I’ve been on the lookout for a nice XK140 that I can drive now, since I’m not getting any younger and the condition of the barn-find XK120 that I bought 50 years ago has progressed very little over the decades. I’m taller than most, with a 36" inseam, and the XK120 is a bit cramped, so I figured that the XK140’s couple-of-inches of extra legroom would be an improvement. I had previously driven Klaus Neilsen’s XK140 OTS around Connecticut for a day, and Steve Fairchild’s '140 around Martha’s Vineyard, and Steve Ferring’s '140 for an afternoon on Skyline Drive without any problems. Luckily, I found a nice 99+ point driver just 50 miles away, so, armed with my checkbook, I took a ride to see it.
The car was as nice in person as the pictures indicated, so I got inside for a test drive. That’s when the trouble started. You see, I had to put my foot on the firewall under the clutch pedal in order to get the door closed. Then I found that if I painfully wedged my left knee between the steering wheel and the door coaming and pointed my toe upwards as far as I could, then I could just barely wiggle my foot onto the clutch pedal. It was obvious to me that I could not safely drive it under these conditions. This car was more cramped than my XK120, which I have actually driven a few times. The seat on this car was all the way back, as evidenced by the worn spot where the hood bracket traditionally rubbed on the back of the seat. It had the original pedal shafts and everything seemed to work correctly, but there was no way that I could drive it. Does anyone have any insight into what could be different about this car from the others I had driven? I hadn’t figured that I would need to see if the car fit before I bought it. It was one of the last ones built, if that makes any difference.