A few doubts on a recently aquired XK140 SE FHC

I give little attention to such rules or the people who make them.
My thought was related to my college class in Ergonomic Engineering. There are dimensional specifications for the 10%, 50% and 90% adult male and female operators in the confined workplace, or in this case the driver’s seat. Arm and foot leverage capacities too. I would imagine that Heynes and his crew would have been somewhat aware of them when designing the XK120. Lofty England would have been classed among the 90% males. Connie Teather might have found herself nearer the 10% females.

While it’s been a long time (long, long, long time) since I had my 54 MK VII, and while its steering wheel was both tilt and telescopic, I don’t recall the steering wheel sticking way out from the dash as in the XK 120 photo.

Is my memory just not remembering it correctly in the MK VII?

Well, I don’t think it had tilt, just telescopic.

Here is a Mark VII

Here is a Mark V

1 Like

And now… for my next doubt: Engine fan!

My XK140 has a flex sort of green fiberglass fan which I was already told is not original.

What should they use originally? I have a couple of 1960 MK2, both 3.8. One has an aluminum multibladed fan, and the other one a similar looking fan but made of steel, painted black. Here they are:


Are any of those correct for the XK140? If they are, I will gladly swap one of them to complete the XK140.

If not… what should they use?


8 aluminum blades riveted on a steel spider.



Thank you, Rob!!! Very clear! and sorry I forgot I had already asked that question and you had already answered!

But another question comes to mind: Should it be painted black only on the metal parts and left on bare aluminum on the blades? Or how was it supplied originally?

The original six blade fan of my December ‘53 production XK120 was painted black in much the same way the later eight blade fan pictured above is primed with red oxide. The hub and the inner halves of the fan blades showed remnants of black paint but the outer halves were bare, oxidised aluminium. My guess, likely to be clarified by those who know much better than I, is leaving the ends of the fan blades unpainted might have been a safety feature.

1 Like

That fan came to me very rusty, no hint of paint. That was an old picture where I just sand blasted it and sprayed it with primer as a temporary stabilization measure.
XK140 experts will no doubt have thoughts on paint schemes.

The subject has come up among XK120 and Mark V owners because two different schemes are known in old photos.

  1. Painting just the spider before attaching the blades.
    fans 001

  2. Attaching the blades first and painting the spider out to the limit of the spider arms, leaving the tips of the blades unpainted.

1 Like

Here is my (ostensibly) unmolested 53 DHC fan. B

lack with raw aluminum tips.

1 Like

Perhaps this picture taken circa 1954 will settle the question, at least for 8 blade fans on XK140.
XK engines c1954

These appear to be mid-range Mark VII or early XK140 engines with aluminum sumps and the (C.7615) 8 blade fans, which appear to be of the second painting scheme, blades partially painted with bare tips.


Great picture, Rob! It certainly settles the matter, at least for me! I will do it that way… once I can find one. If anybody has an extra one, please drop me a line.

Thank you all for the input!

Hi guys!

Another question: The vent boxes at the sides of the car. How were they originally treated/painted?

My car is Pearl gray (almost a bright white) and right now my vent boxes are a mess… they show some sort of red oxide primer, a medium gray or dull silver, and black. I can’t really figure what color came in there first.

So… .were they supposed to be body color? most internal parts like under the dash are painted a sort of gray or dull dark silver… should this be the color? Or black perhaps?

As I see it, there is 3 main areas that could be treated differently:

  1. Main box, which attaches to the car from the inside. It shows gray, but then also, particularly on the insides, black. Keep in mind this part is viewable from inside, when looking at the under dash foot well panels.

  2. Outside lid or cover. This of course has to be painted body color on the outside, but what about the inside? Gray or black? Or body color? Whatever it is, when open you would see part of it.

  3. Wire mesh grill, which is made of brass. Again, Gray or black? Or body color? Whatever it is, when open you would see it from outside.

Any ideas?


You are probably right as I think back to it. I had my MK VII almost 60 years ago.

I do know it was telescopic.

My memory thinks it remembers a lever and guides which allowed it to be ‘tilted’ (back at or beyond the firewall/bulkhead) which allowed the entire steering column and steering wheel to ‘swing’ up or down some.

Quite possibly just inadvertent ‘memory tweaking’ over the years.

Vent boxes - it may depend on whether the body was painted at Foleshill on a trolley or at Browns Lane on a rotisserie.
Mine is Foleshill and it was just primer in there, but you could do black to make it look better. The back of the door had body color, I suppose because it was painted with the doors open. The brass screen was unpainted bare brass, I suppose because they were installed afterwards.

1 Like

My 51 Mk 7 just had telescopic.

Wow! Thank you, Rob!

How would I know if my car is Foleshill or Browns Lane? My car’s data is:
VIN or Serial no.: S814613
Engine no: G4603-8S
Body no.: J4937
Car was built August 10, 1955

In fact, I probably never presented it properly. I found a link to it’s information:

The car was originally Pearl gray with blue leather piped in light gray, as it shows on the Heritage certificate viewable in that link also, but then it was painted red with black interior at some point. Between 2012 and 2013 the car was cosmetically restored and returned to it’s former colors. The quality of the work was good but not outstanding, so I am detailing it to take it to the next level… a great user not perfect but with little to criticize. It has just a few deviations from original, like having later XK150 disc brakes, which I will leave there.

The car was sold originally in Texas, then went to California, and after restoration it was sold to somebody in Mexico in 2014, who never did anything to the car… and I just bought it from him a few months ago.

As mentioned, my goal is not to do a show car but to get the car back to as correct as possible condition… therefore the doubts i am requesting help with.

I guess doing the vent boxes in the absolutely correct configuration would not be something most people would care about, but I always say it is almost the same work, time and cost to do one thing correctly, that doing it incorrectly… so I rather go for the correct route, whenever possible.


Well… I just got lucky, I guess. I found this:

… which shows the vent boxes restored, even from a white car! Red oxide primer, apparently, and brass wire mesh grill, just as Rob described his car had.

I am attaching the pics I “stole” from that page…

Going by your user name, I thought you had a 1951 XK120.
All XK140s were painted on rotisseries at Brown’s Lane, body color everywhere they could reach with the spray gun.

I do! I have a 1951 XK120 OTS restoration project (that is when I became a member of the forum), 1955 XK140 SE FHC, 1959 XK150 S OTS restoration project and 1968 XKE coupe… plus a couple of MK2 with 3.8 engine and overdrive, and a 1976 XJ6C. Call me a hard core Jaguar fan! All of them, except for the 1968 XKE, need some work or another.

So, XK140’s were painted in rotisseries… the interesting thing to know would be if the vent boxes were added after the car was painted or not. I guess it would make sense to have them done like in the pics above and then installed on the car, wouldn’t you?