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Lot 238: 1960 Jaguar XK150 Drophead Coupe

A Sale Of Collectors' Motorcars, Bonhams (8 June 2008)

Jaguar created a sensation when its XK-120 roadster was introduced in 1948. Low and lithe, with a curvaceous envelope body, it had a newly-designed dual overhead cam six of 3,442 cc. The model took its name from a May 1949 speed run by a production roadster on Belgiumís Jabbeke Highway, where it was clocked at over 120 mph. The first XK-120s arrived in the United States in August 1949, West Coast deliveries beginning the following month. Priced at $3,945, it cost more than a Buick Roadmaster and almost twice the sticker on an MG TC. But there was nothing else like it on the market. Of the 12,000 XK-120s built over the modelís lifetime, over 80 percent were left-hand drive, most destined for North America. A handsome fixed-head coupe was added to the line in 1951, and a convertible with roll-up side windows in 1953.

For 1955, the chassis was redesigned, with larger torsion bars and rack-and-pinion steering. The engine was given higher-lift camshafts, which had the effect of raising horsepower to 190. The car was re-designated XK-140, and two variants were added, the XK-140M, which included wire wheels, dual exhaust and fog lamps, and the XK-140MC with the cylinder head from the C-Type Jag, which raised horsepower to 210.

The final iteration of the original XK arrived in 1958, with the XK-150. Significantly restyled, the cars now had a higher beltline, with virtually no dip ahead of the rear fender. The windshield was a one-piece curved affair, and the grille was widened. For the first time, four-wheel disc brakes were available, and fitted to most cars. An XK-150S model, with engine uprated to 250 bhp, was added to the line. For 1960, the 3,781cc engine from the Mark IX sedan became available as an option. In mid-1961, the all-new E-Type, sold as XK-E in North America, was introduced and the XK-150 was quietly phased out.

Meticulously restored about a decade ago, this XK-150 convertible was fitted with a new black convertible top and exhaust system in 2008. Finished in Old English White, it has an Oxblood leather interior and is equipped with wire wheels. It has the optional 3,781 cc engine, which makes 220 bhp with 8.0 to 1 compression and twin SU sidedraft carburetors, and four-speed manual transmission with overdrive, replacing the original automatic unit. Most 1960 XK-150s were coupes; just 2,489 convertibles were built, 586 with the larger engine. This one runs and drives exceptionally well, and represents an excellent opportunity to acquire the last of the traditional XK sports cars to rally, show or simply enjoy on the road.

Lot Details
Auction A Sale Of Collectors' Motorcars
Bonhams, Greenwich, Connecticut
Lot Number238
Outcome NOT SOLD
Hammer Price-
Hammer Price (inc premium)-
Condition rating
Registration number
Chassis numberS838943BW
Engine numberVA2039-9
Engine capacity (cc)
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors