The ultimate expression of Jaguar’s fabulous ‘XK’ series of sports cars arrived in 1957. The XK150 was a progressive development of the XK120 and XK140, retaining the same basic chassis, 3.4-liter engine and four-speed Moss transmission of its predecessors. It benefited from a new, wider body that provided increased interior space and improved visibility, courtesy of a single-piece wrap-around windscreen that replaced 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 noted on the earlier, drum-braked cars, but now the XK had stopping power to match its prodigious straight-line speed.
The XK150 was available at first only in fixed and drophead coupé forms; the open roadster version didn’t appear 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 carburetors and twin electric fuel pumps. The car regularly recorded in excess of 130mph in magazine road tests. ‘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,’ declared The Autocar.
The wonderful 3.4 XK150 S Roadster on offer today was purchased by the current vendor in 2006 and is finished in red over black. The paintwork is in excellent order and shines vividly- accentuating the timeless lines of the XK150. Both engine, body , transmission and chassis are in good order, and the original leather interior possesses a lovely patina appropriate for the age of the car.
The vendor purchased the car for the Rallye des Alpes and the motor car has performed well both there, and other rallies. Over the years the car has travelled as far as south East Asia including the Tiger rally of Malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos, and to India – including one Journey from the Himalayas following an undeveloped route made by Everest when he was ordered to survey India.
Apart from the Carburettor sticking in Cambodia and the occasional puncture there have been no faults at all.
Always maintained regardless of cost by a well-regarded UK specialist this wonderful example is ready to be enjoyed by its new owner. This iconic British sports car still turns heads is as exciting to drive today as it was in the 1950’s.