The final iteration of the XK-series of sports cars arrived in 1957, bringing the most dramatic changes to the model range since the XK120 debuted nearly a decade prior. In an effort to both modernize the car and improve comfort and refinement, the new XK150 featured heavily revised styling with a higher beltline and slab sides. It was wider than the outgoing XK140 and offered considerably more cabin space. While the new design was noticeably different, it retained the same character that made the XK series so iconic. Under the skin, it was business as usual for Jaguar. The chassis featured independent front suspension, a Salisbury live rear axle, disc brakes at all four corners, and rack and pinion steering. The powerful twin overhead cam inline-six soldiered on, uprated to 210 horsepower for the base and S.E. models thanks to a new B-Type cylinder head. New for the XK150 was the addition of the “S” model, which added a straight-port head with triple S.U. Carburetors to produce an impressive 250 horsepower. In October of 1960, production ended, with fewer than 10,000 XK150s rolling out of Jaguar’s Browns Lane works.
This gorgeous 1959 XK150 is one of just 888 3.4-liter models combining the high-performance “S” engine with the sporty Open Two-Seat roadster body. This car is the subject of a body-off, nut-and-bolt restoration, and is offered in the beautiful combination of Regency Red over a biscuit leather cockpit. The “S” package combines wire wheels and dual exhaust from the SE with the 250 horsepower straight-port 3.4-liter six and the optional Laycock de Normanville electric overdrive. This combination gives this 150 superb all-round performance and enhanced high-speed touring ability. The most recent owner discovered this car in Arizona, and while it was a bit tired on the surface, they found it to be an incredibly sound, unmolested example. As the multi-year restoration got underway, they discovered the original sheet metal was remarkably solid and straight, with only one incidental spot of corrosion and no signs of past bodywork.
Thanks to the fastidious owner and various marque specialists’ efforts, this XK150 S OTS presents in excellent order today. The restoration is well-detailed, with beautiful Imperial Red paintwork on the straight and properly aligned body. Plating and brightwork are equally lovely, with excellent bumpers, body trim, and sparkling chrome wire wheels shod with period-correct black wall Michelin Pilote X tires. Fittings include dual wing mirrors, twin Lucas Flamethrower driving lamps, and a new, unused tan canvas tonneau cover.
Compared to the roadster versions of the XK120/140, the XK150 is notably more comfortable and user-friendly. Glass roll-up side windows replaced the fiddly side curtains of earlier models, and Jaguar made the doors made larger for easier ingress, with thinner interior panels to improve cockpit width. Despite the changes, the XK150 cockpit remains familiar to any marque enthusiast, with classic Smiths instruments in a central fascia, the adjustable four-spoke steering wheel, and thin chrome shift lever canted forward for easy reach. This car’s biscuit leather is excellent, showing some light character in the driver’s seat from occasional use. Matching Wilton wool carpets are clean and expertly fitted, as are the various leather trimmings on the dash and door panels. The convertible top frame is fully restored, repainted with the correct shade of dove gray, and finished with tan Stayfast canvas topping.
The matching-numbers 3.4-liter inline-six was completely rebuilt as part of the restoration, along with the gearbox, overdrive unit, and rear differential. Before reuniting the engine with the chassis, it was detailed to a high standard, with highlights including the pumpkin orange cylinder head (correct for S-specification engines), period-correct decals and labels, and polished alloy cam covers, carburetor bodies, and intake. The exhaust manifolds are the proper black porcelain finish with brass hardware, and they feed a full stainless steel system. The frame and suspension components are powder coated satin black and reassembled using new or restored fasteners. Nearly every aspect of the project is well-documented through a large stack of receipts, records, and hundreds of detailed photographs. Also, a fully restored tool kit and hammer will accompany the sale.
Since completing the restoration, the owners have enjoyed their marvelous Jaguar sparingly, accruing approximately two thousand miles via casual drives and tours. It scored 99-points in JCNA competition at the Little Switzerland Concours event, and it remains in excellent condition inside and out. As the driver’s choice from the XK family, this 150 S OTS will be a welcome addition to any enthusiast’s garage.
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