1956 JAGUAR XK 140 SE DROPHEAD COUPE
In the golden era of the 1950s, when the open road beckoned with the promise of adventure and freedom, one automobile emerged as the embodiment of style, performance, and British elegance—the 1956 Jaguar XK 140 Drophead Coupe.
It was a car that transcended mere transportation; it was a symphony of curves and power, a thoroughbred stallion eager to gallop.
After the successful six-year reign of the XK 120, Jaguar embarked on a refinement journey, resulting in the introduction of the XK 140—a model that raised the bar even higher.
The most noticeable change was the strategic relocation of the engine, shifting it three inches forward, a modification that significantly augmented the legroom, enhancing the overall comfort and driving experience.
The XK 140 came in three captivating variants: the Fixedhead Coupé, the Drophead Coupé, and the Roadster, known as OTS (Open Two Seaters) in the United States.
At the time, the XK 140 offered two noteworthy options. First, an upgraded engine, the potent Jaguar C-type engine, delivering a robust 210 bhp, a step up from the standard 190 bhp. This enhanced powerplant was bundled in the alluring Special Equipment version, affectionately known as the “SE.”
This sought-after package came with captivating features, including wire wheels, Lucas fog lamps, and the coveted C-type engine, packing an impressive 210 horsepower punch.
With the Special Equipment version, one could also opt for an overdrive, adding another layer of allure to the XK 140.
This specific example ticks all the right boxes—it was freshly ordered with both these desirable options, making it a very desirable XK 140.
The XK 140 left an indelible mark in the world of automotive tests, capturing the hearts of critics and enthusiasts alike.
During its initial road and track evaluations, the XK showcased its prowess, sprinting from 0 to 60mph in an impressive 8.4 seconds, ultimately reaching a top speed of 121.1mph—a testament to the fusion of power, performance, and elegance embodied by this iconic Jaguar.
We’ve had the pleasure of owning and driving numerous XK 140’s, participating in various rallies with these magnificent vehicles.
As a result of our extensive experience, we confidently assert that the XK 140 stands as one of the most delightful classic cars to both drive and own within its price range.
The auditory experience provided by the XK is simply superb, its power is truly awe-inspiring, and its handling is exceptional.
When it comes to aesthetics, opinions may vary, but we hold a deep personal affection for the exquisite contours of the Jaguar.
The harmonious blend of its form with the gleam of chrome in its surroundings contributes to the XK 140’s striking and captivating appearance.
ABOUT THIS SPECIFIC EXAMPLE
According to the files available with this car, first registration was in 1956. The car was newly sold to a customer in the United States.
This XK 140 stayed in the United States till August 1998, when a Belgian customer bought the car and shipped it to Belgium.
This is the absolute best possible XK 140 specification wise.
The Jaguar has been ordered with the optional SE specification which gave the buyer and upgraded engine which had an increased power from 190 to 210 horsepower as well as wired wheels and 2 fog lamps.
Another option which could be chosen was the overdrive which was also fitted on this car when new.
In 2001 the car received a non-expense spared restoration at a very significant restorer from Belgium. The final invoice of this restoration shows a stunning amount of €120.000,-.
Cars coming from this restorer are guaranteed beauties.
With this in mind, one can say that the previous owners took very good care of this car and it presents in a very nice condition.
The last owner of the Jaguar is a serious car collector. He bought the XK with the intention to make it not only nice looking but also prepare it as the best possible driver.
The car which was introduced by Jaguar after the XK 140 was the XK 150 and the best upgrade in comparison to the 140 are the disc brakes.
The former owner has installed these disc brakes on this 140 which is an expensive but great improvement.
He also installed a 5 speed gearbox to give the car an even better driving experience.
Just as information, these upgrades would cost nowadays approximately € 15.000,-
The exterior of the Jaguar is impressively nice. The car is extremely nice painted in a beautiful British Racing Green color.
As can be seen on old photos, the car has been completely taken apart for the restoration. Every nut and bold has been taken care of and the result is stunning.
The green paint looks beautiful and has no scratches or other blemishes at all.
All the chrome looks very nice as well.
The body of the Jaguar is straight and sound and shows very nice fittings and gaps.
The windshields are very nice with no notable scratches or signs of use.
As well as the exterior, the interior presents in a wonderful condition.
The leather looks beautiful and show minor signs of wearing / patina.
All the gauges and meters are in correct working condition.
Everything is period correct in the interior.
The previous owner used the car for light rallies and other events and has installed an electronic tripmeter. If one would prefer to dismantle the tripmeter this can be done without any signs.
In other words, this car is ready to be enjoyed for many other rallies or just casual roundtrips to the coast.
The way the car feels when it’s been driven matches how nice it looks. The Jaguar moves smoothly on the road, the brakes work extremely well due to the 4 disc brakes upgrade and the overdrive gearbox and clutch make driving enjoyable.
One can really feel the difference between a standard XK-engine and the upgraded C-Type cylinder head engine. The car has 20 horsepower more.
The engine has been recently completely overhauled by Jaguar engine specialist van Giersbergen.
The Jaguar XK 140 offers a large space for luggage, which makes you want to go on trips. It’s good for long journeys, and it feels comfortable and dependable.
As described above the Jaguar XK is one of our favorite driving cars. The sound of the engine, the power of the engine but also the handling is superb.
The upgrades which have an approximate cost of around € 15.000,- make the Jaguar even more impressive to drive.