An Jaguar XK 140 with a unique body by Italian designer Michelotti was auctioned at Bonham’s Monaco auction in May for £311,645, including premium, despite needing a full restoration.
Chassis number S814286, built on 25 May 1955, is the 286th left-hand-drive coupe built, originally finished in cream with two-tone blue interior. Its first owner, Jeanne Gaymard, took delivery in Paris via the French distributor Charles Delecroix.
Two years later, an accident damaged much of the body and it was at that point that Italian coachbuilder Giovanni Michelotti rebodied the XK with one of his bespoke designs. In the course of the rebuild, the interior, instruments, and other details were changed.
The French Jaguar collector Roland Urban then bought the car, before it found its way to Belgium: the late owner – Mr Schepens, a Ghent-based coachbuilder – bought the XK 140 in Brussels, in 1999. Schepens registered the car and drove it for some years. In the mid-2000s, he decided to undertake a full restoration, which had by then become a necessity. Mr Schepens passed away in 2016 at the age of 80, leaving the XK unfinished in its garage, together with ten other cars that had been there for many years.
When researching this very special Jaguar, Bonhams discovered that S814286’s engine not only incorporated some rare competition components, but that the engine block bears the number E-1016-8 and was once installed in C-type XKC 016 – which had been sold via Jaguar’s Paris importer in 1952.
It is probable that the accident that destroyed the XK 140’s original body also damaged the original engine, which needed to be replaced. It’s also possible that XKC 016’s engine was removed following its crash during the 1953 Mille Miglia that killed the co-driver and was installed into the newly rebuilt S814286.
It is thought that the engine and gearbox have been in this car since 1957.
This unique Jaguar is understood to be 100 percent complete, including its already re-upholstered seats, original badges, gauges, windows, front grille etc, albeit in need of full restoration.