The ex- George Milligen and one family ownership for 49 years 1960 Jaguar XK150S 3.8litre Drophead Coupe Registration no. FAH 444 Chassis no. T82 7553DN Engine no. VAS 1160-9
For a concept that can be said to have emerged almost by accident, Jaguar's XK series of sports cars was an incredible success story. The XK120 of 1948 was developed as a test-bed for the new XK engine destined for the Mark VII saloon, but such was its success that Jaguar put the XK120 sports car into series production. The competition successes of the XK120 and 'C' Type are of course legendary and in 1954 the XK140 in the same concept was introduced. The final development came with the XK150 in 1957, the all-new Dunlop disc brakes finally providing the XK sports car with the stopping power to match its prodigious straight-line speed. Restyling provided a roomier cockpit and featured a higher front wing line, a one-piece wrap-around windscreen and a broader radiator grille. The chassis remained much as before, as did the 3.4 litre, six-cylinder engine and the four-speed Moss gearbox. Overdrive and automatic transmissions were options, as was the new 'B' Type cylinder head which boosted maximum power from the standard 190bhp to 210bhp.
The 3.8 litre XK150S specification model, introduced for the 1960 season, was however the one to own as Jaguar were swept into the escalating horsepower race in North America. The Harry Weslake 'straight port' B-type cylinder head, a re-designed inlet manifold, triple 2-inch SU carburettors, and 9:1 compression pistons combined to give this model an astonishing 265bhp and a lightened flywheel and stronger clutch assembly contributed to astonishing acceleration figures and a top speed in saloon form recorded by Road & Track magazine of 136mph. The overdrive gearbox was standard on the S models. Here was one of the world's fastest sports cars of its time the Drophead Coupe version being the most expensive model and yet seriously competitively priced compared with its peer group. This model was to be short-lived with the announcement of Jaguar's E-type at Geneva in 1961, and records suggest that just 89 or so models of the S-specification Drophead Coupes were built - some destined for the export market.
Correspondence on file from Jaguar Cars Ltd. in 1965, quoting the above chassis and engine numbers, confirms that this car was despatched new to XK150S 3.8 litre specification. The original registration document records that this car, originally finished in red livery, was first licenced with the number 155 MKX in April 1960 to Eton Garages Ltd of Eton, Windsor, and was subsequently sold by them in November that year to The Hon. Leslie Leathers a keen motorist and former Monte Carlo Rally competitor. In May 1965 it was bought from Leathers by motoring connoisseur and collector the late George Milligen in whose ownership it remained until his demise in 2004, sharing the motor house during that time with the likes of a Mercedes 300SL, the marques Pegaso, Bentley, Delage and Facel Vega and the fabulous 38/250 SSK Mercedes-Benz. In 1965 the recorded mileage was just 7,928 miles and Milligen's hugely detailed notebook records mileages and all work completed up to 2004. His family, who have retained the car until now, have continued to record subsequent work, confirming the car's continuous history and careful maintenance through to the present recorded mileage of 135,300 miles. Milligen re-registered the car FAH 444 upon acquisition in 1965 and repainted it in the familiar Milligen 'house livery' of Air Force Blue. He was to tour this car extensively on the continent, the dashboard altimeter proving a useful accessory for such trips. Re-commissioning work in more recent years has included re-panelling and skinning the coachwork as necessary, a respray in red livery and careful conservation of the delightfully original leather upholstery. Four new stainless steel wire wheels are fitted, furnished with Blockley tyres. Much other more recent work is recorded in the Milligen notebook and on invoices on file.
So here is a car with outstanding continuous history from new, from long distinguished ownership and retaining much wonderful patina, one of the rarest of all Jaguar models and the ultimate development of the early XK range. It is smartly presented in its new livery and comes with old and new style registration documents, recently taxed and MoT'd until June 2015, its original Operating, Maintenance and Service Handbook and list of Jaguar dealers and the all important 'Milligen notebook'. Offered with the car are a quantity of spare parts including the original wire wheels, headlamp inserts, spotlamps, over-riders, wheel spinners and other items.