Jaguar used Wilmot-Breeden locks and barrels on all their XK types. Wilmot-Breeden keys are branded “Union”. The following gives an overview of the history of Wilmot-Breeden and the details of the applied barrel versions for the Jaguar XK (140).
Starting in 1932, Ford UK began to use “MRN” series keys, which has codes ranging from 01 to 50. Other car brands also applied Wilmot Breeden locking systems. Jaguar in the post-war era, was one of them. These codes were used through 1949, but as automotive production increased, they needed more codes to go around. Jaguar applied the FNR series as well, in addition to the MRN.
Beginning 1949 the “FA” code was introduced, which features codes from 501-625. These codes were widely used from 1949 until August 1959.
In November 1955, another key code appeared, this time a “FP” code, which saw numbers ranging from 626-750.
Key codes can be found either on the face of the ignition switch, stem of the door handle, or on the lock barrel itself. However, barrels, door handles or even ignition switches, could have been changed to another key code at any time.
Original keys were made by Union / Wilmot Breeden.
There are many different locking barrels used: separate versions exist for door, ignition, boot lid, petrol lid and glove box. Each of these barrels is different in length and overall design, but they do (or may) share the same keys.
Wilmot Breeden Key codes and Year of introduction
- 1932 MRN 01 through MRN 50
- 1945? FNR 01 through FNR 25 (unique Jaguar?)
- 1949 FA 501 through FA 625
- 1955 FP 626 through FP 750
- FR 751 through FR 875
- 1960? FS 876 through FS 955
- FK 876 through FK 955
- FT 101 through FT 225
- NH 2001 through NH 3000
- FR 01 through FR 1080
- EJR 01 through 50
The barrel numbers are shown on the face of the ignition switch on early cars. The numbers were also stamped on the glove box housing, and the boot handle stem. On later cars, the original owner received a metal tag with the key number and the number was no longer stamped on the ignition switch housing to prevent that a spare key could be easily cut.
Survey of Wilmot Breeden locking barrels for XKs
Wilmot Breeden locking barrels for Jaguar XK 140 FHC
Ignition lock barrel Door & Boot lock barrel
Petrol filler lid lock barrel Cubby box lock barrel
Key numbers and types for Jaguar XK 140
- Door lock FA round head
- Petrol filler FA round head
- Ignition lock FA round head
- Boot lock FNR rectangular head
- Cubby box FNR rectangular head
Examples of Wilmot Breeden Keys
- Top Left: FA & FNR Round
- Top Right: FA Rectangular head shape
- Bottom Left: FP Round left
- Bottom Right: FP Rectangular head shape.
Wilmot Breeden lock barrel principle
Every lock consists of 5 brass tongues composed of three different dimensions, corresponding to the cuts made in the key. A deep cut in the key corresponds with a higher remaining part in the tongue (see photo below). The overall distance over the 5 tongues is 3/8 “ meaning each tongue is spaced at 5/32” from the other.
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Jaguar glove box lock
Jaguar glove box lock with key code number stamped on the base of the lock.