1959 Jaguar XK150 S Roadster

The introduction of the new XK150 in 1957 marked the most significant evolution of Jaguar’s legendary XK series since the XK120’s debut in 1948. In mechanical terms, the new 150 was similar to the outgoing 140, with independent front suspension, Salisbury rear axle, and rack and pinion steering. New for the 150, however, was the addition of the Dunlop four-wheel disc brakes, which were instrumental in Jaguar’s five wins at Le Mans in the 1950s. The body was overall taller and wider to accommodate a more spacious cockpit, and styling was consequently revised with slab sides to freshen and modernize the design language. In keeping with tradition, the XK150 was available as an open two-seat roadster, drophead coupe, or closed fixed-head coupe. Power continued to come from the 3.4-liter version of the XK twin-cam inline-six, fitted with twin SU carburetors in standard form.

Initially, it seemed that the XK150 got off to a rough start. A factory fire in February 1957 delayed production, and the marginally heavier coachwork blunted the performance of the standard models, which were fractionally slower than the XK140. However, Jaguar quickly responded to customer criticism with the new Special Equipment package, which added a useful twenty horsepower to the base model, along with wire wheels and dual exhaust. That was followed by the optional “S” package of 1958, which added a trio of 2-inch SU carbs and a straight-port C-Type cylinder head to bump output to an impressive 250 horsepower and help the XK150 live up to its Le Mans-proven roots. Only the last of the line 3.8-liter S would make more power in the XK series. Buyers responded well to the modernized styling, as well as the improved comfort and performance, particularly from the SE and S models, and sales were up slightly over the XK140. Ultimately, the XK150 proved to be a fitting swansong to the legendary XK line, setting the stage for the arrival of Jaguar’s next sensational sports car, the E-Type.

We are pleased to offer this truly outstanding and beautifully-restored 1959 Jaguar XK150 S OTS roadster. The XK150 S is the most desirable model of all the 150 series, and this documented S roadster is the recipient of a superb, fresh restoration by the respected experts JK Restorations of Oswego, Illinois, completed in 2019. The accompanying Jaguar Daimler Heritage Certificate shows this car left Coventry on June 18, 1958, finished in Pearl Grey over light blue leather, destined for Jaguar Cars, New York. The first owner is not listed on the Heritage Certificate, and by the early 1970s, it belonged to a Mr. James Flynn of Florida, who sold the car to Mr. Vincent Graham of Illinois in 1971. Mr. Graham owned the XK150 for the next forty-four years, intending to restore it but never finding the time to do so. He sold the Jaguar to the most recent owner in 2015, who, shortly after acquiring it, commissioned JK Restorations to perform the comprehensive body-off restoration, documented in a series of photographs and receipts.

Photos show the car was complete and generally sound, albeit a bit tired when the restoration began. The team at JK removed the body from the chassis to gain full access to every last nut, bolt, and fastener. After restoring the frame and refinishing it in gloss black paint, they completely rebuilt the brakes, suspension, and wiring before turning their attention to the coachwork. The body was restored with impeccable attention to detail, with particular care given to ensure beautifully straight panels and tight, even gaps. With the bodywork sorted, it received a beautiful shade of Imperial Maroon paint, accented with a tan top and Biscuit interior. The paintwork is a factory-offered color, and finished to concours standards with immaculate finish quality and detailing. Similarly, the chrome bumpers and body trim are fully restored and superb, and the car rides on gorgeous chrome knock-off wire wheels with period-style Vredestein Sprint Classic radials.

Biscuit tan leather provides a marvelous complement to the deep maroon paintwork. The restoration of the interior is on par with that of the body, featuring beautiful English leather, Wilton wool carpets, and correct-pattern vinyl materials all finished to a high standard of quality. Original, rebuilt instruments sit in an upholstered fascia, which foregoes the traditional wood trim of its predecessors for a more modern and sporty appearance, suiting the character of the XK150 S. The materials, fit, and presentation are all first-rate and consistent with this car’s superb restoration. The boot is detailed using correct upholstery materials and houses a factory tool kit, hammer, and spare wheel.

As part of the extensive restoration, the team at JK rebuilt this car’s engine, gearbox, and rear differential to factory specifications. It retains its original, numbers-matching 3.4-liter engine block and C-Type cylinder head backed with the original 4-speed manual gearbox and desirable Laycock de Normanville overdrive, as per the Heritage certificate. Jaguar’s legendary inline-six is powerful, full of character, and one of the most beautiful production engines of all time. This car features the distinct polished cam covers, correct pumpkin orange paint on the cylinder head (reserved for the S models), and triple SU carburetors with polished alloy dashpots. Fastidious detailing includes period-correct Cheney hose clamps, correct wiring, rebuilt original generator and starter motor, and a gorgeous stainless steel exhaust system.

Thanks to its power, balanced handling, and superior comfort, driving enthusiasts rank the XK150 S as one of the best models in Jaguar’s XK series. This superb, expertly restored, and highly desirable OTS roadster is sure to satisfy its next caretaker and is an ideal choice for concours events, JCNA shows, or any number of premier driving events around the world.


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