“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.” -The Autocar
What would turn out to be the final glorious incarnation of Jaguar’s fabulous ‘XK’ series of sports cars arrived in 1957.
As its nomenclature suggests, the XK150 was a progressive development of the XK120 and XK140, retaining the same basic chassis, 3.4-liter engine and 4-speed Moss transmission of its predecessors while benefiting from a new, wider body that provided increased interior space and improved visibility courtesy of a single-piece wrap-around windscreen, replacing 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 a problem of the earlier, drum-braked cars, but now the XK had stopping power to match its prodigious straight-line speed.
Introduced in the spring of 1957, the XK150 was available at first only in fixed and drop head coupe forms, the open Roadster version not appearing until the following year. At 210bhp, the standard 3.4-liter engine’s maximum power output was identical to that of the XK140, so performance was little changed. Overdrive and a Borg-Warner automatic gearbox were the transmission options, the latter becoming an increasingly popular choice, while a Thornton Power-Lok limited-slip differential was available for the XK150S.
This delightful matching numbers XK150, finished in British Racing Green with tan interior trim, was distributed by Jaguar cars, New York on the 20th March 1958, with its first owner being a Mr. Richard Piper according to its Jaguar Production Record Certificate. Brought back to the UK 25 years ago this car then stayed in single ownership until recently.
Recently subject to light restoration including work completed to the wire wheels, new tyres fitted, stainless steel exhaust and carburettors reconditioned. The XK150 is said to be in superb condition but the current owner and an independent report by a Jaguar specialist notes that ‘the interior is very tidy, leather good, head lining good, dashboard good. The car drives well and pulls strongly, with oil pressure when hot 40psi at idle 60psi at 2000RPM.’