1957 Jaguar XK140 MC Fixed Head Coupe
s/n S815802, engine no. G 8779-8S
Red with Biscuit Leather Interior
Jaguar XK series cars are among the most recognized and appreciated classic sports cars of the 1950’s. Innovative, beautiful, and capable, these cars not only set a high standard in racing, they launched Jaguar into volume manufacturing and worldwide 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 particular XK140 is a matching numbers Fixed Head Coupe configured in left hand drive and ordered from the factory with the rare MC option designation. According to the Jaguar Heritage Trust (certificate supplied with the car) this car was assembled September 3, 1956 and departed the factory September 20, 1956. The original distributor, Jaguar Cars, New York NY delivered the car to the first owner Claus von Mandell, of Los Angeles, CA who specified the car with a close ratio gearbox. Mandell must have been a bit of an enthusiast as he also specified the MC option package, which included wire wheels, dual exhaust, C-Type head, and Lucas fog lamps. In the mid 1980’s a dedicated previous owner of the car embarked on an astonishing nut and bolt restoration, completing it in 1988 to JCNA concours-quality standards. During the years after restoration, the car was shown at seven major concours events winning seven “Best of Class” awards and six “Best of Show” trophies.
In 1999, after a successful show career, a new owner commissioned XK’s Unlimited to upgrade the car for driving use, installing a ZF 5 speed transmission, aluminum flywheel, alternator conversion, high-efficiency radiator, a front sway bar, new rear springs, and 4 wheel disc brakes from an XK 150. Additionally, further service work was performed on the engine, carburetors, starter, clutch, and electrical system in order to bring the car to a high level of performance reliability. Over $20,000.00 was spent to make this XK140 as capable on the road as it had been once on the show field. In 2014 new engine mounts, tappet guides, new Bell stainless steel exhaust, new tires, new engine seals, new water pump were installed, and the radiator head was rebuilt to further improve the car. Receipts for this work as well as earlier service records accompany the car. The current owner continues to maintain this car to a high standard as witnessed by the condition today.
This car continues to make a strong impression cosmetically with very nice paint and handsome cosmetics still suitable for shows or event enjoyment. The paintwork beguiles the near 25-year finish with no major flaws, exhibiting high gloss, showing only minor evidence of blending in one area on the door. The bright red paint contrasts handsomely with nicely finished wire wheels and chrome knock offs. The body is straight and solid with good gaps and panel operation throughout all opening surfaces. The exterior chrome is in very nice condition and properly fit, showing excellent luster with just minor evidence of mellowing. The stunning Lucas headlights and fog lamps nicely accent the beautiful front end. All glass is in excellent condition and the various trims and rubber remain in fine condition. In all, the exterior presentation is very cohesive and balanced, a tribute to the restoration and care given over the past decades.
The interior is in very nice condition, with a satisfying and authentic finish to the leather surfaces, piping, and trim. Carpets and door trim all appear in nice condition showing only slight variation in color in the typical wear points, owing to the use since the restoration work was completed. The dashboard is in very good shape, correctly presented with original instruments and accessories. The wood trim and clear varnish presents very well overall with no excessive warping or major signs of crazing or cracking. The headliner, rear seating area, and side panels are all consistent with the rest of the car – tidy and cozy displaying a charming English cabin flavor.
The engine compartment is properly prepared and attractive with minor allowances for modern updating including hose clamps and various fasteners. The matching numbers engine benefits from the aforementioned upgrades, which enhance usability and reliability for events and general road use. The finishes on the engine are correctly applied and appear to have only minor wear from use, though nicely detailed and correctly polished. The trunk is fully trimmed in correct matching tan upholstery with a very nice presentation including a full wire wheel spare. The undercarriage remains impressive still displaying evidence of the concours finishes. 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 for reliability with no valve train or tappet noises, purring smoothly when heard from the inside and revving very nicely into high speeds. The elegant interior is nicely contrasted by the performance when engaging all gears. The chassis and suspension have been properly sorted resulting in a car that handles well in a wide range of driving conditions. The upgraded XK150 disc brakes continually impress, delivering braking far better than original, yet still retaining the Jaguar lineage. The 5-speed gearbox shifts easily, adding to the overall driving experience and pleasure one might expect in both casual touring, or higher speed events.
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