Jaguar XK140 MC Roadster

The XK140 was launched at the Earls Court Motor Show in October 1954. It was essentially a re-engineered XK120 intended specifically for the North American market, a market becoming increasingly more important to Jaguar. The company incorporated changes that made the XK both faster and easier to live with. Nearly 90 percent were sold with left-hand drive and exported to the States; during the model run from 1954-1957, 3,301 of the 3,350 roadsters would be so equipped. All three body styles of the 120 would be retained with styling similar to its forerunner, but most important would be a roomier cockpit. Jaguar moved the bulkhead 3 inches forward affording more legroom for tall drivers. The dashboard was raised an inch to give extra room beneath the steering wheel and all roadsters were given an extra three inches of seat travel. These changes combined to make the XK140 cockpit a more pleasing driving environment for American drivers. Lucas J700 headlamps, different front turn indicators and rear taillights, numberplate mountings, and for the first time, a bootlid handle, would subtly change the exterior appearance over the XK120. Badging proclaimed Jaguar’s Le Mans wins and the chrome strip that ran down the bonnet continued on the bootlid, which like the bonnet and doors, would be skinned in aluminum. An improved cooling system with an eight-blade fan, rack and pinion steering, sturdier bumpers, and a single 12-volt battery replaced the twin 6-volt units that lived under the bonnet (rather than behind the seats). Thus, the transformation from XK120 to XK140 would be complete. Many enthusiasts consider the XK140 the pinnacle of the XK series of Jaguars offering a combination of XK120 style with the comfort and usability of the later XK150.

A car fitted with the C-type cylinder head, 2-inch sandcast H8 carburettors, heavier front torsion bars and twin exhaust pipes was known in the UK as an XK-140 SE. In North America it was popularly called an XK-140 MC.

There were two variants of the XK140 added, the XK140M, which included wire wheels, dual exhaust, twin fog lamps and windshield washers, and the XK140MC, which added the big-valve cylinder head from the C-Type.

210hp, 3,442cc twin overhead cam in-line 6-cylinder engine, four-speed manual transmission, independent wishbone front suspension with torsion bars and anti-roll bar, rear live axle with semi-elliptic springs, rack and pinion steering, Lockheed drum brakes with servo. Wheelbase: 102 inches.

Source:  RM Auctions as part of the Monterey Auction in August, 2009; Mecum Auctions as part of the Kissimmee Auction in January, 2013; Wikipedia, 2011

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