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1956 Jaguar XK140 Barn Find!

A few days ago, I sold three cars within seven days. It had to happen; I owned two of the three for several years, and brought them back from non-running and near non-running condition, respectively. I was exhausted despite the fact that both cars ran quite well and were ready to be enjoyed, and it sounds like the current owner of this barn-find 1956 Jaguar XK140 is in a similar headspace at the moment, freely acknowledging that time and money will not align in such a way that this example’s rejuvenation will happen under his care. Find it here on craigslist in the San Francisco Bay Area for $58,000.

Thanks to Barn Finds reader Ikey H. for the find. The seller claims this desirable fixed-head coupe is a true survivor, having been in one family ownership since 1970. Apparently, they drove this car daily before it was parked for reasons not clear here, since it was still running and driving when parked. There was some idea by the previous owners that the car would not be used again regularly, as they pulled the spark plugs and out oil in the cylinders before it began its long-term hiatus. The body looks to be in fine shape despite the healthy covering of dust, and the listing makes no mention of rust – so hopefully, the northern California climate has been kind to it.

The seller’s goal was an admirable one, as he notes he planned to leave the patina in place and just get the XK140 into running condition. He notes that the interior needs full replacement, just like many of the Jaguar’s driveline components, but that the woodgrain dash trim remains in nice shape overall. Brakes, seals, bushings, and gaskets should all be on the next owner’s short list, notes the seller, along with brake lines and hoses. At close to $60K, you’ll be putting down a fair amount of cash just to drag home a long-forgotten XK140 – but these are special cars, so is the asking price fair given the rescue mission it will require?


  1. FordGuy1972 FordGuy1972 Member

    With a near $60,000 ask, you would think the seller would at least clean up the car and provide a lot more than 3 crappy pictures. I guess he feels the car will sell itself so why bother getting up off the couch and turning on the hose. If you want top dollar for your car, put in the effort to present the car as best as you can. The XK140 is a very desirable car and this one may be a great one to restore but because of the poor presentation, it will probably limit the buyer pool to those who can view the car in person.

    Like 33
    • Jesse Mortensen Jesse Mortensen Staff

      If everyone washed the dust off before taking photos, we wouldn’t have any good barn finds to look at!

      Like 26
      • FordGuy1972 FordGuy1972 Member

        True, but I’m sure you know the best way to present a legit barn find. Take pictures of the vehicle as found, clean it up and then take many more pictures showing details in and out, under the hood and some good pictures of the underside. You know the old saying, “A picture tells a thousand words.”

        Like 25
      • Jt Toy

        I recently wondered if a Camaro was a barn find because all pics were cleaned up. That made me wonder if people are just saying “barn find” since that is a pretty popular category these days as this site attests.

        Like 1
    • Bob Roller

      The big problem with these XK Jags is the Lucas electrical system and there was no real fix for them.I worked in European car repair shop off and on between machine shops and the Jaguar was the most notorious offender of all.Putting an American engine in them did little for the electricals.I would never try to take one of these cross country.One joke was that they only ran on Thursday and rusted into the ground the rest of the time.Oddly enough I don’t recall seeing a rusted one at all.

      Like 2
  2. BlondeUXB Member
    • Jesse Mortensen Jesse Mortensen Staff

      Good find! I’ve added it to our writeup list.

      Like 5
    • Larry Aniol

      Do you have any idea of the miles on the Ford engine and transmission? Does the engine emit smoke from the exhaust? What is the condition of the wood dash? Does the car run smoothly at highway speeds, i.e., does the drivetrain shake or vibrate? Any rust in the lower body panels? Is the interior torn or seats separating? Was air conditioning installed with the Ford conversion? I’m obviously very interested in the car, please reply. Larry

  3. Maestro1 Member

    I agree with FordGuy. I have some experience with these cars, and the Seller ought to know better. at least hose off the thing so we can see it and if one does not know how to use a camera find someone who does, pay them, and do things right. It’s a $25,000.00 car maybe to get it into civilized driving condition, you will be in it another $40,000.00, so at $65,000.00 you will have a very decent but not concours Jaguar. I don ‘t do my own wrenching any more because of health reasons so the above numbers include labor. The parts are all over the place (Moss Motors, Victoria British etc.) Absolutely join the Jaguar Owners Club. Very helpful, nice people.

