1959 Jaguar XK 150S 3.4 OTS
Chassis no. T820041D/N
Engine no. VS1999-9
* 3.4-liter straight six
* Powerful 'S' model
* Four-speed overdrive manual transmission
* Desirable roadster coachwork
* Rare home market RHD car
* Fully documented comprehensive restoration
* Coming from long-term ownership
What would turn out to be the final glorious incarnation of Jaguar's fabulous 'XK' series of sports cars arrived in 1957. As its nomenclature suggests, 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 also 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 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 XK150 was available at first only in fixed and drophead 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.
Overdrive and a Borg-Warner automatic gearbox were the transmission options, the latter a very popular choice, while a Thornton Powr-Lok limited-slip differential was available for the XK150S. Steel wheels remained the standard fitting, though XK150s 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. In the autumn of 1959 the XK150 became available with the 3.8-liter engine first seen in the Mark IX saloon. 'Standard' (220bhp) or 'S' (265bhp) states of tune were offered (the latter featured overdrive as standard) and in either form the XK150's increased weight was more than offset by the power of the larger engine. 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.
This right-hand drive 1959 XK150S is one of the rarest open roadster variants made, being one of only 40 cars built to 'S' specification for the home market that year and one of just 16 powered by the 3.4-liter version of the XK motor. According to the Heritage Certificate, chassis T820041DN also had the optional Overdrive transmission and was originally finished in Pearl with Light Blue upholstery and black top. Completed on May 1, 1959, the car was dispatched via Henly's on May 13 and carried the registration number 105 HBH, a plate issued in Luton, Buckinghamshire just two days hence. The chain of ownership dates back to 1965 and the car is known to have resided in England until 1984, when the previous owner took the XK150S to Canada. The current long-term owner, based in the Pacific Northeast, acquired the Jaguar in 1985 and has been its custodian for the past 26 years.
According to the extensive history file that accompanies the Jaguar, it was comprehensively restored by the highly respected marque specialist Sean Johnson at Austin Healey/Elite Restorations whose impeccable work has been lauded both in awards won at shows and above market prices fetched at auction. The through restoration process involved stripping the body back to bare metal and repainting it in spectacular Pearl Grey. The interior was professionally reupholstered in New Blue leather with matching carpets, the top received new canvas in matching New Blue and a new tonneau cover, and all of the chrome was fully refurbished.
Mechanically the engine was rebuilt with 9:1 compression ratio pistons, the carburetors overhauled, and the transmission completely refreshed with all new parts. Power is funneled through a special Power Lok differential geared to 3.54, instead of the standard 4.09, and overdrive is manually actuated, rather than electronically, a combination that was likely ordered with high speed cruising in mind given the 'long legs' the tall ratio and overdrive provide. The electrical system was redone with a new wiring harness; the gauges were rebuilt, the braking system was fitted with new rotors, lines, square pads, masters, and a new servo reserve tank all correct to this car. The only deviations from the original factory specification are the stainless wire wheels fitted with Avon bias ply tires, and the stainless steel exhaust system.
Completed in September 2011, the owner's stated goal was to "maintain original specifications" according to the manufacturer's intentions and reports the "engine pulls strongly and registers perfect oil pressure". The car comes with a correct and complete tool kit, Tecalemit grease gun and a jack, as well as literature including an operating, maintenance and service Handbook, and Maintenance Chart.