2021 05 24 CCC Featured External Listing
1956 Jaguar XK140 3.4 Roadster 4-speed manual
We in Canada are observing Victoria Day today, a celebration of Queen Victoria’s birthday and known by many as May 2-4 weekend. We thought it appropriate to feature a British car today, in the Canada’s national colour so here is a Jaguar XK140 3.4 Roadster in red.
Though produced from 1955-1957 only and replacing to the XK120, the XK140 is a significant car in the extensive history of Jaguar motor cars. It emanates from the post-war era that produced the Chevrolet Corvette from America and the Porsche 356 from Germany. It was a happy, carefree time in the western world and these cars reflected, celebrated even, just that. Someone might even put forth a hypothesis that these cars contributed to the baby boom. Certainly, one look at the photos of this car reflects the commonly-held belief that the Jag was the prettiest and most luxurious of the three. It is also the least common, with total production in its 1955 to 1957 run checking in at just under 9,000; somewhat surprisingly, the right-hand drive models numbered merely about 1,400 of that number.
CCC Vital Info
Odometer – 1,689 miles (TMU – true mileage unknown)
Engine Info – front-mounted 3.4L inline six
Transmission Info – 4-speed manual
Exterior Colour – (Canadian) Red
Interior Colour – Tan
Other features – Knock-off wire wheels, Leather interior, Four-spoke steering wheel
Seller – Dealer
Category – European
Note – For CCC live auctions, this space will also include: VIN; a map link to seller location; a link to a Carfax report and a lot number.
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The beautifully-detailed 3.4 litre inline six-cylinder engine produced 190 horsepower which gets to the rear wheels via a four-speed manual transmission and, weighing in at 3,200 pounds, we are confident that this rating can get the little car around without lethargy. This is the heaviest of the three cars mentioned, though Jaguar engineers might explain that away with “all of that leather is heavy”. On that note, the tan hides in this car present beautifully. We suspect that these have been replaced since the originals were installed 65 years ago. Details are scant in the seller’s listing but a further guess from the CCC peanut gallery is that the odometer was reset at the time of a full restoration and the 1,689 km reflects distance travelled since it was completed.
The exterior features beautiful (Canadian) red paint and gleaming brightwork. The chrome goes for days and includes the wheels. The wire surrounds knock-off hub covers, quite different from today’s standard of multiple studs or bolts, though Porsche has gone to the one hub cover with locking device on its highest-end 911s (see GT2 for an example). The ‘50s Jag hub covers are knocked off with a mallet while, as you’d expect, the new Porsche requires precision tools. The Jaguar wire wheels are beautiful and were a significant feature on the marque for many years – they can be seen on E-Type, Mk II, XJ-S, XJ sedans and others. Some owners of more modern Jaguars retrofit them as a nod to the esteemed history of the British make.
Another beautiful feature in chrome is the oval grille up front. While the shape was carried forward from the XK120, it differs in that it is one-piece with fewer, broader bars – more imposing for this faster cat. Further chrome bits that really catch our eye are the bumpers, badging – which shows off Jaguar’s 1953 Le Mans win – and light surrounds. Modern designers might be horrified at the weight but there is no denying the beauty.
Inside, that leather looks supple and inviting. Instrumentation might seem basic to some, but we find it just right for this car, period-correct – just like the four-spoke steering wheel, spoked at 90-degree intervals of the compass. The dash, door skin and carpet match to the seats just adds to the beauty. Appropriately, the tachometer is centrally installed to the driving position while the speedometer is off to the right. This also has the side benefit of making nervous dates more nervous at the driver’s pace!
Find this 1956 Jaguar XK140 3.4 Roadster 4-speed manual in Windsor, Ontario on Auto Trader.
Thank you to CCC original member Thomas H. for suggesting we feature it.