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Automatic Transmissions

Automatic Transmissions

Model           Jaguar 3.4L xk140
Body Style      Fixed Head Coupe
Spedifications  Left Hand Drive
Vin/Chassis#    S815369BW
Body #          J6001
Gearbox         9279
Color, exterior Red
Color, Interior Black
Date Built              21 February 1956
Main Distributor        Charles Horning, Los Angeles
First Owner     Not Recorded
Additional Note Vehicle fitted with automatic gearbox

NOTE OF DISCUSSION: Automatic's weren't supposedly introduced until
October, and this was built in February?????!!!????
Kevin Furstoss

Auto 140s in RHD are extremely rare, I guess the Aussies and the Brits had a
preference for manual.  In fact, I can tell you that the following are the stats
for RHD cars:  OTS nil BW out of 74 cars; FHC 7 BW out of 841 cars; DHC 4 out of
480 cars - total of 11 RHD autos!  There was one very early LHD FHC which was an
experimental auto, but other than that, I cannot help too much.  I think the
dates for autos came from a Harvey book and I would not take much notice when
you obviously have disproved the assertion.
Regards, John Elmgreen

John, was this posting for me (Kevin F) or did i miss the boat on one.
Mine is a L H D auto  which only indicates there are more of them.  You
mentioned an experimental automatic.  Surely they wouldnt have sent it
over-seas to the USA, would they?  Could this car be it?  That would make
for a good story, and explain some things.  If you don't think so, does
anyone know how i could make sense of this puzzle?  How do we get a car 8
months before the car has a transmission?
also:  Klaus eluded to a transmission #, where could i find that number,
and would they have started over with 0001 for automatics, or would it have
been in sequence with standard transmissions of the time?

how would someone register a car with the wrong year?  Don't you need
title/registration to apply in the 1st place?  Is this of any  REAL
Kevin Furstoss


Over the years, I have seen several LHD XK140 FHC automatics, including one
that was at the Okotoks, Alberta collector car auction of May, 1982.

Typically, Jaguar built many more LHD automatics than RHD automatics !!

Dave Quirt

        Kevin,  What I was trying to say is that you should not take too much
notice of reading in a book that the first auto 140 was (say) Oct 56.  This
sort of info is so often disproved - yours is just another example of many.
Take all this stuff with a truck load of salt!  As with many things, the
research into Jaguar's old sports cars quickly shows you that the more you
know, the less you know - i.e. there is much that noone knows at all,
despite the earnest statements you might read in certain books.  I hope
that through this list and other endeavours we might unravel some small
percentage of these apparent inconsistencies.  Reported observations such
as yours are really about the only way to go.

Re autos generally:  my point re the RHD cars was simply that the USA has
long been acknowledged as the most auto prone market, certainly back in the 50s
when autos were a rarity in Aus and UK, but demanded in the USA.  So there were
always going to be only a few early autos in RHD, but lots more in LHD for USA.

Re year of the car:  this is something that in my experience only US
enthusiasts bother much with.  In the US, you say you have a 57 140 etc etc.  I
guess this is to do with the licensing system that recorded that information.
It has no other significance really, except maybe that the salesmen might have
tried to use some new features as a selling point way back then.  There is
little if any recognition of a year model system acknowledged by the factory
that I have ever seen.  They just recorded when they built them, and changed
them when they felt they should (not rigidly per a year model).

The experimental BW car was 814004, the 4th LHD FHC made.  I do not know
what happened to it.

The transmission number is on the ID plate (and on the gearbox).
Thanks for unearthing yet another little aspect of all this!
Regards, John Elmgreen

There is an oval approx 1" by 4" metal label roughly in the middle on
the left side of the transmission.
Klaus Nielsen

the first LHD XK140 fhc fitted with automatic, chassis 815285BW, was
built in January 1956, so no inconsistency with Kevin's S815369BW being
built in Feb.1956.   I don't know where your advice of "first made in
October 1956" comes from?
Roger Payne

My dad once told me (with regard to MkVIIs I think) that when the BW
transmissions were first fitted at the factory (I think they were dealer
fitted in the US before that), Jaguar would not sell them in any market
where there were not exixting facilities for the maintenance and repair of
the units, and this was the reason that they were rarities in the
Commonwealth for a few years.


Mike Morrin

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