Jaguar's new six-cylinder twin overhead camshaft engine was ready by 1948 and launched in the XK 120 sports car which took the motoring world by storm. Some 12,000 XK 120s were subsequently sold. This was succeeded in 1954 by the XK 140 and the final evolution example was the XK 150 in 1957.

This new car with major American influence had lost some of the svelte looks of its predecessors but was more luxurious; the cockpit was larger and had wind-up windows and a one-piece curved windscreen. The first XK 150 models were 3.4-liter fixed-head coupe and drophead convertibles and in 1958 the Roadster was reintroduced at the same time as the "S" series option for all models. This Harry Weslake "straight port head" version with three large SU carburetors provided 250bhp and then in 1959 a 3.8 liter "S" version giving 265 bhp was introduced providing the ultimate performance, coupled to superb braking.

The very special 1959 XK 150 3.8-liter "S" fixed-head coupe pictured here was delivered to Australia's premier dealership BRYLAWS of Melbourne owned by Jack Bryson in April 1960. The first owner was Darryl Matthews who wanted the equivalent of a competition D-type but in the guise of a 150. The engine was given to legendary tuning expert Bob Jane who modified it with his 4.1-liter competition conversion which included D-type specification exhaust valves, forged pistons and special profiled camshafts. The gearbox has close ratio internals and the suspension was suitably modified to cope with the greatly increased performance, and to add the final touch, original polished magnesium D-Type wheels were fitted.

Jack Bryson was a personal friend of Jaguar chief Sir William Lyons and when he asked for the best Jaguar to be loaned to his niece for her honeymoon, this was the car they used, and his daughter Pat drove it when she visited Australia. Stirling Moss drove the car in the early 1970s and his signature is engraved on one of the alloy spokes of the steering wheel. In 1972 the car was retired from events and stored in a vacuum-sealed air-conditioned container which accounts today for its low mileage of just under 45,000. In 1989 it returned to the UK and its present owner has since pampered the car back to its previous excellent condition.

The leatherwork, paint and mechanics are completely original and Prowess Racing have completely checked the car over replacing incidentals where necessary to make this the most original and best S-Type right-hand drive XK 150 fixed-head coupe in the world.

SCM Analysis


Vehicle:1959 Jaguar XK 150 4.1

We watched as this stunning FHC failed to sell, despite a high bid of $61,120 on 6 May 1991 at the Christie’s Monaco auction. Despite the collapse of the market since then, this particular car might still bring $60,000 if presented in the right venue. It was a handsome 150, with an assortment of exotic add-ons, all desirable, all attractive, and all done properly. – ED.

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