Jaguar XK140 Classic British Sports Cars

Jaguar XK140 Arrives

Earls Court was to host the release of the new Jaguar XK140 in 1954. It had been designed very much with the needs of the American export market in mind and so Jaguar had worked to make the car easier to drive and more comfortable so naturally some of the sporting edge was lost due to increased weight and 'softer' handling over the more pure Jaguar XK120.

The car came with the 3.4-litre engine but now the XK120SE specification was standard giving 190 bhp at 5,000 rpm. The XK140SE had the option of adding the C-type cylinder head, liberating another 20 bhp, giving 210 bhp at 5,750 rpm.

Interior space was improved by moving the bulkhead forward three inches and raising the dash an inch to improve leg space inside and the doors were lengthened to improve access. By moving the bulkhead and engine forward three inches Jaguar could also now offer an overdrive option on the gearbox, and later in the production run an automatic gearbox option.

Pic by LA2 on Wikimedia Commons - CC-SA-A-2.0
Pic by LA2 on Wikimedia Commons - CC-SA-A-2.0

No Competition

With the famous Mercedes 300SL only beginning production in 1954 Jaguar had no real competitors. The Mercedes was much more expensive and Aston Martins were both more expensive and slower. Especially if a Jaguar owner went for the C-type head option which gave another 20 bhp over the standard cars 190 bhp. Contemporary tests of cars so equipped talk about 0-60 mph in 8.4 seconds.

The XK140 gave way to the new Jaguar XK150 in 1957 after less than 9,000 had being built in total.

Jaguar XK140 interior by Frode Inge Helland via Wikimedia Commons
Jaguar XK140 interior by Frode Inge Helland via Wikimedia Commons

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