SOLD 04/24

1956 Jaguar
XK140 "SE" Roadster

Exceptional restoration of a genuine matching numbers SE formerly under 58 years of single-family California ownership. Updated with front disc brakes and modern 5-speed.

  • VINS811373
  • Exterior ColorBritish Racing Green
  • Interior ColorBeige leather
  • Mileage1271 Miles (TMU)
  • Engine3.4L inline 6-cylinder
  • Engine no.G3273-8S
  • Transmission5-speed manual
  • StatusSold
  • StockFJ2862


1956 Jaguar XK140 SE Roadster
s/n S811373, engine no. G 3273-8S
British Racing Green with Beige Leather Interior

Jaguar XK series cars are among the most recognized and appreciated classic sports cars of the 1950’s. Innovative, beautiful, and performance oriented, these cars set a high standard in racing, built a reputation for worldwide excellence, and launched Jaguar into volume manufacturing and North American distribution. The first of the series, the XK120 offered an all-new twin-cam inline 6-cylinder engine, delivering 120 mph performance at a surprisingly affordable price. By 1955, the XK120 became the XK140, offering notable improvements including more legroom, increased horsepower, rack and pinion steering, telescoping shock absorbers, and improved brakes. Coupe, drophead coupe, and roadster versions were available with a range of performance options.

This beautifully restored XK140 is a matching numbers SE Roadster configured in left hand drive and ordered from the factory with the rare SE (Special Equipment) option designation. The SE delivered more spirited performance via the “C-Type” higher compression engine which included performance pistons, revised camshaft profiles, larger carburetors, and tuned dual exhaust. These improvements raised output from 190 hp to 21o hp with improved torque and a 6k redline. For the exterior, a set of Lucas road lamps were added to distinguish these cars from the standard XK 140.

This car was ordered new in February 1955 and sold by Jaguar Cars North America through official importer and distributor, Max Hoffman, New York. The Jaguar Heritage Trust Certificate supplied with the car further indicates this Jaguar was finished in black with a grey interior and red piping. The car was assembled May 2, 1955, and dispatched May 13, 1955, to the original distributor, Hornburg Jaguar, Los Angeles, CA. The first owner cherished the car and made it a family affair by engaging three generations of single-family ownership spanning 58 years. In 2006, the grandson of the original owner commissioned a comprehensive restoration, completing it in 2013. Shortly after completion, the car was sold to a local California collector who retained it until 2016 when it was represented by a dealer who offered it for sale to the current owner. Under prior ownership, approximately 1,000 miles were driven after the restoration was completed. 1,271 miles are indicated today reflective of the miles accrued after the restoration was completed when the odometer was reset to zero miles.

Under current ownership, in 2017 with 1,027 miles, the car was serviced at Burlingame Motors, Burlingame, CA including installing a windshield washer system, a new turn signal switch, new horn contact ring, generator and voltage regulator rebuild, and Palo Alto Speedometer rebuild for the amp and fuel gauge. A new fuel sender was installed, exhaust straightened, and the front suspension lowered to the correct ride height. Later that same year with 1,089 miles, the car returned to Burlingame and the clutch was rebuilt, new bell housing bushings and a new operating shaft installed, the flywheel resurfaced, and the transmission replaced with a new 5-speed unit. In 2019 with 1,120 miles the car was serviced and upgraded with Wilwood front disc brakes, new brake lines, and brake hoses.

Today this car continues to make a very strong visual impression including excellent paint and handsome cosmetics ready for shows or event enjoyment. The paintwork beguiles the passing years since the restoration was completed, still exhibiting high gloss overall. A small area on the cowl shows hairline cracks due to shrinkage just behind the hood, but otherwise the exterior finish is cohesive and well presented. The lustrous green paint contrasts handsomely with beautifully finished chrome wire wheels and knock offs. The body is straight and solid with excellent panel gaps and proper operation for all opening surfaces. The exterior chrome is in very nice condition showing excellent luster with just minor evidence of mellowing since the restoration was completed ten years ago. The headlights and Lucas fog lamp combination nicely accent the Jaguar grille. All glass is in excellent condition as are the various emblems and lenses. Even the rubber gaskets insulating the various exterior parts remain in fine condition. In all, the exterior presentation is very cohesive and balanced, a tribute to the restoration and care offered over long-term family preservation, restoration, and recent upgrades via current ownership.

The interior is in exceptionally nice condition, with a satisfying and correct presentation including the high-quality leather surfaces, piping, and trim. Carpets and door trim all appear in excellent condition showing only minor evidence of use to the driver’s footwell carpet. The dashboard and instrumentation are in excellent condition featuring correct gauges, excellent color and numeric clarity on the dial faces, and proper factory switches. The black steering wheel presents very well overall with no excessive warping or visible signs of crazing or cracking. The convertible top exterior material and headliner, leather trimmed door panels and map pockets are all consistently correct, adding to the charming qualities of the English cockpit making it quite suitable for the sporting enthusiast. A handsome matching accessory center console with an integrated cup holder is positioned in the center of the seat, which can be removed without the use of tools if so desired. The trunk is fully trimmed in correct matching beige upholstery concealing a painted full wire wheel spare, tire tools and jack, and a correct spare tire holder under the hinged trunk panel.

The engine compartment is properly prepared and attractive having been restored with correct hardware and finishes reflective of factory specifications. The matching numbers C-type engine is correctly finished with a red cam valley and retains the matching number stamping on both the head and block, both of which correspond to the number stamped on the build plate as well as the Jaguar Heritage Trust Certificate. Modern updates include a 5-speed manual transmission, front disc brakes, and an electric cooling fan all of which enhance the usability and reliability for events and general road use. The undercarriage remains impressive, still displaying evidence of the high-quality restoration completed in 2013. Mild use and proper care from top to bottom are evident when examining the underside of this fine car.

The car runs and drives very well. The engine has been properly tuned and idles well with no valve train or tappet noises, purring smoothly at idle and revving comfortably at highway speeds. The chassis and suspension have been properly sorted resulting in a car that handles well in a wide range of driving conditions, particularly so given the desirable 5-speed transmission which offers a lower than stock 1st gear and a higher than stock 5th gear, making it easier to maneuver both at slower speeds and more confidently at higher speeds. These features greatly enhance the driving experience whether casually touring or participating in club rallies or events. The upgraded front disc brakes continually impress, delivering braking far better than original, modestly concealed within the vintage heritage of this rare and desirable SE model.

This car is offered with the Jaguar Heritage Trust Certificate, a set of matching beige floor mats, a set of tools and tool roll with knock off mallet, A 1922-1992 Jaguar Catalogue Raisonne book and slip case, a service manual and spare parts catalog, various Jaguar books, and a copy of the XK 140 Operating Handbook.

This is a fantastic opportunity to acquire a beautifully restored matching numbers XK 140 with factory SE designation, long-term family ownership, and desirable driving upgrades. Long sought after for their performance prowess and elegant design, the Jaguar XK140 remains one of the most desirable classic sports cars of the modern era – representing an enduring combination of elegance and performance as only a vintage Jaguar can convey.

The above vehicle information is complete and accurate to the best of our knowledge at the time it is posted to this website. Corrections or additional information is always appreciated. All advertised prices exclude government fees and taxes, any finance charges, any dealer document preparation charge, and any emission testing charge. Vehicles are subject to prior sale. All advertised to be true but not guaranteed. We assume no liability for errors or omissions.

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Fantasy Junction  •  510-653-7555  •  1145 Park Ave, Emeryville, CA 94608