Bonhams : 1960 Jaguar XK150S 3.8-Litre Fastback Chassis no. T825146/DN
1960 Jaguar XK150S 3.8-Litre Fastback  Chassis no. T825146/DN

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Lot 274
1960 Jaguar XK150S 3.8-Litre Fastback

Sold for £ 113,500 (US$ 142,302) inc. premium
1960 Jaguar XK150S 3.8-Litre Fastback
Registration no. RPM 935
Chassis no. T825146/DN
*Historic, period-converted, and unique XK150
*Featured in numerous publications
*Up-rated specification
*Present owner 27 years, continuous history and excellent file

Footnotes

  • This XK150S is the famous 'Hartin Fastback', which was commissioned by its first owner in 1962. Originally a fixed-head coupé, the car was supplied new to the Cooden Engineering Co of Cooden Beach, Bexhill-on-Sea, Sussex and registered by them on 3 March 1960. Cooden's was an authorised Jaguar dealer and sold the car with a recorded mileage of 186 miles on 7 March 1960 to Mr A E Richardson of 679 London Road, Thornton Heath, Surrey.

    Eric Richardson appears to have been a senior partner of the firm of solicitors, Clutton, Moore & Lavington, which had offices at the Thornton Heath address (see letter dated 7 March 1978). Research has revealed that he had family in Durham and travelled there and back from Surrey most weekends. In his letter to Jaguar Cars of 22 March 1960, Mr Richardson states that he normally drove almost 1,000 miles in a weekend - and this before a network of motorways existed! He undoubtedly clocked up a very high mileage with the car. Service records show the mileage total increasing to 17,000 by 28 September 1960; to 61,600 by 20 April 1962; and to 77,500 by 27 February 1963.

    Eric Richardson obviously chose the XK150S with great expectations, it being one of the fastest sports cars of its day, boasting a 0-60mph figure of under 8 seconds and a top speed of over 135mph. Not being content with this performance, he wrote to Jaguar Cars less than a week after taking delivery asking for information relating to the maximum speed attainable, maximum revs usable, if a speedometer with a higher reading was available, what alternative axle ratios could be fitted, etc.

    Jaguar's reply makes amusing reading as they obviously thought the car was fast enough in standard form (see letter of 17 March 1960). However, undaunted by their reply he wrote again on 22 March to the Technical Service Manager at Coventry asking for more information and insisting that he would need a speedometer with a higher reading.

    Mr Richardson obviously managed to find even more speed from the car, as later on he contacted Jaguar saying that the car needed an even higher speedometer as he was then managing to get the needle off the clock! Eventually they managed to come up with a speedometer of the type used on D-Types, which was calibrated to 200mph. This was fitted on 14 May 1962 after the car had covered some 63,000 miles in little over two years, and is still fitted to this day. Jaguar also supplied a higher (2.88:1) final drive ratio. In 1964, having been worn out, the engine was replaced with a correct 3.8-litre 'VAS' S rated engine.

    The conversion to fastback configuration was undertaken in order to be able to keep the car while Mr Richardson's young son was growing up. Apparently he had become too tall to sit in the back of the standard XK150S FHC on trips to Durham and back. Rather than sell the car, Mr Richardson commissioned Leonard and Ron Hartin to design a conversion based loosely on the Ashley hardtops fitted to Sunbeam Alpines and Aston Martins of the period. Based in Hanwell, West London, L&R Hartin Panels Ltd started out as commercial 'metal bashers' before undertaking to manufacture bodies for Cooper Cars, a contract that would lead to them making bodies for Lotus (including Jim Clark's Indianapolis 500 winner) and McLaren.

    The conversion was carried out to the highest standards using aluminium panelling and, at the same time, the front wings were also redesigned with the sidelights being incorporated into the front indicator units. The end result was, arguably, a much prettier fixed-head coupé with more headroom at the rear and a boot of still adequate proportions.

    Sold by Richardson, and several owners later, 'RPM 935' was purchased by the vendor at Brooks' Castle Donington auction in February 1990 (Lot 19). By then the XK was in a very sorry state, necessitating a slow and lengthy restoration that took the best part of four years to complete. Numerous parts had to be specially made, including the rear window and rear trim. Fewer than 200 XK150S fixed-head coupés were made, so the final decision that had to be taken was whether to return it to standard or retain the existing bodywork.

