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1959 Jaguar XK150 ‘S’ 3.4 Litre Drophead Coupé

  • 1959 Jaguar XK150 ‘S’ 3.4 Litre Drophead Coupé
  • 1 of 19 UK RHD 3.4S Dropheads built
  • Matching numbers engine and chassis
  • Nut & bolt restoration in 2005
  • Bare metal respray in 2019

MODEL HISTORY

The final glorious incarnation of the fabulous series of XK sports cars by Jaguar the XK150 arrived in 1957, as the company were taking 5 of the first six places at Le Mans. The 150 was a progressive development of the XK120 and XK140, retaining the same basic chassis, four speed Moss transmission and 3.4 litre engine of its predecessors yet benefitting from a new, wider body and single-piece wrap-around windscreen that provided much increased interior space and improved visibility. A higher front wing line and wider radiator grill together with a clever 4” wide central fillet were the obvious design differences allowing the factory to retain use of many of the XK120/140 pressings.

Learning from their Le Mans experiences the major leap forwards for the 150 was its Dunlop disc brakes eliminating the problem of brake fade suffered by the earlier, drum braked cars. This new model now had stopping power to match its performance.

Launched in the Spring of 1957, in fixed and drophead coupe body styles the roadster version would not be launched until the following year. The engines maximum power output was the same as the XK140 at 190bhp but before long the SE ‘Special Equipment and ‘S’ versions were introduced with 210 and an impressive 250bhp respectively. The ‘S’ model utilised a Weslake-developed ‘straight-port’ cylinder head, high compression pistons, triple 2” SU carburettors and twin electric fuel pumps delivering an impressive 0-60 mph time of 7.3 seconds and top speed of 136mph. A Borg-Warner automatic gearbox or manual with Laycock overdrive were the available transmission options.

We know that just 662 XK150 Drophead Coupés were originally built in RHD out of a total production of 2,671. How many ‘S’ models and with which engines is less clear. Some sources claim as few as 17 3.4 ‘S’ Dropheads while others cite around 30. Either way, both the ‘S’ models were extremely rare in RHD form and as a result are extremely sought after by collectors

THIS MOTOR CAR

This Jaguar XK150 S 3.4 Litre Drophead Coupé for sale at The Classic Motor Hub was delivered in May 1959 to Henlys Limited of London and subsequently sold to its first owner, Vasco Lazzolo, a renowned portrait artist and close friend of Dr. Stephen Ward of ‘Profumo Affair’ fame. The story goes that the two friends both ordered new XK150 DHC’s, Ward opted for a standard 3.4 Litre, whereas Lazzolo went for the more powerful and much rarer ‘S’ version. Allegedly, Christine Keller herself drove this car on a number of occasions. In 1970 the Jaguar made its way up to Scotland where it resided until 1983 when it was was bought by an Ian McNee, who took the car with him to South Africa where he drove it around the Eastern Cape for many years before deciding to embark on a nut and bolt restoration.

Progress was slow and in 2003 the nearly completed restoration project was bought by the current owner. A fastidious perfectionist he decided to start over and instructed Jaguar Classic Restorations in Cape Town to get on with the restoration immediately. The interior trim was ordered from Suffolk & Turley in the UK and shipped to South Africa. The original colour had been Pastel Blue, a popular colour in period but it can split opinion. The owner was not a fan of the original colour but being a stickler for originality where possible he decided to stick with the Jaguar palette and had the car painted Opalescent Silver Blue. Subtle upgrades included an electic fan for the African climate and a smaller diameter, wooden rim steering wheel.

In 2018, the owner returned home to the United Kingdom and brought his beloved Jag over with him. Unfortunately, during transit the offside wing and door suffered some superficial damage. Being the perfectionist that he is, the owner couldn’t stand the idea of simply painting the two panels and hoping for a good paint finish and colour match, so he entrusted Jonathan Wills of Cotswold Classic Car Restorations, well respected Jaguar and Aston Martin restorers, to carry out a bare metal respray.

Now resplendent in Opalescent Silver Blue with Dark Blue interior and hood, this fabulous Jaguar XK150 S 3.4 Litre Drophead Coupé for sale at The Classic Motor Hub is ready for its next owner. A brand new set of Michelin Pilote X tyres have just been fitted and the car has been through our workshop to make sure it is in tip top order throughout.

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