    Like 13
  4. bobhess bobhess Member

    Like they said….

    Like 2
  5. Capt RD

    With a few clicks of research on Hemmings, Bring a Trailer, Hagerty and some others the seller would find out his price is unrealistic for the condition of this car. These are certainly collectible – but not rare – and are available as MUCH better or restored cars – not projects – for reasonable money.
    #3 terrible pictures, no actual information – no #’s – no interior or engine or undercarriage photos a ridiculous presentation and I hope someone does show up to see it – with a cash offer, a trailer and takes it away to a good home.

    Like 13
  6. martinsane

    I watch this guy in NY on YouTube that has a company called Ammo something or other who details cars and it is amazing to watch the care and precision with which he brings cars back to life, albeit asthetically.

    I am sure the cost is negligible on a 50k car and as mentioned, would definitely bring more dollary do’s.

    Like 4
  7. A.J.

    When I was a realtor we had a trainer who would start his class on using a visual presentation by saying “a picture is worth a thousand” and everybody in the class would answer “words”! Then he would yell “no, dollars”! These sellers should take that course.

    Like 8
  8. dougie

    There is a movement and that is why Barnfinds even exists. When barnfinds sell for more than 100 point restorations. Washing a car to “present it in the best light” is passé. Catch up with the times my friends. Whether you’re on board or not. Don’t misinterpret my words. I hate it. I saw a car on this site recently that I’m 100% sure it was prepped as a “barnfind”. Which yes, includes adding the dirt.

    Like 4
  9. Terry J

    My favorite car ( 120/140/150)! Over half a century ago I knew of a 140 parked under cover by an old guys house in Central Oregon. I finally stopped to inquire. NFS of course. His son was a USAF officer who bought it new and only drove it when he was home on leave. Pop said on one of his drives he lost control and ended up in the Little Deschutes River. After a complete going through by a shop, he drove it on a later trip home and lost it again, without damage. He never drove it again, thought it was jinxed. So there it sat. I had to drive by it (visible from the road) for many years until I moved away. :-) Terry J

    Like 3
  10. Jaker76

    Might be a good car for resto but way over priced but who knows! Someone else hit it on the nose$20,000 to $25,000 as sits, maybe less after Inspection! With another $40,000 to $50,000 have a sweet Jag! Seller is dreaming at price he is asking! Lots to do and lots of labor and parts to go, I sold parts for these for years and worked on several so good luck to whoever gets it bought right!

  11. Lee

    My Grandfather owned one of these in Charlestown, SC in the early-mid 60’s.
    The earlier comments addressing the Lucas electrical was spot on. There was another “old “ saying that, for every hour you drove it, you would work on it two.

  12. Carnut

    Well boys this is called selling the “dream”.. cause reality sucks.. and with this ole gal for us who have restored cars we know it’s gonna be a exercise in frustration for anyone who has the dream but no experience or little money.. Good news is that the price of admission will keep most away.. this ole boy is trying to catch himself a whale of a buyer.. he’s putting his bait on the hook.. that dust looks real tempting.. and he has just enough to lure maybe a big fat boy in to his Jag..make no mistake the seller knows exactly what he’s doing and he is not a amateur those pictures all are staged…

    Like 1
  13. Phlathead Phil 🚗🇺🇸

    60 Grand for a car that doesn’t run?

    60 Grand for that much dirt?

    60 Grand for a car that needs EVERYTHING?

    So lemme get the numbers correct ..

    I need another 60 k for rejuvenation or is that 120 thou…? Or, 180?

    I’ll pass.

    Like 1
  14. TimM

    I feel the same way as most everyone here!! Take pictures of the car as found with the crust and dirt!! Then by all means wash it!! Get a wet dry vacuum and get the mouse turds off the seats and dash board!! This tells the buyer that you really want to sell the car and present it in its best light!! There’s a laziness and arrogance to putting it up for sale as a dirty mess!!

    Like 1

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