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1960 Jaguar XK 150 3.8 S FHC

  • 1960 Jaguar XK 150 3.8 S FHC
  • Only of only 115 right-hand-drive examples
  • Genuine S-specification UK-market car
  • Bare-metal respray in Silver

Built during the final year of XK production, this Jaguar XK 150 3.8 S fixed-head coupé was completed on 19 February 1960 and dispatched to Henlys London on 23 March. From there, it was sold to its first owner – a Mr RW Kuiper – and registered YYU 484 on 5 May 1960.

It is 1 of only 115 right-hand-drive 3.8 S fixed-head coupés to leave the Browns Lane factory. In fact, total production for all variants of the XK 150 3.8 S amounted to only 282 cars, so this is a rare example of an already rare model.

Chassis number T825151 was fitted with engine number VAS1127-9, and this XK 150 was originally finished in Carmen Red. It’s now presented in an elegant shade of Silver and has retained its red interior – the carpets and seats are thought to be original and have acquired a beautiful patina.

Mr Kuiper retained the XK 150 until 1967, when it was sold to Donald Funnell in Berkshire. The extensive history file contains both the buff logbook and the continuation logbook, while the invoices and MoTs go all the way back to when the car was owned by Grace Mawer between 1973 and 1977.

A complete mechanical overhaul was carried out in 2007, which included – among a great many other things – the fitment of a new steering rack, the camshafts being reground, the cylinder head being rebuilt, and the rear axle being rebuilt. Shortly afterwards, a bare-metal respray was carried out. As testament to the fastidious nature of the then-owner, this was not because the existing finish was showing any wear or corrosion, but simply because it was not quite the correct shade of Silver.

YYU 484 has been equally well cared for by its current custodian. The overdrive unit was overhauled in 2013, and the engine was rebuilt in 2018. As part of that work, new Mahle pistons were fitted and the cylinder head was modified for unleaded petrol. The gearbox was also stripped and rebuilt, and a new clutch fitted. Electronic ignition and a Dynator were installed at the same time, while other sensible modifications for regular use include a Kenlowe fan and inertia-reel seatbelts.

Now being offered for sale by The Classic Motor Hub, this matching-numbers Jaguar XK 150 3.8 S FHC is a car that we know well. A rare and beautifully presented example of this most potent of XKs, it will make a practical, fast and stylish classic for its next owner.

Model history

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 during the 1950s.

Although it shared the basic look of the earlier XK 120 and 140, the body was heavily modified, with 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.

Beneath the bonnet was, initially, the 3.4-litre version of Jaguar’s now-legendary twin-cam XK straight-six. In top-of-the-range S specification, this boasted triple SU carburettors, a straight-port cylinder head, and a compression ratio of 9:1 – all of which added up to a claimed 250bhp. An optional limited-slip differential was also offered.

When The Autocar road-tested an XK 150 3.4 S FHC, it demonstrated the engine’s amazing flexibility by recording a 0-100mph time of 33.5 seconds using top gear alone, and 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 fitted the 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.

Still a seriously quick car even by today’s standards, the XK 150 3.8 S 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.

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