Introduced in May 1957, the XK150 was the last Jaguar sportscar to utilise a separate chassis. A more sophisticated and cosseting design than its XK120 and XK140 forebears, the newcomer benefited from a far roomier cabin not to mention the adoption of four-wheel disc brakes. Unveiled in March 1958, some ten months after its Fixed Head Coupe and Drophead Coupe siblings, the Open Two-Seater (or Roadster) variant was primarily aimed at the American market. Decidedly rakish-looking thanks to a repositioned scuttle (moved four inches further back) and curved door tops, it nevertheless boasted a proper hood and wind-up windows. A comparative rarity, just 2,265 Open Two-Seaters are thought to have been made (compared to 2,682 Drophead Coupes and 4,450 Fixed Head Coupes).
Initially powered by a 3442cc derivative of Jaguar's Le Mans-proven DOHC straight-six engine, the XK150 could be specified with an enlarged 3781cc unit from late 1959 onwards. Available in Standard, Special Equipment or 'S' tune, the latter high-performance package comprised a Harry Weslake-modified cylinder head, more aggressive camshaft profiling, high compression pistons and triple SU carburettors. With a claimed 250hp on tap, the 'S' 3.4 Open Two-Seater was reputedly capable of 0-60mph in 7.3 seconds and 135mph. Accounting for just 926 sales in period, the model has long been prized by collectors.
According to the accompanying Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust Production Record Trace Certificate, this particular example left the famous Browns Lane factory bound for Eastern Canada on 14th May 1959. Migrating to Texas some time thereafter, the XK150 was brought back to the UK during 1990. More recently the Open Two-Seater is said to have been "the subject of an extensive body-off, chassis-up restoration with all wearing parts being checked over and / or renewed as necessary". Reportedly "stripped back to bare metal and rendered completely rust free" the bodywork was repainted gloss black, while the interior was "retrimmed in red leather by a marque specialist" who was also responsible for fitting the attractive walnut dashboard. The engine block is original to the chassis but the cylinder head has been replaced with an improved MKX version (a swap which apparently took place Stateside).
The XK150 was UK road registered for the first time in March 2008 and its refurbishment completed some three months later. The vendor informs us that in the interests of increasing the car's drivability / usability it has been upgraded with the following: "a Jaguar LT77 five-speed manual gearbox, aluminium fuel tank, alternator conversion, electronic ignition module (concealed within the distributor), aluminium radiator / Kenlowe fan, stainless steel exhaust (including six-branch manifold) and uprated brakes". Sporting a new double-duck hood / tonneau cover and "chrome that has been replated to a high standard", this handsome Jaguar is worthy of close inspection.
Image and description kindly supplied by H&H Classic Auctions
Jaguar XK150S 3.4 Litre Roadster
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