1961 Jaguar XK 150
Year of manufacture1961
Number of seats2
1961 Jaguar XK150 'S' 3.8-Litre Drophead Coupé
Registration no. not UK registered
Chassis no. T827647DN
'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. The 3.8-litre 'S' is one of the rarest of the family with only 282 built out of a total XK150 production of 9,396 cars.
Representing the XK150 in its ultimate configuration, with the 3.8-litre 'S'-specification engine and overdrive gearbox, this car was manufactured on 1st September 1960 and supplied to Henlys in London. It is one of only 69 right-hand drive 3.8-litre 'S' drophead coupés made. The car was originally finished in cream with black interior and matching hood, the same colour combination it has today, and left the factory equipped with chrome wheels, as today. Its first owner was D R Collins Ltd and the original registration was 'LW 50' (later '78 PP').
In 1964 the XK changed hands for the first time, passing to Mr Walter Goddard of Surrey, who was followed by Mr Michael Edward Malone in 1977. From July 1983 the Jaguar was owned by Mr Peter Brown (still registered '78 PP') until it moved to DK Engineering. The current (Dutch) owner purchased the car from DK Engineering in October 1995 (invoice on file). The present owner then commissioned a bare metal re-spray, which was undertaken by M-B Vardy Services in Hampshire between 1996 and 1997. The car then moved with the current owner to Holland where marque specialists Zwakman carried out all the mechanical work required. Zwakman's detailed invoice is on file and the car also comes with its original logbook; JDHT Certificate confirming matching numbers; DK Engineering sales invoice; current Dutch registration papers; and its Operating, Maintenance and Service handbook with Jaguar pouch in very good condition.
Presented in lovely condition, showing few signs of age following its restoration while possessing a lovely patina, this XK150 'S' 3.8 has been meticulously maintained by its current owner and is only sold because he is reducing his collection. The car is on the button and ready to use.