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XK140 OTS grab rail finish

XK140 OTS Grab Rail Finish

JCNA states that the grab rail was painted for standard cars, chromed for Special Equipment. Could any OTS owners on the list tell me the finish on their grab rails (passenger's side of cockpit) and the chassis no. of their cars (if I do not already have it)? And by the way, any 120 owners on the list with painted grab rails? painted tail light housings? - Regards, John Elmgreen

6733099 has a grey grab rail - Bruce Cunningham, '53 OTS -

You have my numbers and grab rail is chromed. - Neville Laing

John: My 120 OTS, S672776 has a grey painted grab rail. Seat frames, hood sticks, boot and bonnet prop rods are also grey. Tail lights are chrome. - Regards, Dick Cavicke

John, Both my XK120 and XK140 both are chromed. The XK140's had never been off the car until I restored it. I have a picture of it before removal. I would have to disagree with JCNA. - Cleo Bay Jr., 52 XK120 OTS, 56 XK140 OTS

John, My SE XK-140 OTS has a chrome grab rail, - Mike Carpenter

Hi John -- Another memory trick on passenger grab rails -- on my '54 XK120SE OTS, S674619, grab rail was chrome - hope this helps - Larry Martz

John, My 54' XK120 is a Special Equipment model. It has a chromed grab rail. My numbers; chassis #S675746, engine #F3335-8S, body #F8024, gearbox #JL22411. - Neil Skipper

Larry, Thanks for the response. Now we are getting somewhere: looks like 674432 Nick Saltarelli (info provided on an earlier occasion) is the latest I have noted with grey handle, and your is the first to go back to chromed, 674619. Less than 200 chassis nos, so that is interesting. - Regards, John Elmgreen

Hi John -- S674619 WAS a "Special Equipment" OTS (designated by "S" on chassis #) -- is it possible passenger grabs were chromed on all SEs? Nick's 674432 was NOT an SE at least by chassis #; could grey have been correct for his? Look for "Sxxxxxx" responses; perhaps this is a question we can at least try to answer! Or, as we all know, they were built using parts available that day/hour as the car came down the line; perhaps they ran out of either chrome or grey at certain chassis #s?? - Larry Martz

John: The grab rail on my special equipment 120 was painted, the tail lamp housings were chromed. I have since replaced the grab rail with a chromed piece. Here's a similar question: I have seen XK120 reverse lamps with both painted and chromed housings. The one fitted to my car was chromed. Was there any rhyme or reason to which might have been fitted to what? Nick Saltarelli, 1954 XK120SE OTS, 1968 E-type 1.5 OTS

Nick, Thanks for the info re the grab handle and tail lights. I had a note from previous messages that the grab handle on your car was grey, and the tail lights painted body colour - I take it the latter was wrong? Re the reverse lights, I have never heard that before, but .... One comment is that the no. plate and reverse light assembly was a Lucas item, different from the others we have been discussing. I might add that the tail lights noted by me (from info supplied by all of you) have been body colour, not grey (where they are not chromed). Anyone else ever seen a painted reverse / no. plate light housing? Was it apparently original? - Regards, John Elmgreen

John: To confirm that the tail light housings on my car were chromed - you may be thinking of the letter from Bruce Carnachan to me, which I shared with you some time back, in which Bruce talks about that period in 1952/3 when there was a shortage of chromium, resulting in some items being painted instead of chromed - tail lamp housings and grab handles especially. Just a small detail point, while the grab handle of my car was painted, the two ferrules between the grab handle and the dash were chromed - getting down to minutiae again, John. - regards, Nick Saltarelli

John, Both my 51 and 53 OTS with disk wheels had chrome grab handles. Naturally the 51 has rods, seats and hood bows chromed, but not the 53. - Larry J., 660636

John: My 140mc ots Chassis #: S812292 has a chrome grab rail. I believe it is original. Have had the car since 1973 and all other parts except the headlights and hood were original. My 120 hood looks fine since I installed a Mark IX chrome strip down the center. - Bob Cathey

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