Fuel gauge identification

Hi There,

Can anybody identify this fuel gauge?

Looks like the Smiths Petrol Guage used on the Jaguar XK120 to XK150, but also used on other British made cars of that era (Triumph, MG, etc). Similar guages used the word “Fuel” or “Petrol” and showed either numbers in gallons or as fractions of the tank capacity depending on where the car was being supplied - Petrol and Gallons on the dial being typical of cars in the UK home market.

I think the XKs and earlier Jaguars use gauges without the chrome bezel.

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I could be wrong (and I often am) but I thought the Smiths Fuel/Petrol Gauges for the era had a choice of the bezel in black or chrome, faces black or white, and for Jaguar’s production over the years the needle end either arrow head or straight, and some with a red end to the needle.

Here are some photos from my Jaguar XK files of the different fuel/petrol gauges I’ve come across:

XK fuel gauges (1)

XK fuel gauges (1)

XK fuel gauges (3)

XK fuel gauges (2)

I’m sure someone on the Forum will have a Smiths Parts Catalogue to identify X.40558 specifically.

Notice it reads in Gallons, not fractional fullness.
Possibly SS era.
Here’s mine in my '38, Smiths number X49422/25

I know that R stands for Reserve but I did chuckle when I thought that it could also stand for Really empty! My MK2 said a 1/4 full and I ran out of fuel on the way to the petrol (gas) station a few years ago!

I suppose logically the part number would be in sequence and a higher number for a later year, so X.40558 would preceded X.49422 of the XK era. Also the arrow head needles seem to be on the early day instruments, and the straight needle on the later years (maybe to help in reducing aerodynamic drag of the cars - every little helps!!!).

Thanks so far for your input.
Maybe the Smiths logo on the instrument is giving someting away on the era??

The original guage shows the logo of Smiths Motor Accessories (with the MA in the small circle under the Smiths name).

I have been given this information which might help: The “MA” was used from 1914 when the public company was formed. A trade agreement between Smiths and Lucas in 1930 saw the “MA” dropped from the logo on new instrument designs, but it did remain on their existing range of gauges and clocks (perhaps using up stock of production parts and printed dials) until the start of WW2, and after the war only the Smiths name appeared.

Here are some examples from the mid 20’s to mid 30’s before “MA” was dropped.

So that would limit its origin to prewar, I think

I don’t think any original XK OTS ever had white faced instruments let alone a volt meter and matching fuel gauge.


Hadn’t spotted the voltmeter Peter, but my picture notes it is the “Dashboard of XK120 Chassis number 673343 built 18th December 1952 and exported to Los Angeles USA on 6th January 1953. Now back in the UK - sold at auction” . So if the guages aren’t original it’s a poor restoration!!!

Could it be a Riley gauge? Any thought on this?

Yes, it would lose a bunch of concours points if I were judging.


Used 1953 Jaguar XK XK120 OTS Roadster for sale | Classic Chrome (classic-chrome.net)

Since then, lots of enhancements have been carried out on the car during his 6 years of ownership including the fitting of EZ Electric Power Steering including an EZ wood rimmed ‘Le Mans’ style Steering Wheel, Getrag 5 Speed Gearbox, Hi-Torque Starter Motor, extended drivers footwell with a new Pedal Box, new Fuel Tank and sender unit, new Red Mohair Hood and Weather equipment, rebuilt Carburettors, performance electric Fuel Pump, new Brake lines, new Aluminium Radiator + ‘Kenlowe’ electric cooling fan, all instruments refurbished with upgraded White dials, Electronic Ignition and a new set of Michelin 600 x 16 Pilote Tyres.

The circled MA logo continued post-war on heater units.

We have very little information on Smiths gauges in SS before 1938, and nothing on Riley on this forum, but it seems likely the gauge dates from before '38, as my '38 car was made in January. Some car with a 13 gallon tank perhaps.

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