The 1959 Jaguar XK 150 3.8 SE S is a stunning example of a classic British sports car. With its sleek and stylish design, powerful engine, and luxurious interior, the XK 150 3.8 SE S was the pinnacle of automotive engineering in its time, and it remains a highly coveted and sought-after collector's car today.
The XK 150 was the third and final iteration of Jaguar's legendary XK sports car range, which began with the XK 120 in 1948 and continued with the XK 140 in 1954. The XK 150 was introduced in 1957 and quickly became one of the most sought-after sports cars of its era, thanks to its combination of speed, power, and style.
The 3.8-liter engine of the XK 150 3.8 SE S produced a whopping 265 horsepower, making it one of the most powerful sports cars of its time. This allowed the car to reach a top speed of 208 kmh, which was a remarkable feat for a production car in the late 1950s. The car also featured a manual transmission, which provided a smooth and precise shifting experience, and made it a joy to drive.
One of the most impressive features of the XK 150 3.8 SE S was its advanced suspension system. The car was fitted with a sophisticated independent rear suspension, which provided superior handling and ride comfort compared to the live rear axle used in earlier models. This made the car a true driver's car, capable of handling the most demanding driving conditions with ease.
Inside, the XK 150 3.8 SE S was a luxurious affair. The car featured leather seats, a wood-trimmed dashboard, and an array of high-end features such as power windows, a heater, and a radio. The car's cabin was spacious and comfortable, providing ample room for two passengers to enjoy a leisurely drive or a thrilling race.
The XK 150 3.8 SE S was also notable for its styling. The car featured a sleek and elegant body, with a long hood, a curvaceous fender, and a low-slung profile that was both aerodynamic and stylish. The car's iconic grille, with its distinctive Jaguar emblem, remains one of the most recognizable features of any classic car.
Despite its many impressive features, the car's high price tag made it an exclusive and rare vehicle, limiting its appeal to only the wealthiest drivers. Production totalled 4.445 Fixed Head Coupes. The 3.8-litre 'S' is one of the rarest of the family with only 282 built out of a total XK150 production of 9.395 cars.
The XK 150 3.8 SE S remains an icon of automotive engineering and design. Its sleek and stylish design, powerful engine, and luxurious interior continue to captivate car enthusiasts and collectors around the world, making it one of the most sought-after classic cars of all time. Whether on the racetrack or on the open road, the XK 150 3.8 SE S is a testament to the art and science of automotive engineering, and a shining example of the British sports car tradition.
This car is an in period converted 3.8 SE into the rarest 3.8 S version, of which only 282 examples were built and only 167 out of them were left hand drive. Timeless and elegant, this black left-hand-drive Jaguar XK150 SE has spent its life in the United States of America. It has been converted to ‘S’ specification, and it is believed to have been done by Hoffman’s of New York when it was new! Now sporting the much sought-after ‘Pumpkin’ cylinder head, the three SU carburettors are certainly present and correct and have been recently tuned.
The subject of extensive restorative work in 2016, the last owner describes himself as “not a paint and chrome man”, which means this wonderfully preserved Jaguar XK150 is utterly solid and fighting fit yet patinated enough that you could use it without fear of accidently picking up the odd stonechip or mark.
Now being offered after huge expenditure (“I can’t stand even a switch not working”) this is your opportunity to buy one of the most charming cars we’ve seen all year.
The black coupé exudes a menace that is missing from XK150s finished in one of the brighter colours. It also sits on the iconic wire wheels, and the overall result is utterly beguiling.
It’s in decent shape, too. We love the combination of patina and rock-solid mechanicals that make this a driver’s car you could use with worry.
The panels are straight and free of rust, and it all fits together very nicely. The chromework is generally straight and free of damage, and while there is some light pitting and scratches, there’s nothing there that should bother.
The wire wheels are straight and free of damage, and they’re fitted with matching 185R16 tyres, all of which have good tread.
As we will never tire of explaining, our experience shows that matching high-quality tyres are an infallible sign of a caring and mechanically sympathetic owner who is prepared to spend the appropriate amount in maintaining their car properly.
The red leather seats have been refurbished in 2016 with some new foam and webbing, but the last owner chose – wisely, in our opinion – to leave the leather alone bar cleaning and feeding it.
The result looks terrific; a large part of the appeal of classic cars is their history and provenance and it saddens us a little when this is ruthlessly eradicated.
The matching red carpets seem surprisingly good to still be the originals too, and we suspect they’ve been replaced at some point. But the door cards look like they might be the ones the car left the factory with; again, preservation of a classic car of this age is a balance between leaving ‘as is’, refurbishing, and replacing and we applaud the owner for the balance he’s achieved.
Speaking of which, the dashboard has been left alone and looks all the better for it. And the huge vintage-style steering wheel conspires with the stubby, forward-facing gearlever and the flat, floor-mounted seats to give the XK150’s unique ergonomics.
The boot contains a spare wire wheel, and lifting the carpets shows solid metalwork, which is no surprise given its West Coast history.
The work in 2016 included many new mechanical components including a refurbished steering rack, new suspension components, shackles, bushes and other items; please see the attached invoices for the full details.
Upgrades to make it better-suited to modern roads and traffic conditions include an alloy radiator and case-hardened driveshafts. The engine was compression tested and found to be sound, so the only work it needed was servicing and the third SU carb tuning.
The owner says it drives superbly.
The underside, which is as solid as you would expect of a car that has lived the overwhelming majority of its life in the salt-free climes of the west coast of America, was the first thing that drew the owner to the car; after all, if the chassis and bodyshell are solid, the rest is easy.
The XK150 comes with some of its American paperwork plus a neatly organized folder stuffed full of invoices and bills to confirm the work that has been done to it over the years. It also comes with an Operating, Maintenance and Service Handbook and a period grease gun.
The car has spent some time on the Beverley Hills Car Club fleet in California, so who knows who’s driven it?
The car’s rock-solid chassis and recently refurbished mechanical components make this more of a driver’s car than a trailer queen, and that combination also makes it a great candidate for a historic rallying.
Or, and this would be our choice, it could be used as a supremely capable fast road car for inter-continental touring, a role its left-hand-drive cockpit would facilitate – and can you imagine arriving in Switzerland with a set of snow tyres and a pair of skis strapped to the roof? Effortless cool really doesn’t come any more accessible than this!
The car offers a very good value for such a solid, unmolested example of one of the best sportscars of its generation.
Last auction result of the same car model (just RHD) was sold on the 16th of April 2023 for 97.750 GBP (link)!
|3.781 ccm, 269 PS, I6
|Left Hand Drive
|Rear Wheel Drive
|Color - exterior
|Color - interior
|Chassis / VIN
|Location - Country
|Location - City
2-door coupe body type RWD (rear-wheel drive), manual 5-speed gearbox gasoline (petrol) engine with displacement: 3781 cm3, advertised power: 198 kW / 265 hp / 269 PS (max), torque: 353 Nm; characteristic dimensions: outside length: 4496 mm, width: 1638 mm, wheelbase: 2591 mm; reference weights: estimated curb weight: 1480 kg; top speed: 208 km/h (129 mph) (SE version); accelerations: 0-60 mph 7.4 s; 0-100 km/h 7.8 s (SE version)
Jablonec nad Nisou, Czechia