Patina Perfect Driver 1955 Jaguar XK140 SE ($87,500)
Photography by Ted Gushue
1955 Jaguar XK140 SE Fixed Head Coupé (FHC)
- Location: Marina Del Rey, California
- Mileage: ~53,193
- Body No.: J4708
- Chassis No.: S814445DN
- Engine No.: G42348S
- Transmission No.: JLE30381
- Engine Type: 3.4-liter DOHC straight-six
- Transmission Type: Four-speed manual with overdrive
- Color: Pastel green / Suede green
There’s A New Cat On The Block
Labeled a 1955 model year, the updated XK140 began production in 1954 and, although strikingly similar to the XK120, there were several changes throughout the new car. Aesthetically, the XK140 received larger bumpers with overriders and larger fender mounted turn signals just above the front bumper as opposed to the XK120 indicators mounted atop the fenders. Completing the facelift was new one-piece front grill featuring fewer but thicker vertical bars and added polished trim pieces to the bonnet and boot lid. The boot lid badge gained the braggadocious, but well deserved, script “Winner Le Mans 1951–3.”
Yet, the greatest differentiating XK140 characteristic wasn’t an aesthetic change. The XK140 was roomier than ever thanks to the powertrain, firewall, and dashboard moved forward for three inches additional legroom. The Fixed Head Coupés also received two six-volt batteries, one tucked away behind each front fender.
Mechanically, the standard XK120 engine was reworked for more power thanks to the now standard C-Type head (“MC” stateside), H8 carburetors, and dual exhaust system. Other notable changes include a reworked suspension with more robust torsion bars and longer traveling telescopic shocks for a softer ride. The drum brakes were updated and a new rack-and-pinion steering setup was fitted.
The XK140, like its 120 predecessor and 150 successor, remains a vintage motoring British icon. With a balance of beauty, agility, comfort, and speed, these chic classic sportscars are still revered today as one of the all time great Jaguars.
Like a broken in baseball mitt, this first year Jaguar XK140 has been regularly used as intended while being preserved with great care. Purchased in a bundle with two other classic Jags from an elderly enthusiast (who’s owned this car since 1959), this Pastel Green over green suede XK is a numbers matching example in good health with less than 54,000 miles accumulated since 1955.
Under hood lies the factory assigned engine mated to the original four-speed manual transmission—the block retains its appropriate original “MC” head. With strong oil-pressure, no leaks or startup smoke, and stout power delivery, the original drivetrain is squared away and the transmission provides smooth gear changes.
The non-metallic Pastel Green paint is an older respray but has held up nicely, proudly wearing minor blemishes expected of an actively driven classic. Accident free, the body panels are all original and in excellent condition and, incredibly, no rust to note—even the undercarriage is surprisingly clean.
This Fixed Head Coupé completed assembly on June 28, 1955 and arrived to Jaguar’s West Coast distributor center in Hornburg, Los Angeles, on July 13. Shortly after, a Mr. R. Brecken purchased the car new and later sold the car to Donald R. Martin. Amazingly, Mr. Martin held onto his beloved green Jaguar for 56 years until selling this and two other classics in a bundle deal to classic car specialists Chequered Flag.
- Older respray to factory Pastel Green in excellent condition
- Complete numbers-matching rust free body panels
- Some paint chips on front of car
- Some rubber deterioration near windshield and engine bay
- The interior wood dash and door trim, brightwork, proper functioning instruments, original four-spoke, and steering wheel, and taut headliner are all in presentable condition
- Complete and highly original
- All gauges work correctly
- Even patina on leather seat covers, no rips or tears.
- 60-year-old carpets have slight discoloration/fading
- Some paint scuffs near door sills
- Headliner has a few patched holes
- Original drivetrain
- No leaks, grinds, or electrical issues
- Very tidy unrestored engine compartment
- None stated/known
The car is documented as being repainted once in its correct pistachio pigment some time ago. Although it wears older paint, the prep work and application speak for themself through deep shine and a smooth finish with minimal stone chips incurred from being driven. The fully functional original lighting equipment and polished metal trim are complete and in excellent shape. The car is powered by its correct and religiously maintained original engine and transmission that still make and deliver good power. Inside, the materials are free of any major imperfections and the semi-bench seats, though worn, are very clean.
Included in the sale is the complete original tool kit, jack, grease gun, tire inflator, spare wheel, and a Heritage Certificate of Authenticity.
1954 – 1959 | R. Brecken | California
1959 – 2016 | Donald R. Martin | Idaho
If you’re in the market for an XK, you already know sourcing an unrestored example in solid driving condition is the needle in a haystack. Seeing as the youngest of the XK models are more than a half-century-old, most have either perished or been completely restored. These factors make preserved drivers’ examples optimal for value’s sake. Here’s what we like most:
Patina Perfect: With its correct powertrain, a quality respray, and a patina perfect interior—we’re not sure if there’s a better more original example available. , the interior is still stitched in its factory green leather that wears a beautiful patina only years of loving use can create. The interior is still stitched in its factory green leather that wears a beautiful patina only years of loving use can create.
Color Combination: Pastel Green on Green out of the factory is a stunning combination and
Pipe Holder: For all your long, life pondering drives – how dapper.
We’ve documented another great Jaguar XK140 – get a sense of what one feels like.
MEET THE SELLER
This car is for sale by Neil Jaffe at Chequered Flag International.