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Lot 232: Jaguar XK 150 SE Drophead Coupe

Motor Cars, Coys (11 March 2010)

This lovely drophead XK150 was despatched from Jaguar in July 1958 as a 3.4-litre SE model finished in Carmen Red and fitted with manual overdrive transmission. According to the original buff log book that accompanies this car's extensive history file it was first registered on 11th September 1958 and is therefore an original U.K market car, having been delivered to one Aledulla Bayezid in Goodge Street, London W1. In July of 1964, it was passed onto its second owner, the noted Jaguar enthusiast and racing driver, Derek Bovet-White and father of the vendor. Bovet-White campaigned an ex-competition SS100 before the war and subsequently bought an XK120 roadster in 1950 with which to continue his racing exploits. Success followed this keen competitor when Bovet-White won the oversubscribed Johore Grand Prix in 1952 in his obviously competitive XK120. Continued loyalty to XK models saw the keen racer move onto a 1955 XK140, which he subsequently traded in for the very car on offer today. This transaction is testified by the original invoice, dated 14th July 1964, from the Polegate Motor Company showing 'VXL 655' being sold to Bovet-White for the grand sum of £475.00 and giving a fair allowance on his XK140 trade-in of £200. Ah! Those were the days! The new acquisition was to stay on with Bovet-White and 'VXL 655' was enthusiastically used, taking in such events as the historic races at Angoulême, the Mount Ventoux hillclimb, Brighton Speed Trials, Le Mans support events plus several JDC events. The logical quest for more power saw an engine change in 1977 when the car had covered some 46,000 miles. A 3.8 litre 'S' specification engine was built up with 9 to 1 compressions pistons, a lightened flywheel and a suitably modified competition-type cylinder head was supplied by Ron Beaty of Forward Engineering. With typical attention to detail, Bovet-White ordered that the correct 'S' inner wing modification was carried out to accommodate the triple SU carburetors and that a correct 'S' air cleaner box was sourced at the same time. By 1980, Bovet-White Snr had passed on ownership of 'VXL 655' to his son, the vendor, so that the car could remain in active, enthusiastic service. True to his intentions, this superb Jaguar was actively used for another nineteen years until it went in for a MOT test in 1999. By then the car was looking and feeling a little tired so, over the ensuing nine years, a comprehensive restoration programme got underway under the capable direction of marque expert Tony Brooks. Needless to say this restoration project was carried out as enthusiastically as the car had been previously used. Invoices in excess of £44,000 testify to the fact that this was no cosmetic 'make-over'. The body was stripped down and new rear wings fitted. A bare metal repaint to concours standard was then carried out, while the original biscuit leather with red piping interior was appropriately conserved. A full hood retrim, expertly executed in high quality black mohair with beige West of England cloth headlining, kept the elements away from the driver in fine style. A Derrington steering wheel fittingly completed the cockpit appointments. The engine bay was given the same meticulous attention to detail as the exterior: new exhaust manifolds were fitted and the engine and its surround compartment expertly detailed by Tony Brooks. 'S'-model badging was then applied to give notice that this was a seriously potent device. Koni shock absorbers were fitted all round while correct 'curly' hub 16 inch chrome wire wheels on Avon Turbospeed tyres were sourced to keep this road rocket glued to the road . According to the dyno sheet that accompanies the car's history file, some 271 BHP at fly wheel, equating to 220 BHP at rear wheels was achieved  a figure easily exceeding Jaguar's ultimate factory specification. In order to contain such power, 3-pot calipers were fitted at the front as was a competition limited slip differential to help maintain traction. The original factory-fitted Moss close-ratio manual gearbox with overdrive was supported by the fitting of a competition diaphragm clutch. A complete, new wiring harness was fitted to the car, along with an electric 'Kenlowe' cooling fan. A new stainless steel exhaust system with straight through pipes added an aural dynamic to this impressive restoration, which was completed in 2008 in time to attend the XK60 celebrations at Goodwood. Since then some 3,000 miles have been completed without incident. The car went back to Tony Brooks in May 2009, when an oil service and MOT were carried out. The car was then professionally valeted and treated to some high-end wax products before being carefully stored in a 'Carcoon'. The history file that accompanies this impressive example contains all restoration invoices and photographic documentation, dyno sheet, 15 old MOT certificates, the original invoice to Bovet-White Snr, original buff log book showing the original owner and subsequent Bovet-White family ownership, original factory handbook, sales brochure and the disc brake leaflet plus a V5C registration document and current MOT certificate. The car is currently road taxed.

Lot Details
Auction Motor Cars
Coys, Royal Horticultural Halls, London
Lot Number232
Outcome NOT SOLD
Hammer Price-
Hammer Price (inc premium)-
Condition rating
Registration numberVXL 655 
Chassis numberS827158DN
Engine number
Engine capacity (cc)
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors