1955 Jaguar XK140 Special Equipment Coupé

Jaguar xk140

1955 Jaguar XK140 Special Equipment Coupé Project
Coachwork by Giovanni Michelotti

Chassis no. S814286
Engine no. E1016-8
• Delivered new to France
• Unique Michelotti aluminium coachwork and believed one of his first designs
• Ultra-rare C-Type engine, originally fitted to chassis 'XKC016'
• Previously owned by French Jaguar Drivers' Club President, Roland Urban
Chassis number 'S814286' was built on 25th May 1955 as a left-hand drive XK140 SE Coupé with normal factory coachwork. The Jaguar was delivered new in France via the French distributor, Charles Delecroix, to its first lady owner, Mme Jeanne Gaymard in Paris. It is the 286th left-hand drive coupé built, with body number 'J4457'. The original colour scheme was cream with two-tone blue interior.

In 1957 the car had an accident that damaged much of the body. As the original body was beyond repair, the XK was sent to the famous Italian coachbuilder, Giovanni Michelotti, to be re-bodied with one of his bespoke designs. Michelotti is said to have designed three bodies for XK140s around this time; all three are different, making this car unique. Its high waistline and fastback styling would have been considered avant garde for the 1950s. It is believed to be one of the first designs from Michelotti (before he opened his workshop) and in the course of the rebuild, the interior, instruments, and other details were all changed to Michelotti's custom design.

With the help of respected experts Sebastian Hoffman (FSP), Bernard Viart (XK140 specialist) and Jaguar Land Rover Classic, Bonhams has been able to trace this car's history. In 1979, Bernard Viart had inspected this unique Jaguar in front of Stephen Langton's house in Kent (b/w photographs are on file) for Roland Urban, French Jaguar Drivers' Club President and a collector with a particular interest in one-off Jaguars. During his inspection, he noticed that the engine had many C-Type characteristics, unusual, to say the least, for an XK140. It has since been confirmed by Jaguar Land Rover Classic that it is indeed the original C-Type engine, from chassis number 'XKC016' (see below).

Roland Urban bought the XK140 and registered it in Haute Vienne, France (Department 87). The car later found its way to Belgium. We note that the bumpers at that time had been removed (though still with the car) and two small Marchal spotlights had been fitted in the front grille.

In 1999, the XK140 was purchased in Brussels by Mr Schepens, a Ghent-based coachbuilder. Mr Schepens was a Jaguar enthusiast who had owned an E-Type Series 1 Roadster and Series 1 Coupé at the same time in the 1970s. This XK140 Michelotti was his pride and joy. Schepens registered the car and drove it for some years, and in the mid-2000s decided to undertake a full restoration, which by then had become a necessity. Sadly, Mr Schepens passed away in 2016 at the age of 80, leaving the XK unfinished in his garage together with 10 other cars that had been there for many years.

When researching this very special Jaguar, it was discovered that 'S814286' not only incorporated some rare competition components but also that the engine block is numbered 'E-1016-8'. It is probable that the accident that destroyed the original body also damaged the original engine, which needed replacing. It is likely, as C-Type 'XKC016' was retired from racing in the same period, its engine was removed and installed into the newly rebuilt 'S814286'. So, it would seem that the engine and gearbox have been in this car for most of its life - presumably from the late 1950s onwards.

Mr Schepens was very much an animal lover. Childless, he decided that his cars would be donated after his death to the Animal Rescue Centre Ghent, which offered his XK140 for sale at Bonhams' Monaco auction in 2018 in order to raise funds to continue the construction of their new centre. The purchaser was none other than Jaguar Land Rover's Classic Division, who have since done thorough research and work to the XK. JLR assembled the car with attention to the finest detail without restoring it. Meanwhile the XK140 Michelotti has been invited and exhibited during the Festival of Speed event in Goodwood.

Offered for sale by Jaguar Land Rover Classic, this unique Jaguar with its remarkable history is incredibly complete including its already re-upholstered seats, original badges, windows, etc but in need of further restoration.
The XK140 Michelotti is offered with a classic car magazine dating from 1999 depicting the car in Brussels where Mr Schepens bought it; extracts from the book Les Metamorphoses du Jaguar by Roland Urban; some period photographs dating from the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s; and Belgian registration documents.

Please note that if this vehicle is sold to a French private buyer or an EU private individual the reduced rate of Import VAT at 5.5% will be charged on the hammer price. The Import VAT will be invoiced to you by our custom broker who will also charge a clearance fee. If you buy as a Trader or Company however, the Finances Publiques will charge you directly (based on our customs broker clearance) and the French VAT Import Charges will not appear on your Bonhams invoice. Please note that if you purchase as an EU Company, you are required to pay the VAT in your registered country at the relevant rate. Import rates to other EU Countries may vary and an administration fee will be charged to prepare the necessary customs clearance. If you have any questions regarding customs clearance, please contact the Bonhams Motorcar Department or our recommended shippers.

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