1960 Jaguar XK150 SE 3.8 Drophead Coupe

From a deceased estate; current owner 20 years; beautifully restored in the early 1990s and fewer than 12,000 miles since; power steering; overdrive; Coopercraft brakes; one of only 264 made in RHD; a wonderful car in all respects

"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" - Autocar.

It is hard to imagine the impact that Jaguar’s XK range had when it was launched way back in 1948. At a time of bleak postwar austerity when the average family saloon could barely crack 60mph and might take a week to get there, the XK120 was an outrageously sexy sportscar with a twin-cam race-bred engine that could smash past 60 in just a few seconds on its way to a top speed of 120mph. The fact that this epic machine emerged from the shattered ruins of Coventry only made it all the more heroic.

Outstanding motorcars by any standards, the three XK models from the William Lyons stable remained in production for 13 years and simply got better as time went on. Last of the line was the sensational XK150 of 1957, safer, faster and roomier than the XK140 it replaced. Available in roadster, drophead and fixed-head coupe form, it was initially powered by a 190bhp 3.4-litre six, but eventually had a magnificent triple-carb 3.8-litre unit that produced 265bhp and could crack 60 in 7.2 seconds with a top speed of 135mph. Stopping power was also vastly improved thanks to the adoption of the disc brake technology that Jaguar had honed at Le Mans.

The XK150 remained in production until late 1960 by which time some 9,300 had been sold of which only around 600 were right-hand drive dropheads and only 264 were 3.8 SE models. Priced above the fixed-head and roadster versions, the dropheads had occasional rear seats and a fully lined hood.

First registered in Portsmouth in January 1960, this gorgeous XK150 SE 3.8 DHC looks stunning in Cotswold Blue with a navy blue interior. From 1991 – 2002 it was owned by a Mr M Campbell of Alton who sent it to Brian Stevens Classic Car Restorations of Rotherwick for a total body-off restoration which was carried out between 1992 and 1994. The bills for the work amount to over £56,000 and the labour rate was only £20 per hour so one dreads to think how much that would cost today.

No corners were cut and £17,000 was spent on new body panels alone. The interior was fully retrimmed to an exceptionally high standard, the brightwork was rechromed (cadmium plated followed by gold passifated) and the brakes/steering/suspension/axle/propshaft/electrics were all renewed or refurbished as required. Interestingly, there are no bills relating to the engine or gearbox although it seems that larger carburettors were fitted.

Nevertheless, the gearbox is delightful and the engine certainly sounds lovely with good 60psi oil pressure, a stamp on the block indicating that it has been bored out to 3,847cc at some point rather than the 3,781cc as standard. The original engine (VA1316-8) also seems to have been replaced by a later Jaguar Mk2 3.8 unit (LB2185-9) although the V5C has not been amended to record these changes.

The odometer was re-set to zero once the restoration was completed and it seems that Mr Campbell (who also owned several other classics) barely drove the car, old MOTs showing that it only covered 748 miles between 1994 and 2002.

Our vendor acquired the car from renowned dealer Duncan Hamilton of Basingstoke in November 2002 and used it more regularly, the odometer currently showing 11,915 miles which included a tour round France. He also carried out some choice upgrades including a hydraulic power steering rack conversion in 2009 using a kit supplied by M&C Wilkinson. He also fitted Coopercraft brakes, a high torque starter motor, halogen headlamps and a new set of stainless steel wire wheels shod with Avon TurboSteel tyres. The overdrive mechanism was also rebuilt in 2005.

On offer here from a deceased estate, the car has been starting promptly and running beautifully as we have moved it around on site. Having covered fewer than 12,000 miles since it was restored nearly 30 years ago, this is one of the nicest XKs we have offered in 17 years of hosting these sales and would sit well in any collection.  

For more information contact James on 07970 309907 or email james.dennison@brightwells.com

Reg No: YBK742
Chassis Number: S/827479DN
Engine Number: LB2185-9
Engine Size: 3847CC
Docs: V5C; older V5C and V5; 18 old MOTs; many invoices

Sale Section & Buyers Premium (ex VAT): Car 12%, Minimum £150

Estimate: £75,000-80,000

Lot 21

Lot ended

Thursday 12/05/2022

Hammer Price (inc. buyers premium)

Under Offer @ £63,240
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