1957 Jaguar XK150 SE DHC

Vast history file; fortunes spent on upgrades including freshly rebuilt unleaded 3.8 engine; Broad Sport 5-speed gearbox; electric power steering; Fosseway disc brakes; uprated cooling; electronic ignition; XK number plate; ideal for long-distance touring

As the Heritage Certificate confirms, this Jaguar XK150 SE DHC was built in September 1957 for the export market. Being such an early model (the 30th DHC made in LHD), it features the attractive aluminium centre dash and deeper number plate plinth that were revised on later models. Finished in Cream with a black interior, it was shipped to Jaguar Cars New York in November 1957 and originally sported a Borg-Warner automatic gearbox.

Believed to have returned to the UK fairly early in its life, nothing is known of the car’s subsequent history until 1996 by which time it was owned by a Ms K McRoberts of London and Devizes with the registration number 187 DYS. She sent the car to Prime Coachworks of Melksham, members of The Guild of Master Craftsmen, who restored the bodywork and repainted it in the current Old English White between 1996 and 1998, a quick tot up of the bills showing that over £20k was spent. Presumably the car had already been converted to RHD and it seems to have been retrimmed in red leather at around this time.

The car then appeared at XK specialists Twyford Moors of Hampshire from whom the next owner bought it in December 1999 and was to keep it for the next 14 years. Clearly a very pernickety customer, he spent a lot of money with Twyford to get the car in tip-top order for a European tour that he was planning.

This included getting most of the brightwork rechromed; fitting a new set of chrome wire wheels and tyres; halogen headlamps; new windscreen; new wiring loom; Facet fuel pump; recored radiator; Kenlowe fan; alternator conversion; full stainless steel exhaust system; inertia reel seat belts; battery management system; Motorola radio converted to receive FM with speakers in the rear parcel shelf; full service etc – the indicated mileage at this point being 75,300.

By 2005 the car had covered 82k miles and it was sent to Racing Green Cars of Hampshire for a full service and a check-over, their report stating: “the car drives extremely well and rates amongst the most pleasant XK150s we have ever driven”.  

By 2008 the car had covered 87k miles and the engine was feeling slightly tired so it was sent to GRL Motors of Woking for a detailed examination. This resulted in a host of mechanical improvements being made to the car including a full engine rebuild with new pistons, bearings, timing chain, reground crank, unleaded head etc. The carbs were sent to Burlen to be rebuilt along with the AED cold start mechanism. It also gained 123 electronic ignition, a high torque starter motor and dozens of other new parts, the invoice running to 14 pages in length and totalling £17,013.

By 2011 the car had covered just under 90k miles and the suspension was overhauled with new Koni Classic shock absorbers all round. A Thatcham-approved Sigma alarm/immobiliser was also fitted which still functions perfectly.

In 2014 the car was back up for sale at Twyford Moors for £84,750 and was acquired by the next owner who promptly set about a further programme of improvements and upgrades. These included a new set of chrome wire wheels shod with new Avon TurboSteel tyres which cost £2,384 including fitting and balancing. Electric power steering was also fitted at a cost of £3,500. The suspension received new polybushes throughout along with an uprated anti-roll bar, and the front brakes were upgraded with Fosseway Performance four-pot aluminium calipers and braided hoses, the cost for this lot being £2,423. A new Hayward & Scott stainless steel exhaust system was also fitted along with an uprated aluminium radiator at a cost of £2,998.

In 2015 the car was converted from automatic to Broad Sport 5-speed manual by Pitt Lane of Winchester. They also fitted a lightened flywheel and a new clutch kit and pedals plus all associated hydraulics, the cost for this lot coming to £11,500 including parts and fitting. There is also an invoice from Guy Broad for a pair of D-Type camshafts (£521) although whether these were actually fitted or not isn’t clear. The registration number 187 DYS was also swapped for the more appropriate 50 SXK number which remains on the car today.

In 2017 at 93,858 miles, the unleaded cylinder head was rebuilt by Twyford Moors who also rebuilt the carbs, fitted K&N air filters and overhauled the rear brakes/handbrake at a cost of £8,359.

In 2018 the car went back to Twyford Moors and the block (which is believed to be original to the car) was removed and bored out to 3.8 litres with new pistons and bearings, balanced crank and clutch, modern oil seals, uprated oil pump, spin-off oil filter conversion, new engine mountings etc, the cost for this lot being £8,723.

Our vendor acquired the car from Twyford Moors in May 2019 (for considerably more than the estimate suggested here) and has continued to improve it still further. This included a new cloth headlining due to rodent damage (£2,520) and a full service/checkover by WinSpeed of Guildford which cost £3,900 and included structural repairs to the front/rear suspension mounting areas to address an MOT failure. The current MOT runs to August 2022 with no advisories recorded.

As you might expect from a car that has had so much money lavished upon it (there are bills for over £65,000 since 2008), 50 SXK is now fighting fit throughout and has been starting promptly and running beautifully as we have moved it around on site, with good 60psi oil pressure.

The odometer currently shows 94,210 miles and given that the car has done fewer than 400 miles since the engine was rebuilt, it will doubtless benefit from a period of gentle running-in before the performance is exploited to the full.

Power steering; 5-speed gearbox; 4-pot disc brakes; alternator charging; uprated cooling; halogen headlamps; polybushed suspension; Avon tyres; electronic ignition; stainless steel exhaust system; freshly rebuilt unleaded 3.8 engine; XK number plates – this wonderful old Jaguar really does tick all the right boxes. Ideal for long-distance touring, it is only reluctantly for sale due to unforeseen circumstances and looks mighty tempting at the modest guide price suggested.

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

Reg No: 50SXK
Chassis Number: S837030BW
Engine Number: V16438
Engine Size: 3781cc
Docs: V5C; MOT August 2022 with no advisories; 16 old MOTs; many invoices; two CDs of restoration photos; Heritage Certificate

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

Estimate: £70,000-80,000

Lot 328

Lot ended

Thursday 23/06/2022

Hammer Price (inc. buyers premium)

£72,800
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