• Year of manufacture 
  • Chassis number 
    S 834365
  • Engine number 
    LB4053-8 (see text)
  • Lot number 
  • Reference number 
  • Condition 
  • Location
  • Exterior colour 


1957 Jaguar XK150 3.8-Litre Coupé
Coachwork by Carrozzeria Bertone
Chassis no. S 834365
Engine no. LB4053-8 (see text)

"The Jaguar XK150 is undeniably one of the world's fastest and safest cars. It is quiet and exceptionally refined mechanically, docile and comfortable... we do not know of any more outstanding example of value for money." - The 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 XK150 'S'. 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.

In the autumn of 1959, the XK150 became available with the 3.8-litre engine first seen in the Mark IX saloon. 'Standard' (220bhp) or 'S' (265bhp) states of tune were offered (the latter featuring overdrive as standard) and in either form the XK150's increased weight was more than offset by the power of the larger engine, the car regularly recording in excess of 130mph in magazine road tests.

Of the 9,395 Jaguar XK150s built, 1,466 of which were to 'S' specification, only nine were supplied in rolling chassis form for bodying by independent coachbuilders, '834365' being one of this select band. According to the highly respected motoring historian, and Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust Archivist, Anders Ditlev Clausager, '834365 is the second of three XK150s bodied by Bertone. The car's accompanying Jaguar Heritage Trust Certificate shows that it was supplied in left-hand drive configuration, without a body, to the distributor Compagnia Generale Auto in Milan, Italy and sold to its first owner, Fratelli Ingegnoli (Ingegnoli Brothers), also in Milan. It is recorded as fitted with a Bertone body. '834365' is distinguished from the other coach built XK150s by virtue of its Mercedes-Benz 300 SL-style front wing vents, making it stand out from the crowd.

The Jaguar Heritage Certificate records the original engine as a 3.4 litre unit ('V 1382-8'). Research by previous owners on file suggest that the current 3.8 engine, ('LB 4053-8') was fitted prior to delivery by Bertone. Despite the LB prefix suggesting a MK2 engine, inspection of the part number ('C 17523') suggest that this engine was never used on a production car. This evidence combined with the car being recorded as a 3.8 from the earliest days of its history leave us with a credible hypothesis suggesting that the engine was fitted in the car's earliest days, perhaps prior to delivery. The part number on the unstamped head show that it is an 'S' type head.

Originally finished in metallic green, the XK subsequently belonged to Ettore Mariano of the Lido, Venice for many years. According to Clausager: "It then turned up in the Behring collection at the Blackhawk museum in California and was at the Pebble Beach concours in 1992, by which time it was red. A copy of Blackhawk's facts sheet on file states that the XK was designed and built for the Turin Auto Show and had seen little use over the years apart from a few appearances at Italian concours events. The car was said to have been completely restored to prize winning condition by Mike Fennel Restoration in Saugas, California and exhibited at Pebble Beach in 1998.

In 2000 it was bought by the Dutch Jaguar collector Tom Zwakman, before being purchased by its current owner in 2013. In 2019-2020 the car was subject of a full restoration to the highest standards which culminated with the car being displayed at the Concours of Elegance at Hampton Court Palace in 2020.

Presented in beautiful condition throughout, '834365' represents a wonderful opportunity for the serious Jaguar collector to acquire an ultra-rare coach built example of one of the most powerful limited-production XKs manufactured by Jaguar Cars.

Bonhams 1793
101 New Bond Street
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Bonhams Collectors’ Car department