1957 Jaguar XK-140 and MC Peformance Package


The automobile featured in this article is a 1957 Jaguar XK-140 MC model. These cars were produced between 1954 and 1957 and were the successor to Jaguar’s XK-120. The popular XK-120 was not an easy car to replace. The Jaguar XK-120 had some impressiverace victories.

1957 jaguar xk-140
1957 Jaguar XK-140 MC

If you first looked at the two models side by side you would think they are similar in design. Both had those graceful flowing lines. When you looked closer you would see that the Jaguar XK-140 used the same chassis as the XK-120 but with several upgrades both interior and exterior.

The Jaguar XK-140

Jaguar based the XK-140 on what they claimed was the knowledge gleaned from their extensive racing endeavors. A brochure for the XK-140 stated… “All the accumulated wealth of knowledge and experience gained in the hard school of racing have been built into the new XK 140 models which are powered by the famous 3½ litre twin overhead camshaft XK engine.”

Upgrades to the body included a new cast aluminum grill with fewer slats and an integrated Jaguar badge. Front turn signals were placed on top of the fenders and the amber driving lights were placed just above the bumpers. The rear trunk lid had a new chrome accent and badges that had….. “Winner Le Mans 1951–3.”

More interior room meant that the engine, firewall and dashboard were moved three inches forward. The battery was placed on the inside of the driver’s side fender. This all meant that the 57 Jaguar had more leg room and more space for occasional seats.

57 jaguar
Good front view of the 57 Jaguar

Options for the new Jaguar XK140 included wire wheels, a Laycock de Normanville overdrive and a Borg-Warner automatic transmission for the Hardtop Coupe and Drophead Coupe. In addition to these two bodies, Jaguar in 1957 of course also offered it’s Roadster.

One big difference that the Jaguar XK-140 had over the XK-120 was rack and pinion steering which greatly aided handling.

Color options for the XK-140 were many. These included Black, Birch Grey, Pastel Green, Pearl Grey, Pacific Blue, British Racing Green, Dove Grey, Suede Green, Red, Lavender Grey, Battleship Grey, Cream, Pastel Blue and Maroon. This was a pretty good selection.

Optional MC Performance Package

An optional MC performance package used the C-Type’s competition cylinder head with 2-inch H8 carburetors to deliver 210 horsepower. Upgrades for this performance package  also included twin exhausts, a high-speed crankshaft damper, adjustable fog lamps and windscreen washer jets and overdrive. In the UK this performance package was designated “SE” The MC option cost an additional $295.

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Three references for this article and excellent books you may enjoy include…..Jaguar Sports Cars (A Foulis motoring book) by author Paul Skilleter…..Jaguar XK120,XK140,XK150 Sports Cars by Karl Ludvigsen and Original Jaguar XK: The Restorer’s Guide by author Philip Porter.

57 xk-140 mc
Rear view of the 57 XK-140 MC

1957 Jaguar XK140 Specifications

The standard engine on the 57 Jaguar XK-140 was a 210 cubic inch Inline Six Cylinder with two valves per cylinder. The standard trim engine delivered 190 horsepower which was the same as the XK-120’s. As mentioned above, the MC performance package on the 1957 models boosted horsepower to 210.

Transmission was a four speed manual. Optional was a Borg Warner automatic for the Drophead Coupe and Hardtop Coupe. The automatic transmission was first offered on the 1956 Jaguar sports cars.

The new car price for this model Jaguar averaged $4,000.

Total Jaguar production for the 1957 model year was 3,800 vehicles. A total of over 8,800 XK-140 models were built over it’s entire production run.

1957 jaguar dashboard photo
Dashboard on the 57 Jaguar XK-140

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1957 Jaguar XK-140 MC Values

Jaguars have been and still are very popular collector cars. The models from the 1950’s are some of the most sought after. The models with the MC performance package such as the 1957 Jaguar featured here is particularly popular with collectors. To be sure, the Jaguar XK-120 was a fantastically successful sports car and firmly established Jaguar as a leader in sports car manufacturing. With that being said, many might say that the XK-140 models however are a bit more user friendly.

As of this writing, the 57 jaguar XK-140 MC has an average auction sales price of about $65,000. Models have been available in the $20,000 range and also have sold above $100,000. Roadsters will generally be the higher cost model with prices above $70,000.

(Article and photos copyright AutoMuseumOnline)