1959 Jaguar XK 150S 3.4 Roadster

Courtesy of Bonhams

The final glorious incarnation of Jaguar’s fabulous XK series of sports cars arrived in 1957. The XK 150 was a progressive development of the XK 120 and XK 140, 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 that replaced the XK 140’s divided screen.

Cleverly, the new body used many XK 120/140 pressings, the increased width being achieved by means of a four-inch-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 XK 150 was available at first only in fixed and drophead coupe forms, the open roadster version not appearing until the following year. At 190 brake horsepower, the engine’s maximum power output was identical to that of the XK 140, so performance was little changed.

Special Equipment and S versions came with 210 and 250 brake horsepower respectively. Overdrive and a Borg-Warner automatic gearbox were the transmission options, while a Thornton Powr-Lok limited-slip differential was available for the XK 150S.

Steel wheels remained the standard fitting, although XK 150s so equipped are a great rarity, as most were sold in SE (Special Equipment) specification with center-lock wire wheels. The much-admired chromed Jaguar mascot was made available as an optional extra on an XK for the first time.

“The Jaguar XK 150 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.

A much-sought-after S model, this XK 150 roadster comes with a Jaguar Heritage Certificate confirming that it left the factory in March 1959 equipped with the 3.4-liter engine and desirable manual/overdrive transmission. The car was delivered via Mann Egerton and finished in Carmen Red with matching leather interior and black soft top — its present color scheme.

Retaining matching chassis/engine numbers and its original Norfolk registration, 7228AH has been in single-family ownership from new and comes with its original old-style buff logbook, the latter erroneously recording the engine capacity as 3,781 cc.

We are advised the XK has been driven mostly in the dry, is not corroded in the usual places and is generally sound; last taxed in 2004 and garage stored since then, it will have been recommissioned prior to sale. The car is offered with the aforementioned logbook and Jaguar Heritage Certificate, sundry service invoices, V5 registration document and its original toolkit, PDI form, price list and owner’s handbook. An electric windscreen washer and twin 12-volt batteries are the only notified deviations from factory specification.

Paul Hardiman

Paul Hardiman - SCM Senior Auction Analyst

Paul is descended from engineers and horse thieves, so he naturally gravitated toward the old-car marketplace and still finds fascination in the simpler things in life: looking for spot-weld dimples under an E-type tail, or counting the head-studs on a supposed Mini-Cooper engine. His motoring heroes are Roger Clark, Burt Levy, Henry Royce and Smokey Yunick — and all he wants for next Christmas is an Alvis Stalwart complete with picnic table in the back and a lake big enough to play in.

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