Left hand drive 1957 Jaguar XK150SE 3.4-Litre Coupé Registration no. 325 YUT Chassis no. S834046BW Engine no. V1068-8
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-litre engine and four-speed Moss transmission of its predecessors while benefiting from a new, wider body that provided increased interior space and improved visibility courtesy of a single-piece wrap-around windscreen, replacing 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 not appearing until the following year. At 190bhp, the engine's maximum power output was the same as the XK140's so performance was little changed. 'Special Equipment' and 'S' versions came with 210 and 250bhp respectively. Overdrive and a Borg-Warner automatic gearbox were the transmission options, the latter becoming an increasingly 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 centre-lock wire wheels. The much-admired chromed Jaguar mascot was made available as an optional extra on an XK for the first time.
A sought after 'Special Equipment' model fitted with the automatic gearbox, this left-hand drive XK150 coupé was imported from the USA in 2012 and is a 'black plate' California car (that is to say, it was sold new in that State). Partly restored when acquired, it has been completed by the vendor and presents well, though the paintwork could be improved with further detailing. A new interior has been fitted including new seats, headlining, door cards and carpets. Driving well, the auto 'box making for relaxed progress, this refined XK150 could be used 'as is' or treated as a solid basis for further improvement. The car is offered with sundry restoration invoices and Swansea V5 document.