Optimistic search

Hi everyone

I am new to this forum despite having owned at least one Jaguar since 1987! This Topic is mostly aimed at USA members but who knows if UK readers know anything.

Anyway I am gearing up to start the restoration of my August 1955 XK140OTS LHD which I believe has came from the Arizona/ Nevada area and originally supplied thru Hornburg USA. In line with some of the storeys I have read on this site I have had the car for 30 years and allowed a million other things to take priority. Things are about to change!
In my slow and enlightening search for parts I thought I would fly this kite as it is going to test the gods of good fortune and hopeless odds to the limit.

I do not believe that when the car arrived in the UK circa 1988-9 it came with the original gearbox. The original C engine and head were present fortunately.

A lot of stuff was loose in boxes but the car was mostly complete. Anyway the gearbox number was OSL 3380 B
and is period correct on the XK Data sequence of OTS cars with similar chassis numbers.
Incidently the gearbox numbering format of OSL ??? B persisted well into 1959 as I see right now a 1959 XK 150 3.4 up for sale on UK website has a number only of OSL 4197 B which is only 817 units later. Considering that the box was used across several models it seems to be a slow take up although I realise other number sequences were used too.

So guys and girls - I would be most grateful for any knowledge or insights into this hopeless search.

many thanks

London UK

Hi…welcom to the forum…iv read your post…but what is your question?..do you have a heritage certificate for your car…its a good starting point…OSL box wasnt for tne xk150… more info here https://www.jag-lovers.org/xk-lovers/library/gearbox_reilly/moss_gearbox_identification.html …Steve

Hello Steve

Thanks for responding.

I guess my question is - how can I track down my cars old gearbox?

Slim chance I know - I do have the Heritage Certificate and ID plate so I am confident about the number of the original box from my car

Do you think this OSL box should not be on this XK140 as advertised see image of ID Plate

Many thanks


Sorry Steve

Slight typo…The plate I showed is from the XK150


Just looked it up on xke data…previous cars and cars after this have JL gearbox numbers you would need to look at the heritage certificate for this car to find out whats original…Steve

I see its up for auction ending later today…its a 3.4 factory car but now with a 3.8 engine…so things to look at…Steve XK Data - S824554 - Jaguar XK120, XK140, XK150 information, articles, photos and register

1959 Jaguar XK150 For Sale By Auction

Hi Geoffrey…so to your question can you find your gearbox?..here is your box number on xke data XK Data - S811622 - Jaguar XK120, XK140, XK150 information, articles, photos and register probably a long shot trying to find it…you would have to trace previous owners to find out why/when it was removed…does it really matter not haveing a numbers matching car?.. in my opinion only if its all original and a "special"car for some reason…best just restor and enjoy it…and add more info to xke data…Steve

Hi Steve Thanks for all your tips . I have put the question out there… I will just sit back and wait for a while and see if anyone bites into the topic.

Many thanks


Welcome Geoffrey. What country are you in?
The prefix SL or OSL means that the box was made by the Moss Gear Co. in Birmingham.
A prefix JL would be a box made by Jaguar under license from Moss.
They are basically the same, other than the method of manufacturing the countershaft gears.
However, there were different tail cases for use in the different models, such as the Mark VII and Mark 1 saloon.
So if you are concerned that you have the wrong box, post a few pictures on here, and we can identify it.

Hello Rob

Many thanks for replying to my post. I am in LONDON United Kingdom

I starting a search whereby I am trying to find the original Gearbox No. OSL 3380 B as fitted to my XK140OTS 1955 which was brought back from Nevada/ Arizona in 1989.

I am not looking for any replacement box for now and I am familiar with the history of the Moss boxes and their prefixes.

So I am hoping some stateside Jag person may have remembered seeing/ selling it etc albeit a long time ago!

I know it is a long shot but I remain hopeful



Generally speaking, from the standpoint of the matching numbers paradigm it’s the originality of the engine that’s most important. Yours is the original engine, so a plus. It’s apparent the original gearbox was switched out because it was problematic. Faulty Moss boxes have never been in especially high demand and it may be reasonably expected, it having been removed some 35-40 years ago, that it was scrapped or broken up for parts. That said, it’s worth a shot. Good luck.

Hi Nick
Thanks for you considered response and I note the sentiment therein.
Yes sure I have the essential “heart” of the car with the original engine, a C type.

I am just hoping that a garage clear or such might throw up a clue.
The matching numbers game was not important as the cars fought for survival back then.

Who knows.

Speak again no doubt.

Just for info the xk150 mentioned above didnt meet its reserve…bidding reached £67k

Hi Steve

Perhaps your comment about the gearbox not being in the same era was known by others too.
Still a reasonable best bid.