1958 Jaguar XK 150
Year of manufacture1958
Number of seats2
Three owners; matching numbers; 33,059 miles from new; 400 miles since full restoration
1958 Jaguar XK150SE 3.4-Litre Coupé
Registration no. 652 EPO
Chassis no. S824323
Engine no. V3353-8
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. 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 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,' declared The Autocar.
A sought after 'Special Equipment' model fitted with the manual gearbox, this XK150 fixed-head coupé is one of only 1,205 right-hand drive models produced for the UK market. The car was originally supplied by Henlys of London to Mr Charles Reginald Purley of LEC Refrigeration fame (father of Formula 1 driver David Purley) and registered with his private number 'CRP 24'. By April 1959 the XK had passed to its second owner, a Mr Porretta of Coventry, and been reregistered as '652 EPO'. The recorded mileage had risen to only 32,300 miles when Mr Porretta sold the XK to its third custodian, a Mr Baungaard of Dorchester, in October 1988. While in Mr Baungaard's ownership a photographically documented 'last nut and bolt' sympathetic restoration (conserving the original leather interior) to correct factory specification was undertaken, and since its completion the XK has covered only 400 miles.
'652 EPO' is finished in Mist Grey with beautifully patinated original red leather interior and equipped with period spot lamps, a stainless steel dual exhaust system and wire wheels. A three-owner, matching-numbers XK150 that has covered only 33,059 miles from new, the car comes complete with a comprehensive history file, original buff logbook, Jaguar Heritage Certificate, sundry restoration invoices, current MoT and V5 registration document. Surely a unique opportunity to acquire this most desirable 'leaping cat'.