Car of the Month – July, 2018

1956 Jaguar XK140 Roadster


1956 Jaguar XK140 Roadster

Engine – 409 CID, pushrod 16-valve V8, iron block and heads
Horsepower – 360 hp @ 5800 rpm, 409 ft-lbs @ 3600 rpm
Transmission – 4-speed manual
Curb weight – 3700 lbs
0-60 time – 6.7 seconds
¼ mile time – 15.2 seconds @94 mph
Number built – 142
MSRP price – $3986.00

The Jaguar XK140 was a sports car manufactured between 1954 and 1957. It was an updated version of the XK120, Jaguar’s iconic post-war sports car that claimed 120 mph top speed (hence the number in the name). The updates included better brakes, rack-and-pinion steering, and modern tube-type shock absorbers instead of the older lever-arm design.

The primary visual changes were the more substantial front and rear bumpers and chrome accent trim on the hood and trunk. The XK140 features a 3.4-liter, straight-six engine with dual overhead cams, factory experimental heads and twin two-inch SU carburetors, delivering 210 horsepower at 5750 rpm.

Jaguar was victorious at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1953 when British drivers Tony Rolt and Duncan Hamilton won the race in their factory-entered Jaguar C-Type. The company used the occasion to promote the introduction of the XK140, claiming in their sales brochures that “All the accumulated wealth of knowledge and experience gained in the hard school of racing have been built into the new XK140 models….”

The Jaguar XK140 Roadster was the British supercar of the 1950s.