Amelia Island

10-11 March 2017

A Gentleman's Collection: The Pride & Passion of Orin Smith

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Lot 107

1955 Jaguar XK 140 SE "Heuber Roadster"

  • Chassis no. S 810715 DN
  • Body no. F 10724

Sold for $154,000


4½-liter DOHC inline six-cylinder engine, four-speed Moss-type close-ratio competition-style manual transmission with overdrive, Aston Martin-type adjustable Panhard bar front suspension, custom heavy-duty solid rear axle, and front disc and rear drum brakes. Wheelbase: 102 in.

  • Built for longtime Jaguar dealer Christian Heuber as “the ultimate XK”
  • Numerous engineered-in modifications by longtime Penske mechanics
  • Perhaps the most thrilling XK 140 imaginable, perfect for road rallies or performance events


According to information received with this XK 140, it was built to its current configuration for the late gentleman enthusiast and longtime Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, Jaguar dealer, Christian Heuber. Mr. Heuber commissioned the car from two longtime Roger Penske racing mechanics, LeRoy Gane and Harry Tidmarsh, who had worked for Penske on everything from “birdcage” Maseratis to TransAm Camaros. His request was simple: build the best XK 140 in the world. The result, shown here, reportedly took eight years to complete.

The body remains largely stock, though in fitting the car with new Borrani 15×7-inch knock-off wheels, new rear fenders had to be handcrafted of aluminum, to accommodate them, while the front fenders were slightly widened to suit. The trunk lid was reshaped in a lighter-weight aluminum, eliminating the heavy wooden framing beneath. Mr. Tidmarsh hand-shaped the belly pans to fit over the chassis and executed what were described as “impossibly difficult” diminishing louvers on the hood, utilizing three separate hand-tooled, adjustable louver presses! The driver and passenger are seated in custom-fabricated, lightweight aluminum racing seats, facing dual racing windshields.

The engine and transmission were mounted front-to-back, lowering the center of gravity and improving front/rear weight balance, with the engine solid-mounted to the frame, a lesson learned from TransAm experience. The engine itself was built up with a block overbored and stroked, to just over 4½ liters displacement, and fitted with Iskenderian-ground Piper camshafts, exceptionally large valves, Arias pistons with 10.5:1 compression, a complex multi-chambered oil pump, high-output oil pump, a substantial racing oil cooler, custom competition-style exhaust, and a lightweight aluminum bronze flywheel. The transmission is a competition CR Moss-type gearbox built by Alan George and Mr. Gane, with a double roller bearing lower shaft, robust overdrive, and a custom-built shifting tower, and connects to torque tube drive to a very heavy-duty Jaguar solid rear axle assembly. The suspension was outfitted with modern Aston Martin-type adjustable Panhard bars, while the rear suspension was specially designed by Gane and Tidmarsh.

While in previous Florida ownership, the Heuber XK 140 was driven by none other than the legendary Brian Redman, who noted that “all of this work is to the highest standard. The triple-plate competition clutch is slightly heavier than normal, and the “take-up” is sharper than with a regular clutch. However, neither of these things are in any way a nuisance. In spite of being in “competition” trim, the motor is very tractable, pulling easily from low revs without hesitation . . . I drove and cornered the XK 140 up to 70 mph on public roads – was very pleasant . . . .”

Simply put, few XK 140s are as much fun as this car, built for a true enthusiast by the best in the business. As strong a 1000-mile rally candidate as one might imagine, it has a lot of show and all of the go!

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

Alexander Weaver

aweaver@rmsothebys.com

+1 864 313 6844
California, United States

Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

asabatie-garat@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 74 1511 4179
United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

Barney Ruprecht

bruprecht@rmsothebys.com

+1 203 912 7168
Ontario, Canada

Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 911. Barney l... read more

David Swig

dswig@rmsothebys.com

+1 415 302 2247
California, United States

David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. David is a life-long automobile enthusi... read more

Don Rose

drose@rmsothebys.com

+1 617 513 0388
United States

Don joined RM in 2006 after several years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputation as a noted... read more

Donnie Gould

dgould@rmsothebys.com

+1 954 566 2209
Florida, United States

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff

gduff@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Gord Duff began his journey with RM Sotheby’s in 1998. Since then, he has gained an intimate knowledge of a variety of marques a... read more

Jake Auerbach

jauerbach@rmsothebys.com

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Jake Auerbach got his start in the automotive industry at an early age, spending his summers during high school working at a classic c... read more

Kurt Forry

kforry@rmsothebys.com

+1 717 623 1638
California, United States

Having worked for Bonhams’ Automobilia department for over 10 years, Kurt Forry joined RM Sotheby’s with more than a decad... read more

Matt Malamut

mmalamut@rmsothebys.com

+1 805 231 6410
California, United States

A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

Michael Squire

msquire@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Michael Squire joined RM Sotheby’s European Division in the summer of 2016. He comes to RM with a prestigious racing background ... read more

Mike Fairbairn

mfairbairn@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

Oliver Camelin

ocamelin@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 75 0110 7447
United Kingdom

With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

Paul Darvill

pdarvill@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Paul Darvill joined the RM Sotheby’s European team at the beginning of 2015. Paul holds a degree in French and Politics from the... read more

Pete Fisher

pfisher@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 784 9300
Ontario, Canada

Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his hometown of Blenheim, Ontario. ... read more

Shelby Myers

smyers@rmsothebys.com

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

Tonnie Van der Velden

tvandervelden@rmsothebys.com

+31 653 84 19 60
United Kingdom

Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more