1955 Jaguar XK140 Drophead realises $193,500 at RAF Hendon

Bonhams' annual sale at the RAF Hendon Museum on April 29 saw a magnificent 1955 Jaguar XK140 Drophead Coupe sell as top lot.

The XK140 provided a more comfortable and spacious ride, improving on Jaguar's successful XK120

The Jaguar was a fitting leader, providing a superb example of British elegance in an auction dominated by UK marques. It sold for £124,700 ($193,372).

The 1955 XK140 launched as an improvement on its predecessor - the Jaguar XK120 - with the car made more comfortable for regular drivers, although many of the components that made the XK120 a remarkable drive remained, such as the 3.4-litre twin-cam six engine. It can be distinguished from the earlier model by its revised radiator grille and large bumpers, which were adopted to withstand urban parking.

The example at auction is one of only 479 XK140 Drophead Coupes ever produced in the right-hand drive configuration. It was previously owned by the 9th Earl of Chichester, and was subject to a "painstaking" restoration while in his care that totalled almost £40,000 ($62,000).

Now finished in maroon with a sumptuous biscuit leather interior, the car has been well looked after since its transformation, and is described by Bonhams as "potentially a front-runner on the Concours d'Elegance lawns".

Also selling well was a barn-find 1961 Jaguar E-Type, which made £109,020 ($169,033).

No auction of British cars is complete without Aston Martin making an appearance, and Bonhams' latest effort was no exception. A 1969 DB6 Sports Saloon converted to Vantage specification sold for £107,900 ($167,031).

The finest examples from the premier brand will be offered at Bonhams' May 18 auction at the Aston Martin works, which is headlined by a unique 1960 DB4GT.

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