1960 Jaguar XK150 3.8 Drophead

For many years, the Jaguar XK150 lived somewhat in the shadow of its older sibling, the XK120. After all, the XK120 established Jaguar’s credibility in the United States and was elemental to the sports car boom of the late 1940s. But as much as collectors and enthusiasts have celebrated the XK120, the XK150 was always the thinking person’s choice, quietly offering superior comfort, braking, handling, and refinement. As the final evolution of the XK range, the 150 is the most usable and best developed, offering four-wheel disc brakes, telescopic dampers, and rack-and-pinion steering. For the majority of XK150 production, the 3.4-litre engine (shared with the XK140 M) was the standard fitment. However, the final batch of cars featured the larger and more powerful 3.8-litre engine developed for the upcoming E-Type. Today, the XK150 has emerged as a standout collector car, offering a distinct combination of superlative performance and elegance that make it unmistakably a Jaguar.

Offered here is a splendid XK150 with the versatile and lovely drophead coupe body, and the rare, highly desirable 3.8-litre engine. According to the accompanying Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust certificate, this car was produced in February 1960 and dispatched for Jaguar Cars, New York, about a month later. The factory build records show this is a genuine 3.8-litre car equipped with the extremely rare optional Borg-Warner automatic gearbox. Originally finished in cream over blue trim, it was the recipient of a comprehensive restoration and is now finished in a striking combination of Carmen Red with black upholstery and hood. The older restoration is well-maintained and has mellowed gently, giving the car an appealing character that invites regular use. The red paintwork is in excellent order all around, with good detailing and finish quality. The brightwork and body fittings are in similarly good condition, and exterior details include correct Lucas headlights and fog lamps, chrome exhaust tips, and beautiful chrome wire wheels fitted with period-correct Pirelli Cinturato tires that provide the proper stance and handling characteristics.

The primary appeal of the XK150 is that it offers considerably more space and comfort compared to its older brethren, making it the ideal choice for drivers. This example features a pleasingly well-restored cabin, trimmed in the proper materials, including leather seats, wool carpets, and vinyl coverings on the door panels and dash. The seats display a bit of light creasing consistent with regular use, while some minor wear is noted on the driver’s outer bolster. Greeting the pilot is a factory-correct four-spoke steering wheel and an array of Smiths instruments in the central fascia, which is correctly trimmed in gray vinyl. For the first time in an XK sports car, there was no wood trim offered across the range. Jaguar employed an unusual but creative solution for the gear selector, mounting it horizontally on the dash, just below the gauges. The black canvas soft fits well and is insulated and lined with a broadcloth headliner to reduce noise, and includes a matching canvas boot cover. A period-correct tool kit accompanies the sale.

Per the Heritage Certificate, the original numbers-matching 3.8-litre inline-six remains in its rightful place under the bonnet. The engine displays a slight patina from age and use, yet it is quite tidy, properly-detailed, and attractive – dressed in its signature polished alloy cam covers and twin SU carburetors. It runs well, with the smoothness and ample low-end torque that defines Jaguar’s legendary big ‘six.

With its powerful 3.8-litre engine and rarely-seen automatic gearbox, this XK150 falls firmly on the Grand Touring side of the XK-series scale, providing its occupants with relaxed, easy-going performance with all of the style and character that enthusiasts expect from these iconic Jaguars.


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