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Jaguar XK150S 3.8 FHC MOD (RHD)

Jaguar XK150S 3.8 FHC MOD (RHD)Jaguar XK150S 3.8 FHC MOD (RHD)Jaguar XK150S 3.8 FHC MOD (RHD)Jaguar XK150S 3.8 FHC MOD (RHD)Jaguar XK150S 3.8 FHC MOD (RHD)
Jaguar XK150S 3.8 FHC MOD (RHD)
Lot number 84
Hammer value N/S (est. £31,000 - 35,000)
Description Jaguar XK150S 3.8 FHC MOD (RHD)
Registration YUD 931
Year 1960
Colour White
Engine size 3,781 cc
Chassis No. T825350
Engine No. VAS1287/9


Owning a 3.8 litre Jaguar XK150S in the late 1950s must have been a bit like owning a Bugatti Veyron today. At a time when the average family saloon was doing well to crack 60mph and might take a week to get there, this Coventry cat could hit the same speed in 7.6 seconds and scorch on to a top speed of 136mph. The most powerful production car Jaguar had ever made, it was unbelievably fast, almost as quick as as the stark racing C-types had been only a few years before, yet it was fully equipped for comfortable, everyday motoring.

What's more, Jaguar's pioneering work on disc brakes gave stopping powers which were inconceivable to road drivers used to the feeble drums of old. Jaguar had won the Le Mans 24hrs outright five times since 1951, three times in succession up to 1957, and that alone had earned a very special reputation. People wanted a bit of that glamour and this car gave it to them in spades.

The final version of the XK sports car line and the last Jaguar to carry a separate chassis, the XK150 was introduced in May 1957. Mechanically very similar to its XK140 predecessor, with independent torsion bar front suspension, live leaf-sprung rear axle and rack-and-pinion steering, it had much improved stopping power thanks to all-round Dunlop disc brakes. Wider and roomier than its predecessor, it also had more modern lines, a bigger one-piece windscreen and a padded leather dashboard in place of the wood in the XK140.

Pinnacle of the XK150 range was the 3.8S launched in 1959. With triple SU carbs and a high performance straight port cylinder head, it produced 265bhp – up 85bhp on the base 3.4 model. Total XK150S FHC production can be counted in the hundreds of which very few (possibly 86) had the 3.8 engine and only a tiny handful (perhaps 7) were RHD – making this car a very rare beast indeed. 

At the time of cataloguing we have been unable to establish the early history of this car because many of the documents, including the original buff log book, are still in the hands of the previous owner who is currently moving house and cannot readily locate them. However, we hope to have them available for inspection on sale day. In conversation with him we have established that he acquired the car in the early 1970s when it had about 65,000 miles on the clock. An old MOT from 1969 which is still with the car confirms that it had done 57,000 miles at that date.

He states that the car was then in exceptionally sound, original condition apart from the grey/blue paintwork which had begun to fade. He kept the car as part of a collection of Jaguars and only used it sparingly. In the early 1980s he decided to strip the car to bare metal and have it repainted in then fashionable Old English White. He states that the only rust found on the car was on the inner sills which were both replaced. The rest of the chassis and all the outer panels on the car are said to be totally original and to have never been welded or otherwise repaired. Even the battery trays are said to be the original items.

At the same time the engine and gearbox were also stripped and overhauled,  the chromework was replated as necessary and the interior was removed to renovate it and change the colour from pale grey to red. The previous owner further states that the front seats are still covered in their original leather which was revitalised and recoloured by a German crafstman, with the stunning results you see today.

The car had covered approximately 70,000 miles at the time of the refurbishment when the odometer was re-set to zero. It is now showing 4,100 miles which is said to be the total mileage covered since then. A road test of the car in the November 1999 issue of Classic Cars magazine (which is in the history file) gave it a 9 out of 10 condition rating at that date.

The car was acquired by the current vendor in 2000 and has only had very light use since. It has just sailed through its latest MOT test with no problems reported whatsoever. The condition of this remarkable car speaks for itself but we urge all potential buyers to study the history file before they make their bids.

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