The ultimate expression of Jaguar’s fabulous ‘XK’ series of sports cars arrived in 1957. The XK150 was a progressive development of the XK120 and XK140, retaining the same basic chassis, 3.4-liter engine and four-speed Moss transmission of its predecessors. It benefited from a new, wider body that provided increased interior space and improved visibility, courtesy of a single-piece wrap-around windscreen that replaced the XK140’s divided screen.Cleverly, the new body used many XK120/140 pressings, the increased width being achieved by means of a 4”-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 noted on the earlier, drum-braked cars, but now the XK had stopping power to match its prodigious straight-line speed. Jaguar was justifiably proud, as it became the first manufacturer to offer four-wheel disc brakes on a series-production car. The XK150 was available at first only in fixed and drop-head coupé forms; the open roadster version didn’t appear until the following year. At 190bhp, the engine’s maximum power output was identical to that of the XK140, so performance was little changed. ‘Special Equipment’ and ‘S’ versions came with 210 and 250bhp respectively, the latter delivering an astonishing 0-60mph time of 7.3 seconds and a top speed of 136mph.
This was achieved by the introduction of the Weslake-developed ‘straight-port’ cylinder head, high-compression pistons, triple 2” SU carburetors and twin electric fuel pumps. The car regularly recorded in excess of 130mph in magazine road tests. ‘The Jaguar XK150 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.
The car on offer here started off as a ropey Jaguar XK150S FHC and was sent to Bristol Classic and Sports Cars in Clevedon, North Somerset UK as the base for a complete ground up rebuild into a Drop Head Coupe with numerous enhancements providing unparalleled reliability, performance and usability. Some of the upgrades and modifications include stainless steel exhausts, 3X HD8 SU carbs, unleaded fuel conversion, Spax adjustable gas shock absorbers, powder coated chassis and suspension components, polyurethane sports suspension bushes, upgraded brakes but with original vacuum system, upgraded cooling system with Aluminium high performance radiator and Kenlow fan, 5 Speed gearbox, wider Multi spoke wheels and tyres, wood rim steering, power steering and air conditioner. The vehicle is also supplied with matching handmade fully leather luggage set (two duffle and two boot), a Jaguar Heritage Certificate and photo album of the complete restoration. The car has won all of the concourse events that it has entered and has featured in the local Jaguar magazine as well the UK XK magazine. It is without doubt the finest XK in South Africa and amongst the best in the World. With Eagle enhanced Jaguars now selling for around £500K, this virtually brand new XK is ready to be enjoyed on a Sunday or perhaps as an everyday drive at a fraction of the cost.