- 1959 Jaguar XK 150 3.4 S Drophead Coupé
- One of only 68 left-hand-drive examples built
- Recent full restoration and beautifully presented
- Subtle upgrades including power steering
Almost 1200 examples of the Jaguar XK 150 3.4 S left the factory, but this particular car is something of a rarity in that it’s one of only 68 left-hand-drive Drophead Coupés that were built. According to the Heritage Certificate, it was completed at Browns Lane on 19 January 1959 and finished in Cream with red interior and a black soft-top.
Chassis number 838065 was fitted with a manual-overdrive gearbox, engine number VS1839-9 and body number P7334. It was dispatched to Jaguar Cars in New York on 16 February, but was thought to have made its way across the US to a first owner who lived in California.
The XK 150 S later formed part of a private collection in The Netherlands and was recently treated to a full ‘no expense spared’ restoration. The project was finished off by renowned marque specialist Guy Broad, based near the old Jaguar factory on the northern outskirts of Coventry.
The work that was carried out included subtle upgrades such as a Vicarage power-steering system, bucket seats, electronic ignition, a louvred bonnet and a lightened flywheel. The clutch was also replaced and a wood-rim Nardi ‘Stirling Moss signature’ steering wheel has been fitted – the original is included in the sale.
The car is now presented in the attractive colour scheme of dark blue with a red interior and looks superb on Borrani RW2623 wire wheels, which are wearing Blockley tyres. The tool kit in the boot, meanwhile, includes the jack and grease gun.
Offered for sale with its matching-numbers engine and gearbox, plus a photographic record of the work carried out by Guy Broad, this Jaguar XK 150 3.4 S is a fast, attractive and extremely practical choice of 1950s sports car.
Introduced in 1957, the XK 150 was the last of the revered XK line that did so much to establish the Jaguar name around the world, and in many ways was a much more usable car than its 120 and 140 predecessors.
Its revised bodywork featured a straighter wing line, wider bonnet and shallower doors to give more room inside. There was also a one-piece windscreen, and the XK 150 pioneered the road use of the disc-brake system with which Jaguar had achieved so much competition success on the C-type and D-type.
The XK 150 was offered in three body styles – the OTS (Roadster), the Drophead Coupé and the Fixed-Head Coupé – and most were export models. This is demonstrated by the production figures for the XK 150 S 3.4 Roadster: 846 left-hand-drive cars, and only 44 with right-hand-drive.
Beneath the bonnet was the 3.4-litre version of Jaguar’s twin-cam XK straight-six. This produced 190bhp in standard specification, but the SE model upped that to 210bhp. In top-of-the-range S specification, triple SU carburettors replaced the twin-carburettor set-up and – with a straight-port cylinder head and a compression ratio of 9:1 – helped to boost power to a claimed 250bhp.
When The Motor magazine tested an XK 150 3.4 S FHC, it recorded a top speed of 132mph, plus a 0-60mph time of 7.8 seconds. The Autocar, meanwhile, demonstrated the engine’s amazing flexibility by recording a 0-100mph time of 33.5 seconds using top gear alone. Such was its overall performance that the magazine stated: ‘After driving the 150 S for many miles, the driver realises that he is in a class apart from ordinary traffic.’
In 1959, Jaguar offered the option of a larger 3.8-litre straight-six, for which it claimed 265bhp in S specification – and it was this engine that would be carried over into the E-type when it replaced the XK in 1961.
In either 3.4- or 3.8-litre form, the XK 150 offered a recipe that Jaguar perfected during the 1950s and 1960s – performance that only limited-run exotica could match, but at a fraction of the price. It was a fitting swansong for the XK family.