Jaguar XK140 (1954-1957)
Article by Mark Trotta
Following the very successful XK120, the XK140 kept the same exterior stying with few minor changes. Along with a redesigned front grille, the front bumper was now one piece and had overriders. Quarter bumpers were installed at the rear.
The 140's front bulkhead and windshield were moved three inches further forward. This allowed the doors to be longer, which gave easier interior access. It also provided more legroom.
Like the Jaguar XK120, the XK140 was offered in three body styles; roadster (two-seater), fixed-head coupe (FHC), and drophead coupe (DHC). Both the FHC and DHC models had lockable doors, the roadster did not.
The XK roadster came with cut-down doors, a canvas roof and detachable side screens. When removed, the roof and side screens were stored behind the seats.
The drophead coupe had a fixed windscreen, wind-up side windows, and a full canvas roof that was lowered onto the body.
- Wheelbase: 102 inches
- Total Length: 176 inches
- Roadster Weight: About 3000 pounds
- FHC Coupe Weight: About 3200 pounds
Earlier recirculating ball steering was replaced by rack and pinion, which worked so well there was no need for power steering. Buyers could choose between wire wheels and solid wheels. The rims were half-an-inch wider than those fitted to the XK120.
Front suspension remained the same; independent via wishbones, torsion bars, telescopic dampers and an anti-roll bar. Telescopic rear shock absorbers replaced lever arm shocks, and suspension travel was also increased. It would not be until the XK150 that XK models would have disc brakes.
Powered by the heralded 3.4-litre DOHC straight-six, engine output was about 190 horsepower. Top speed was 120+ MPH. Transmission was a four-speed manual gearbox. An automatic transmission became available (except Roadster models) in 1956.
Production of the XK140 series ran from September 1954 to January 1957. In all, 8,937 examples were built.