1956 Jaguar XK140 FHC ***New Arrival***
Oldtimer Australia is delighted to offer for sale a fully matching numbers, factory right hand drive 1956 Jaguar XK140 Fixed Head Coupe.
The Heritage Certificate on file confirms this car was manufactured on the 14th September 1956 and delivered through the Cycle and Carriage Company in Singapore. This car was originally delivered in the timelessly elegant colour scheme of ‘Old English White’ with a red interior, which is how the car is presented today.
As confirmed by the Heritage Certificate and as shown on the car’s ID plate, this Jaguar XK140 is a fully matching numbers car. The chassis, engine (cylinder head and block), body and gearbox numbers are all original and correct.
There is no information on the car’s life in Singapore and its early history, other than it came to Australia very early on.
The car is quite well documented in the book “The Jaguar XK140 in the Southern Hemisphere” by John Elmgreen and Terry McGrath.
The information in that book tells us the car was owned by John McLaren in May 1967 who took the car from NSW to WA where he swapped it for a Jaguar XK120 OTS. For almost the next decade the car was used and enjoyed. Its registration expired in June 1975 and it is understood the car was then taken of the road.
The car sat patiently for many years waiting to be restored. It eventually ended up with well known Perth based classic car enthusiast, Bob Hadaway. Based on receipts on file this must have been approximately 1990. He took it upon himself to restore the car and bring it back to its former glory. There are a lot of receipts on file for the parts he purchased. The interior was retrimmed by Leeming Upholstery in 1992. The body work was outsourced to Memory Lane, a well regarded restoration shop in Perth. They restored the body and painted the car in 1993.
A few years later the car was sold by Oldtimer Australia to a prominent criminal lawyer and QC based in Melbourne. He enjoyed the car for a few years and it is understood that it was offered for sale at the Brooks Goodman auction at Darling Harbour, Sydney in October 1997 where it did not sell.
In December 1997 the car was acquired by Ian Cummins Classic Cars in Sydney who sold it in September 1998 to prominent classic car collector, George Fernandez, also from Sydney. In February 1999 the car was sold again, this time to Paul and Pam Ashman. It is understood they purchased the car and had arranged for it to be auctioned for charity. The car subsequently ended up in Hunters Hill, NSW. Ian Cummins sold the car again in 2001, this time to keen historic racer Mike Gosbell from Coffs Harbour. Gosbell has owned several XK’s but he considered this the best one he had ever owned.
The current Brisbane based owner acquired the car from Gosbell in 2007 and at that time the odometer read 98,950 miles. He has cherished the car from the moment he acquired it. This is immediately obvious, not just from the history file which has receipts going back as far as 1990, but also for the fact he has kept a meticulously detailed diary of everything he has done to the car during his 16 years of ownership. And when we say everything, we mean EVERYTHING!
When he acquired the car he had a compression test done and the test showed one cylinder was low on compression. A decision was made to rebuild the engine. A full rebuild was carried out, which included reconditioning the cylinder head and rebuilding the carburettors. Most of that work was done by Chilton Engineering in Wooloongabba in Brisbane. Around the same time the instruments were refurbished by Lionel Otto Instruments and the radiator was recored by classic radiator specialist FTRS in Northgate, Brisbane. Everything that needed to be done to the car was done to make it a usable and reliable classic.
All this is pedantically documented in the diary, including the test drives. An example of an entry after all the work was done” 22-12-2008, heat run, ambient temperature 28 degrees, traffic 80 degrees, 45 mph 72 degrees, end 99363 miles”.
Work on the car never really stopped. It was used, enjoyed and religiously maintained. Some of the more significant work done over the years was: in June 2009 at 1,901 miles the brake master cylinder was refurbished and a new fuel pump was installed, in May 2011 with an odometer reading of 6,858 miles the gearbox was rebuilt, in 2018 new Vredestein Sprint Classic tyres were fitted and in July 2021 new seat belts were installed.
Today the odometer reads 18,853 miles. That means the current owner has travelled close to 20,000 miles in the car in his 16 years of ownership.
This Jaguar XK140 presents exceptionally well and ‘Old English White’ really suits the car and the red interior forms the perfect contrast. When we had the car out for our photoshoot it attracted huge interest. Quite a few people stopped, came over to have a chat and they all commented on how classy and elegant the car looks.
Overall, the paint work on the car still looks really good, particularly when you consider it was repainted some 30 years ago. It still carries a strong depth of colour and nice gloss finish. Upon closer inspection there are some stone chips on the front of the car and the bonnet. They have been touched up, but you can see they are there. When you walk around the car you will notice a few other small imperfections here and there, but overall the car looks really good. For a Jaguar XK the panels gaps are really good, which is a testament to the quality of the work completed by Memory Lane all those years ago.
All the chrome work on the car, which is a real feature on any Jaguar XK, is in very good condition. The bumpers, the grill, the headlight surrounds, the door and boot handles, as well as the window surrounds are all in excellent condition. The same can be said for the badges on the car, which are also in excellent condition. All the lights, lenses and glass are in good condition with only a few very small chips on the front windscreen.
