'The Jaguar XK150 is undeniably one of the world's fastest and safest cars. It is quiet and exceptionally refined mechanically, docile and comfortable. As with most cars, there are a few body details which could be improved, but we do not know of any more outstanding example of value for money.' - Autocar.
What would turn out to be the final glorious incarnation of Jaguar's fabulous 'XK' series of sports cars arrived in 1957. As its nomenclature suggests, the XK150 was a progressive development of the XK120 and XK140, retaining the same basic chassis, 3.4-litre engine and four-speed Moss transmission of its predecessors while benefiting from a new, wider body that provided increased interior space and improved visibility courtesy of a single-piece wrap-around windscreen, replacing the XK140's divided screen. Cleverly, the new body used many XK120/140 pressings, the increased width being achieved by means of a 4"-wide central fillet. A higher front wing line and broader radiator grille were other obvious differences, but the new model's main talking point was its Dunlop disc brakes. Fade following repeated stops from high speed had been a problem of the earlier, drum-braked cars, but now the XK had stopping power to match its prodigious straight-line speed.
Introduced in the spring of 1957, the XK150 was available at first only in fixed and drophead coupé forms, the open roadster version not appearing until the following year. At 190bhp, the engine's maximum power output was identical to that of the XK140, so performance was little changed. 'Special Equipment' and 'S' versions came with 210 and 250bhp respectively, the latter delivering an astonishing 0-60mph time of 7.3 seconds and a top speed of 136mph. This was achieved by the introduction of the Weslake-developed 'straight-port' cylinder head, high-compression pistons, triple 2" SU carburettors and twin electric fuel pumps. Overdrive and a Borg-Warner automatic gearbox were the transmission options, the latter becoming an increasingly popular choice, while a Thornton Powr-Lok limited-slip differential was available for the XK150S. Steel wheels remained the standard fitting, though XK150s so equipped are a great rarity, as most were sold in SE (Special Equipment) specification with centre-lock wire wheels. The much-admired chromed Jaguar mascot was made available as an optional extra on an XK for the first time.
The car we offer is one of 1,368 3.4-litre fixed-head coupés made in right-hand drive specification out of a total production of some 9,395 XK150s of all types between 1958 and 1960. Chassis number 'S824241DN' comes with an old-style continuation logbook listing owners dating back to Albert Morgan in 1961. He was followed by William Havard (1962), Mrs Gillian Dawson (1963), Robert Clark (1964) and a Mr Quayle (1984). John Hill owned the XK during the later 1980s, having bought it from C&A Autos of Forrest Row. By 1997 the car was owned by one Philip Horsley.
In 2013 the Jaguar was restored; there are photographs of a bare metal re-spray on file but no invoices relating to the work. Bucket seats were fitted during the 2013 restoration (originals with car). MoT certificates on file show the recorded mileage increasing from 5,079 in 1982 to 24,214 in 2015, and the car also comes with sundry invoices for work carried out from the 1980s through to the 2000s. Purchased by the current vendor at Bonhams 2017 Goodwood Revival auction, used sparingly since then and only offered for sale due to the owner struggling to fit compfortably into it. A change to electronic ignition is the only notified change during the current ownership.
Finished in red with black leather interior, the car is offered with a folder of history to include a V5C Registration certificate, MOT until August 2019 and the aforementioned documentation, while a fitted car cover is also included in the sale. A relatively rare, right-hand drive XK150 variant.