Few marques dominated racing like Jaguar in the 1950’s, winning Le Man in 1951, 1953, 1955, 1956, & 1957. Racing in the 1950’s sold cars. It didn’t take long for that which the all-conquering Jaguar had learned on the track to find its way into their road cars.
“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
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-litre 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.
Previously owned by the famous Italian architect Marco Piva, this XK150 lead the life of a nobleman in Italy and was only used for longer trips on the odd occasion, just like a real Gran Tourismo, before it was washed, dried and taken back to the climate controlled garage. Its owners decided to have this elegant “family member” undergo a professional and extensive nut and bolt restoration between 2012 and 2014. This focused predominately on the cars mechanics as the body had suffered little as a result of the meticulous care of its fastidious owner. New parts and screws can be found down to the last detail, the wiring loom was renewed with modern material according to factory specifications and the medium red leather interior feels original but deliberately not new.
The Jaguars sinewy performance is underlined by the automatic gear shift – a Gran Tourismo is both a car for competitive racing and relaxed cruising with luggage – no other car than the aristocratic Jaguar XK150 Coupe could possibly do a better job.
A rarely seen European version of the XK150 ‘SE’ that has been subject to a complete professional renovation. Its ‘S’ chassis number prefix indicating that it is a sought after ‘Special Equipment’ model, this left-hand drive XK150 is not your usual US import. One not to be missed.