The chrome wire wheels are a real feature on this car and they are in perfect condition with no kerb rash. They are shod with 185HR16 Vredestein Sprint Classic tyres which are date stamped 0617 (week 6, 2017). When these tyres were fitted the odometer read 14,414 miles. They are still in excellent condition.
When you open the door, you are welcomed by a very good looking interior. It presents really well and it is hard to believe it was retrimmed 30 years ago. If someone would say the job was done last year you would believe them. The seats are in excellent condition with no rips or tears in the leather. They are firm and provide ample support. All the carpets are clean and in good condition. The same can be said for the door cards, the rear parcel shelf, and the headlining.
Under the bonnet, the engine bay is beautifully presented. The polished cam covers sparkle and everything is neat, clean and tidy . . . just as you would expect from such a proud, mechanically minded and meticulous owner. The boot is also similarly well presented.
After having made ourselves comfortable behind the steering wheel we take a moment to admire the dashboard in the car. The dashboard is a real feature in any XK and this one is no exception. Its presentation and consistent with the condition of the rest of the interior, which is in wonderful condition. The timberwork presents beautifully and all the instruments are clear and in a good condition.
We are genuinely excited to take this car out for a test drive. Everything about this car ticks all the boxes and we had no doubt that it would be an absolute delight to drive.
To start the car you insert the key in the ignition and turn it on. You then give the fuel pump a few seconds to prime the carburettors and turn the choke on. This car has been upgraded with an electric choke for which the switch is discreetly hidden underneath the dashboard. Next step is to press the starter button and without a touch on the accelerator the car fires up almost instantly. Honestly, based on how pedantic the current owner is, we would have been surprised if that wouldn’t have been the case. After allowing the engine a little bit of time to warm up you can turn the choke off. The car settles into a smooth idle with that typical purr from a Jaguar XK engine. Many Jaguar XK’s have a ‘rattly’ top end . . . this one does not!
Out on the road this car is every bit as good as we expected it to be and perhaps better! The suspension is firm without being hard and the car easily absorbs any bumps in the road. The car feels very solid on the road and even on some uneven surfaces there are no rattles or squeaks. The steering is direct and precise, making the car surprisingly easy to drive even at lower speeds. The engine feels strong and the Moss gearbox is surprisingly easy to use. It is not fast, it will never be, but the gear changes are precise and crisp up, both up and down the box.
The current owner has reached an age where he is feels the time is right for this fabulous motor car to pass to its next custodian.
Accompanying the car is an excellent history file, including the detailed diary from the current owner’s time with the car, a Heritage Certificate, owner’s hand book, a spare wheel, a jack and a hammer.
Let the photos tell the story of this wonderful car!
- A rare factory RHD XK140 that is fully matching numbers.
- Finished in a fabulous and original colour scheme.
- Extensive and very detailed history file going back to the early 1990’s.
- An older high quality restoration that belies its age.
- Meticulously looked after by its current owner
- Hard to find better.
The Swallow Sidecar Company was founded in 1922 by William Lyons and William Walmsley. In 1934 Lyons formed SS Cars Limited to effectively take over the operation from Walmsley. The SS brand was quite successful; though they had a reputation for having ‘more show than go’. The Jaguar name first appeared as a model name on an SS 2½ Litre Sports Saloon introduced in 1936. For political reasons, Lyons changed the name of his company to Jaguar Cars in 1945.
Whilst the SS100 is indeed a fabulous car, it was the launch of the legendary Jaguar XK120 at the London Motor Show in 1948 that really put Jaguar on the map. The car caused a sensation, which persuaded Jaguar founder and design boss William Lyons to put it into production. The “120” in its name referred to its 120 mph top speed, which made the XK120 the world’s fastest production car in its day. It was available in two open versions, first as the roadster (designated OTS, for open two-seater), then also as a drophead coupe (DHC) from 1953. The car was also available as a closed or fixed head coupe (FHC) from 1951.
The XK120 was succeeded by the XK140 which was launched in late 1954 and sold through until 1957. Whilst the XK140 looked similar to the XK120 there were in fact many subtle and indeed important differences. The XK140 featured a more spacious cabin and had improved brakes, suspension and steering. Visually the car had American style bumpers with overriders, a different grille (that had fewer, thicker vertical bars), a chrome strip on the bonnet & boot and an emblem “Jaguar Winner Le Mans 1951-3” on the boot.
The final iteration of the XK was the XK150 that was released in 1957. Whilst its family resemblance to its forbearers is obvious the XK150 was in fact a very different car. Most noticeable was the change to a one piece windscreen and the smoother ‘wing line’ from the front to the rear of the car. Cabin space was significantly improved making the XK150 a far more comfortable car to drive. Mechanically the first XK150’s were similar to the XK140’s, however, an ‘SE’ variant with a modified cylinder head giving more power and an ‘S’ variant with triple SU carburettors giving even more power were soon available. In 1959 engine capacity was increased from 3.4 litres to 3.8 litres.
Like the XK120 both the XK140 and XK150 were offered in three body styles being the roadster, drophead coupe and fixed head coupe.
- Jaguar XK140 FHC
- Fixed Head Coupe
- 18,843 miles