1955 Jaguar XK 140 MC Roadster

From 1948 through 1954, the groundbreaking XK 120 established Jaguar at the forefront of sports car manufacturers with its graceful lines and impressive, race-winning performance. Late in 1954, the improved XK 140 arrived, heralding comprehensive improvements that made the original design even better.

Notable upgrades included precise rack-and-pinion steering, improved brakes and engine cooling, plus enhanced cabin comfort and legroom. Subtle body updates preserved the widely acclaimed original styling elements. The most popular model in America remained the OTS (open two-seater), otherwise known as the Roadster. Of the 3,350 XK 140 Roadsters built, only 49 were sold in England. At the U.S. price of $3,745, the cars continued to deliver Jaguar’s characteristically excellent value.

According to this car’s Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust Certificate, this striking XK 140 MC Roadster from 1955 is an original left-hand-drive, U.S.-delivery example. It is equipped with the top-of-the-line “MC” package.

The MC option included the “M” or “Special Equipment” package, which included a crankshaft dampener, dual exhaust pipes, enlarged SU H8 carburetors, twin fog lamps and wire-spoke wheels.

The “C” designation stood for the addition of a high-compression, Le Mans-proven C-type cylinder head, raising engine output from the 3,442-cc DOHC inline 6-cylinder engine with twin SU H8 (two-inch) carburetors to a heady 210 horsepower.

The car is equipped with a 4-speed manual gearbox without overdrive and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. The independent front wishbone suspension has torsion-bar springs and an anti-sway bar, and the rear suspension consists of a live axle with semi-elliptical leaf springs.

The car underwent a concours-quality restoration in the early- to mid-1980s, and it then was placed in a private collection, where it was sparingly used and carefully stored.

The car remains impressive in every aspect, with a straight body, proper panel alignment, lustrous Carmen Red paint and a handsome cockpit trimmed in Biscuit Connolly hides. A Jaguar specialist recently attended to the car, and work included new front and rear brake cylinders, a new master cylinder, a rebuild of the original radiator, resurfacing of the cylinder head, plus new gaskets, hoses and more.

Gary Anderson

Gary Anderson - SCM Contributor

Gary is also Editor in Chief of The Star, the magazine for the Mercedes-Benz Club of America. He has been active for many years in the Austin-Healey Club USA and is co-author of MBI’s best-selling Austin-Healey Restoration Guide, as well as editor of the Austin-Healey Magazine. An avid vintage race driver, he ran his 1960 MGA in three Monterey Historics, four Wine Country Classics, and the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix. He is the author of Motoring: Getting the Maximum from Your New Mini, a comprehensive guide to the new MINI Cooper, available through Amazon.com.

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