The post-war 50s turned out to be unusually successful for the British car industry. The famous company Jaguar Cars were no exception, which soon replaced the Jaguar XK120 with a faster and more modern XK140 model.
Source: Historics Auctioneers
Until World War II the brand was just a small-scale British automaker. It earned worldwide success in the post-war years, after introducing the famous XK models. During the War, Jaguar enterprise (then called Swallow Sidecars), like many other automakers, was redesigned to produce various military equipment, which made the engineers get acquainted with the latest technologies in the engine building industry. Lucky for the manufacturer, in 1943, a design team led by William Hines began developing a completely new six-cylinder engine. As a result, in 1945, the Swallow Sidecars was renamed and took up a radical update of the entire model range with a new 3.4-liter straight-six engine, which was very advanced for that period. The characteristics of the new automobile also turned out to be very good: 160 hp for the road version and 180 for the racing. The newly developed automobile was presented at the first post-war London Motor Show in 1948. The debut of the new XK120 was a sensation. The sleek convertible instantly caught everyone’s attention with its streamlined bodywork made from aircraft-grade aluminum alloys.
Source: E-type Center Europe
In 1954, the modernized XK140 debuted. It became more spacious inside, and the engine power was increased to 190 hp for the basic version. In addition, a charged 210-horsepower SE version was introduced, and an automatic transmission appeared on the options list. Handling was improved by modified suspension and steering. For three years, about 8800 coupes and convertibles were produced. Meanwhile, the new D-Type model was shining on the racetracks. Its highlight was the ultra-light body of the “monocoque” type, which served as a power structure, to which the engine, transmission, and chassis were attached. The weight of the D-Type was only 840 kg and with an improved 3.4-liter 265-horsepower “six” it easily developed 280 km/h.
Source: Gaurav Kumar
For conventional sports vehicle buyers, the new 1955 Jaguar XK140 model was introduced at the Earls Court Motor Show. The automobile was produced in three body styles: two-seat roadster (open two-seater), coupe (fixed head coupe), and convertible (drophead coupe). The last two had a 2+2 landing formula. The car was designed for comfortable trips, which was facilitated by an increase in the size of the cabin. The engine/gearbox was moved forward in the chassis by 3 inches (approximately 7.5 cm), which increased the interior mainly in legroom, and also increased the capacity of the luggage compartment. The 3.4-liter (3442 ccs) engine developed 190 HP using a modified cylinder head known as the “B” type. The “B” type heads used the larger bore valves from the “C” head in combination with the smaller intake port of the original XK cylinder head that was used on the Jaguar XK120 and was called the “A” type. The combination of larger valves with the XK120’s cylinder head accelerated the gas flow at low to mid-range rpm to improve fuel/air mixing and produced 190 hp instead of the standard 160 hp with an “A” head. With a C-type cylinder head, the engine developed 210 hp. This version was called the Jaguar XK140 S.E. In addition, the car was offered with three types of transmission: a four-speed manual, a manual with overdrive in top gear, and a three-speed automatic with a torque converter. The steering became rack and pinion, which increased the accuracy and information content of the control. In the UK, the car cost £1,700 and in the US, where about 80% of all Jaguar XK140s were shipped, the cost was $3,700. For the sake of American safety requirements, the car received more massive front and rear bumpers that go over the wings of the body. A total of 17,359 Jaguar XK140s of various modifications were produced during the period from October 1954 to January 1957.
It’s impossible to be such an “outstanding gentleman”, and get rid of the race, right? From 1951 to 1953 XK120 won Le Mans twice. The traditions were continued by the 1955-1957 XK140 which won Le Mans three times. For such achievements, Queen Elizabeth II awarded William Lyons a knighthood!
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