1956 Jaguar XK 140 “MC” Roadster

During the Second World War, William Lyons and his colleagues conceived a new car design that featured the world’s first high volume twin-cam engine, called the XK series. A short wheelbase chassis and a two-seat sports roadster body were married to this new engine and the result was nothing less than sensational-sleek, beautiful, and strikingly modern.

The XK 120 made its first appearance for public view at the Earls Court Motor Show in October 1948. What an introduction it was, as all of the onlookers, writers and depressed competition alike marveled at this new Jaguar as it stole the show. As one journalist commented at the time, “All preconceived notions as to what was a series-production sports car disappeared overnight.”

The XK 140 was introduced in late 1954, with a comprehensive list of improvements designed to overcome the 120’s shortcomings. Notable were the rack-and-pinion steering, increased performance with the optional C-type cylinder head, improved cooling and stopping power, and much-improved cabin comfort and legroom gained from repositioning the engine and firewall. While the wheelbase remained the same, the bodywork was given subtle styling alterations; however, the classical look remained the same.

Offered here is one of the desirable XK 140 MC models fitted with the competition C-type heads, competition carburetors, and dual exhaust. It has been part of the current owner’s collection since 1979, an impressive three owners from new. Fitted with the attractive Brooklands racing screens, louvered bonnet with leather strap, and Borrani wire wheels, this race-inspired XK is a highly presentable example that shows quite well for a car that was restored over 25 years ago. While there is some blemishing in the paint, it is less than one would expect. Additionally, the owner reports that the Jaguar has seen rain no more than two times since he assumed ownership.

This lovely Jaguar is finished in a sleek silver and is trimmed in a handsome maroon leather interior. The dash and gauges all appear very presentable, while the engine, engine bay and underbody are in tidy condition, though showing evidence of road use.

This XK 140 has a great look to it, displaying both its stately British lines and the ferocious look of its racing heritage. It will undoubtedly prove itself on the road with ease and distinction.

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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