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 drop-head 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.
One of 888 original XK 150 S Roadsters produced, this matching numbers example has been meticulously restored in recent years. Supplied as a manual car with overdrive in 1958, the car was initially delivered to the US from where it found its way back to Belgium, purchased by collector Dirk Liibert, who restored it. The next owner, a Swedish collector, took delivery of the car in 2000 and used the XK mainly for weekend touring in nice weather conditions and barely covered 1,500kms a year. The current vendor has most recently refurbished the engine, fitted a new soft top, as well as front screen and new chrome wire wheels and tyres. Complete with Heritage Certificate and service book, this stunning and rare XK 150 S roadster is ready for it’s new custodian.