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1955 Jaguar XK 140 FHC – FIA Specification

  • 1955 Jaguar XK 140 FHC
  • Fully restored to FIA Appendix K specification
  • Race-prepared by CKL Developments
  • Eligible for Goodwood Revival, Le Mans Classic and Woodcote Trophy

Stylish, competitive and accessible, it’s little wonder that the Jaguar XK is a popular choice for historic motor racing. This XK 140 FHC has benefitted from the expertise of specialists such as Sigma Engineering and CKL Developments, and is eligible for some of the world’s finest events.

Chassis number S804245DN was built at the Browns Lane factory on 21 June 1955 as a right-hand-drive fixed-head coupé and was dispatched on 25 July to what was then Rhodesia. When new, it was finished in black with red trim.

The XK 140 eventually returned to the UK, and in the past 20 years has amassed an impressive competition record. It was used on the gruelling Around the World in 80 Days Motor Challenge in 2000, and three years later completed a season of racing with the Jaguar Enthusiasts’ Club.

The Jaguar was then treated to a nut-and-bolt restoration that was completed in 2010. The car was prepared to FIA Appendix K Period E specification, and the 3.4-litre engine (G4097-8S) was rebuilt for competition use by renowned engine builder Sigma Engineering. Regulations demanded that the drum brakes were retained, and most interior features are still in place, such as the dashboard and door trim.

Lightweight period race seats trimmed in fluted Suede Green leather are fitted for road use and touring events, but modern race seats are also provided for track events. A full bolt-in roll cage has also been installed, plus Luke harnesses and a fire-extinguisher system. Lightweight Borrani-style aluminium-rimmed wheel were hand-made at a cost of £880 each.

In 2010, this XK 140 won the JEC’s Class A series for Appendix K cars, and between 2011 and 2013 it was raced in the Motor Racing Legends Woodcote Trophy. After being acquired by its current owner in 2018, the Jaguar has competed at the Goodwood Revival – it finished seventh in that year’s Fordwater Trophy in the hands of Andrew Keith-Lucas. In 2019, it was raced in the Jaguar Classic Challenge, as well as with the JEC.

Now being offered for sale by The Classic Motor Hub, this Jaguar XK 140 FHC is ready to continue its competition career with its next custodian and is eligible for prestigious events such as the Le Mans Classic, Tour Auto, Goodwood Revival and Woodcote Trophy. It comes with an FIA Historic Technical Passport and JDHT Heritage Certificate, plus an extensive photographic record of its restoration and race preparation, including dyno sheets and a DVD full of photographs.

Model history

Introduced in 1954 as the replacement for the XK 120, the Jaguar XK 140 retained the outline of its famous predecessor while adding various refinements and updates. It holds a coveted place in the affections of marque cognoscenti, with many arguing that it’s the best of all the XKs thanks to its blend of 120 style and 150 practicality.

Among the external changes was a revised radiator grille with fewer vertical slats, plus more substantial bumpers. The interior was also redesigned in order to give occupants a little extra room, but the two-piece windscreen remained. Mechanical revisions included telescopic dampers in place of lever-arm units, and rack-and-pinion steering instead of the old recirculating ball set-up.

Beneath the bonnet was the same 3.4-litre engine found in the XK 120, but in a heightened state of tune. The standard XK 140 produced 190bhp, while the SE model gained a cylinder head to C-type specification and was good for 210bhp. This model was designated XK 140 MC in North America, and it was to this vital market that most XK 140s were exported.

The same three body styles were offered – roadster, drophead coupé and fixed-head coupé – with production being split roughly equally between them. The roadster was marginally more plentiful, just over 3,000 leaving the Browns Lane factory compared to just under 3,000 for the other two.

Although the Jaguar XK 140 wasn’t a mainstay of competition events in the same way that the XK 120 had been, there was still sporting success along the way. There were near-misses, too – in 1956, Robert Walshaw and Peter Bolton were heading for a possible top-10 finish in the Le Mans 24 Hours when they were wrongly disqualified for prematurely taking on fuel.

In more recent times, the XK 140 FHC has proved itself to be a fine choice for historic motor racing and is versatile enough to be used for a range of events.

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