    After consultation with many Jaguar experts and historians (including Bonhams' Doug Nye), it was decided to follow the designs and wishes of the original owner, keeping the spirit of this unique car. Halfway through the restoration it was decided to prepare 'RPM 935' for light competition work in order to take advantage of the growing number of classic car events. With this in mind, the chassis was strengthened and seam-welded, a roll-cage and competition seats fitted, and the engine power increased by fitting triple Weber carburettors, competition pistons and cams, etc. 'RPM 935' was finished two days before the start of the 1994 Lands End to John O'Groats Touring Trial ('Le Jog') and completed the event without missing a beat.

    Since then the Hartin Fastback has featured in numerous publications including Thoroughbred & Classic Cars (October 1995), Jag Mag (December 1995), XK Gazette (May 1998), and Jaguar World Magazine (November 2009). It continued to be maintained and improved by Cambridge Motorsport with additional input from marque specialists, CKL Developments (bills on file). In the last six months, JD Classics have renovated the 150S to an exemplary standard. In its current specification, 'RPM 935' boasts a Mass Racing-prepared engine; triple SU carburettors; Borg-Warner T5 five-speed gearbox; alloy radiator and oil cooler; Coopercraft 4-pot brake callipers and vented discs at the front; XJ6 disc brakes at the rear; vacuum brake servo; adjustable dampers all round; negative-earth alternator electrics; and Aston Martin DB6 wire wheels.

    Summing up his Thoroughbred & Classic Cars road test of the Hartin Fastback, the magazine's then editor and noted motor racing driver, Tony Dron, said: 'It is a unique car which, being a period conversion, has a place in XK150 history and enables its very enthusiastic owner to have a lot of fun.' There can be no doubt that its next owner will too.

Saleroom notices

  • The owner has kindly supplied a list of enhancements made to the car during his ownership. The list is available to view in the history and can also be emailed to interested parties. Please contact Alexandra.Lippai@bonhams.com for further information.
Contacts
1960 Jaguar XK150S 3.8-Litre Fastback  Chassis no. T825146/DN
1960 Jaguar XK150S 3.8-Litre Fastback  Chassis no. T825146/DN
1960 Jaguar XK150S 3.8-Litre Fastback  Chassis no. T825146/DN
1960 Jaguar XK150S 3.8-Litre Fastback  Chassis no. T825146/DN
1960 Jaguar XK150S 3.8-Litre Fastback  Chassis no. T825146/DN
1960 Jaguar XK150S 3.8-Litre Fastback  Chassis no. T825146/DN
1960 Jaguar XK150S 3.8-Litre Fastback  Chassis no. T825146/DN
1960 Jaguar XK150S 3.8-Litre Fastback  Chassis no. T825146/DN
1960 Jaguar XK150S 3.8-Litre Fastback  Chassis no. T825146/DN
1960 Jaguar XK150S 3.8-Litre Fastback  Chassis no. T825146/DN
1960 Jaguar XK150S 3.8-Litre Fastback  Chassis no. T825146/DN
1960 Jaguar XK150S 3.8-Litre Fastback  Chassis no. T825146/DN
1960 Jaguar XK150S 3.8-Litre Fastback  Chassis no. T825146/DN
1960 Jaguar XK150S 3.8-Litre Fastback  Chassis no. T825146/DN
1960 Jaguar XK150S 3.8-Litre Fastback  Chassis no. T825146/DN
1960 Jaguar XK150S 3.8-Litre Fastback  Chassis no. T825146/DN
1960 Jaguar XK150S 3.8-Litre Fastback  Chassis no. T825146/DN
1960 Jaguar XK150S 3.8-Litre Fastback  Chassis no. T825146/DN
1960 Jaguar XK150S 3.8-Litre Fastback  Chassis no. T825146/DN
1960 Jaguar XK150S 3.8-Litre Fastback  Chassis no. T825146/DN
1960 Jaguar XK150S 3.8-Litre Fastback  Chassis no. T825146/DN
1960 Jaguar XK150S 3.8-Litre Fastback  Chassis no. T825146/DN
1960 Jaguar XK150S 3.8-Litre Fastback  Chassis no. T825146/DN
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