fender-Broad in Bristol, restorers of some repute. 

Sadly the owner passed away and it was handed back to John Condon to sell on behalf of the estate. Unfortunately, all the details of the restoration were in Cyprus and have been unavailable.

Our vendor purchased this lovely Jaguar in 2014, and although generally excellent, spent a further £5,500 bringing the car back to the amazing condition in which you see it today. The engine had been fully rebuilt less than 600miles/14 years ago but he spent £3,000 in 2015 on a full service and recommission. The brakes have been stripped and rebuilt, the tachometer and the time clock serviced by Speedy Cables, and a correct stainless steel exhaust system fitted along with a new fuel pump and coil. New side-screens have been tailor made and they complement the gleaming 'Piano-finish' British Racing Green coachwork and the Suede Green mohair hood really well. The superb interior is also finished in Suede Green and the door tops and dash top are covered in Olive Green leather. 

The car is accompanied by a few original tools, an Instruction Manual and its Jaguar Heritage Certificate.

As part of a ten car collection, the Jaguar is only lightly used and naturally, cherished. Our vendor tells us that “Most people would rate the condition as perfect....I would say it's excellent.” however, this stylish, fifties, classic Jaguar is undoubtedly a lovely example.