- An original SE, this is the work horse of the Collection!
- Exceptionally well prepared and used extensively on international rallies
- With bucket seats, fast-road engine, uprated brakes and trip meter, it is a very effective events car
A well-presented Roadster, this XK140 SE has not been maintained in slavish adherence to absolute originality, but rather has been on constant standby for use on international rallies. Having a roomier and more comfortable cockpit than an XK120 makes this a much more versatile car to drive on endurance events.
In that spirit, the 1955 XK140 with chassis number S 811379 DN has taken part in a large number and variety of events, most notably a dozen entries on the Rallye International des Alpes Historique. With one outright win and another runner-up placement, the car has proved itself an eager participant; no surprise, really, for a well sorted, mid-period open XK.
Not much has been discovered about the early life of this car. It seems to have spent most of its early years in the USA, where it was driven hard and appeared to stand up well to quite a tough life. The car was then imported to Switzerland in the 1980s, where another owner very much enjoyed using it before passing it to its current owner.
This Jaguar departed the Browns Lane factory in May 1955 in original SE specification, and the very desirable disc brakes (to XK150 or 3.4-litre ‘MkI’ saloon type) were added not long afterwards. It was one of just 3349 two-seater XK140s built, all but 73 of them with left-hand drive, such was the demand for this model in the sunshine states of the USA.
At some point in its life the engine was replaced, so numbers don’t match even though all the parts are correct for the 1950s period; it has a correct 3.4-litre SE-spec engine, which means a cylinder head to C-type design that would have power almost 10% from the standard car’s 190 to 210bhp.
Where the motor departs from standard is in its cylinder head. This was rebuilt in 2005 for more power to make it as flexible as possible for modern, high-speed driving. With Jaguar D-type specification valves and cams, this was boosted from from about 210 to about 240bhp, which is pretty much the output of the early D-types themselves. Correct period bucket seats, an option when new, have also been installed for better support on competitive manoeuvres, although the original seats are still with the car. Overall, a super example that’s ready-sorted as a ‘workhorse’ for the enthusiastic XK driver.