Introduced in the spring of 1957, the XK150 was available at first only in fixed and drophead coupé forms, the open roadster version not appearing 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. This was achieved by the introduction of the Weslake-developed ‘straight-port’ cylinder head, high-compression pistons, triple 2′ SU carburettors, and twin electric fuel pumps. Overdrive and a Borg-Warner automatic gearbox were the transmission options, the latter becoming an increasingly popular choice, while a Thornton Powr-Lok limited-slip differential was available for the XK150 ‘S’. Steel wheels remained the standard fitting, though XK150’s so equipped are a great rarity, as most were sold in ‘SE’ (Special Equipment) specification with centre-lock wire wheels. The much-admired chromed Jaguar mascot was made available as an optional extra on an XK for the first time.
In the autumn of 1959 the XK150 became available with the 3.8-litre engine first seen in the Mark IX saloon. ‘Standard’ (220bhp) or ‘S’ (265bhp) states of tune were offered (the latter featuring overdrive as standard) and in either form the XK150’s increased weight was more than offset by the power of the larger engine, the car regularly recording in excess of 130mph in magazine road tests.
Representing the XK150 in its highest specification, with 265bhp 3.8-litre engine and overdrive gearbox, this ultra-rare ‘S’ Fixed Head Coupe was despatched in February 1960 to J.E. Bullock & Son in Manchester to a Dr. Doreen Hayes, finished in Pearl Grey with a Red leather interior. In more recent years the XK150 has enjoyed much care and attention by recognised specialists such as Mark Danes, who completed a body and mechanical restoration in the early 1990’s, which included an overhauled gearbox and new clutch. The car was treated to further attention by highly regarded restorers LeRiche in Jersey, including the fitting of a stainless steel fuel tank.
Returning to England, in the current long term ownership the XK150 has more recently benefited from rebuilt brakes, suspension, steering, and re-trim courtesy of Aldridge of Wolverhampton (who also replaced the windscreen with a correct part-tinted item). Notably the XK has spent six weeks during 2017 in the care of Jaguar Heritage of Ryton, where it enjoyed a health check, compression test and further minor improvements.
Nicely finished in old English white with black leather interior, this represents an exciting opportunity to acquire the ultimate version of the legendary XK family.