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1956 Jaguar XK140 MC Open Two Seater *SOLD*


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*SOLD*

Imagine what it must have been like to show up in this car in 1956. Everyone else is driving boxy sedans and big chrome convertibles, so driving this Jag must have really been something. Even 60 years later, it's still an experience and few cars are more sinuously beautiful. This lovely Old English White XK140 is an excellent example that has been enjoyed by just two owners in its lifetime and has just a single repaint about 10 years ago. It is the desirable MC specification, which includes the C-Type cylinder head and other modifications for 210 horsepower and it shows just over 49,000 original miles. It starts far quicker and easier than you'd expect for a high-performance Jaguar of this vintage and it idles better when it's cold than just about anything else in the shop, which is quite a feat. The paint is two-stage urethane, so it has a fantastic shine and very few signs of age and it has never been hit or rusty, so the body is very straight and gaps are excellent. Much of the chrome is original, including the bumpers, windshield surround, and taillight housings and it's all quite good, albeit imperfect, but nothing stands out as deteriorated or in need of replacement.

It's possible that the red leather interior is original, but it's so nice that I have trouble believing that it's five decades old. Then again, the current owner has had it in his collection for decades and he says he never touched it. The carpets are a little faded and there are some comfort marks on the seats themselves, but there are no rips, tears, cracking, or other signs of distress in the leather. The door panels don't sag and the gauges still look bright and crisp and they're all fully functional save for the clock. The trunk is outfitted in matching carpets and includes a matching spare wheel and tire, a full jack assembly, the original tool roll, brass drift for removing the knock-off hubs, and a factory service manual. There's also a full tonneau cover that is definitely a newer creation and the leather has shrunk a bit, so reinstalling it will require a hot day in the sun to stretch it back out. The black canvas top is unquestionably original and still serviceable, although it's definitely a bit old and brittle and there are two finger-sized holes in it. Given how poorly these cars seal up even at their best, though, does it really matter? It also includes the original side curtains which are in excellent condition.

The 3.4 liter DOHC inline-six purrs to life thanks to a new fuel pump and a fresh Optima battery and as I said, idles easily. It's a joy to drive with great torque at any speed and the most wonderful exhaust note that you'll hear outside of a race track. The engine bay is nicely detailed and shows no signs of trouble, although like any old car, it does leave a drop or two of oil when parked overnight. The polished cam covers sparkle with a soft shine, the twin SU carburetors aren't finicky or cranky, and the generator makes plenty of electricity. It just snowed here, so I can't comment on how well it tolerates rush hour traffic in 100 degree temperatures, but when I drove it last week, it stayed in the 160 degree range on a 50-degree day. Clutch take up is smooth, the transmission shifts without being balky, and the brakes are confidence-inspiring considering they're unassisted drums. Recent shocks all around keep it feeling buttoned-down and agile and the chassis, while completely original, is also completely solid. It's crusty and used, but this car has never seen winter weather that would eat its metal. The chrome wire wheels are newer, but the originals are included with the sale.

This car gets all the important stuff right, and I would argue that the XK140 is the one to own if you like to drive. It's more user-friendly and comfortable than the elemental 120 and the design is far more dramatic than the mainstreamed 150, making it the ideal compromise. If you've been watching prices on the XKs, you know they're ratcheting up faster than the cars can be restored, so whatever you pay today will probably seem like a bargain in a year or two. This is an exceptionally solid original car with an all-of-a-piece feeling that's impossible to duplicate in a restoration shop. We're asking $99,900 and we're always open to reasonable offers. This is an extraordinary car.

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Edited by Matt Harwood
SOLD (see edit history)
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Yes, beautiful car..... Matt, you keep coming up with jewels, and your descriptions are great....you should be writing for some of these auction catalogs! Your prose is much more interesting and honest.....

Now if I could just go back in time and buy a bunch of shares of that little startup company, Microsoft......

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Matt

Appears to be a fine automobile.

I agree that your well presented description should find a buyer in short order.

If you should find another buyer who is interested in a fixed hesd coupe , be advised that I have decided to sell my XK140...an MC car in perfect condition.

Phil

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  • 2 weeks later...

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