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XK140 HISTORY

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Home > JAGUAR HISTORY > XK140 HISTORY

Jaguar XK140 In October 1954 the XK140 was introduced as the successor to the XK120. It used the same body pressings as the XK120 and was available in roadster, fixed head and drophead forms, but was considerably different under the body. The chassis was almost exactly the same as that of the XK120 except that the engine was moved forward 76 mm to make more room in the cockpit and improve weight distribution from 48% front and 52% rear, to nearer a 50/50 split. The central cross member was modified to allow an overdrive made by Laycock to be fitted as an option, the battery and bulkhead positions were changed, and rack and pinion steering was fitted. The rack, which had been developed for the C Type, transformed the car in conjunction with the revised weight distribution and more up to date shock absorbers.





On the fixed head coup, the bulkhead was reshaped rather than being moved to give a similar effect without having to change the roof pressing, although the roofline was raised by 25 mm to heighten the impression of airiness in the cockpit. The extra space liberated in the drophead and fixed head coups was used for two tiny rear seats, which made the cars more appealing to families with small children.




The special equipment XK120s engine was used as standard equipment on all XK140s, with a single exhaust to give 180 bhp, or with a high compression C Type head and twin exhausts to give 210 bhp. The standard XK140 was called the XK140M in the United States (because of its modified engine) and the XK140 with the C Type head was referred to as the XK140MC.

A close ratio gearbox, which had been available as an option on XK120s since 1953, was now standardized, and more cars left the factory with wire wheels in place of the solid steel wheels.

Although externally very similar to the XK120, the XK140 could easily be identified by its bumpers, which were similar to those of the Mark VII saloon and gave better protection against clumsy parking. The radiator grille (with a new cooling system) also marked the cars apart, and offered better protection against overheating in traffic.

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