“There were a few teeth knocked off the first gear,” Mr. Sasser acknowledges.
A pair of S.U. carburetors flawlessly feed fuel to the powerful engine.
Four 6.00x16-inch Michelin tires are wrapped around a set of Dayton stainless-steel wire wheels that have never been dirty. They literally flash reflected sunlight as the Jaguar is driven down the street.
While all the brightwork on the Jaguar was sent off for replating, the steel shell of the car received several coats of Old English White to match the color it wore when it left the Coventry factory in Great Britain.
The highly polished wooden dashboard appears almost too perfect, from the twin ashtrays at the top to the cavities housing the 140-mph speedometer and the 6,000-rpm tachometer that red lines at 5,500. The rest of the cockpit is covered in either Connolly red leather or red carpeting. The black top is trimmed in red piping.
Comfortably settled in the drivers seat, Mr. Sasser adjusts the seat and black telescopic four-spoke steering wheel to his satisfaction while peering down the long hood through the two-piece windshield.
“This car is very dependable,” Mr. Sasser says. “It’s so unlike the early Jags,” he says, joking. He has been accused of treating his Jaguar more like a hobby than an automobile.
One of the identifying characteristics of the XK140 Jaguar is the strip of chrome on the trunk lid, which concludes in a combination tag light and backup light.
Mr. Sasser returned from China in July 1999 and rushed to the restoration shop. “It was all done but the top,” he recalls. He had the car trucked to a Rhode Island top shop.
In the early spring of 2001, Mr. Sasser received a telephone message from a truck driver saying his Jaguar was going to be delivered early the next morning.
Mr. Sasser arose with the sun and was sitting on the porch of his Northwest home drinking coffee when a truck rolled to a stop at 7 a.m. He anxiously awaited the completely restored Jaguar to roll out of the truck on is 102-inch wheelbase.
Since restoration the car has never been out in rain, Mr. Sasser says. The Jaguar only gets driven to local antique car shows and once a month the happy owner takes his beautiful car out for exercise on pretty days.
Mr. Sasser certainly doesn’t want to get his car dirty because, he says, “It’s been a work in progress for 25 years.”