1957 Jaguar XK150 Drophead Coupe
|Engine||In-line six-cylinder, 3442cc|
|Gearbox||4-speed manual with overdrive|
|Body Work||Drophead Coupe|
Launched in 1957 as the ultimate development of the legendary XK sports car, Jaguar’s new 150 both modernised and refined the original concept, transforming a powerful but sometimes crude sports car into a sophisticated Grand Tourer able to match contemporary rivals from Aston Martins, Maseratis and Ferraris. The XK had been around for almost a decade by this time, the original 120 causing a sensation when first unveiled in 1948, then updated to become the 140 in 1954, by which time the original roadster had been joined by better equipped fixed-head and drophead coupé variants. Exterior changes to the XK140 were limited to revised bumpers, whereas the replacement XK150’s bodywork was considerably updated, with a proper one-piece wraparound windscreen, less pronounced wing line and a fuller rendition of the grille combining to give the new model a more modern appearance without losing the feline grace common to all William Towns' Jaguars. The new shape offered significantly more interior space and was offered in the same three variations – namely the sporty roadster, luxurious drophead coupe and practical fixed-head coupe, with occasional rear seats a welcome addition. Perhaps the most significant change from the XK140 was the adoption of Dunlop disc brakes all round, while the 3.4-litre XK engine, fed by twin SU HD6 carburettors (triple carburettors were an option on the ‘S’ model), punched out 210 horsepower thanks to a new B-Type cylinder head, improving mid-range torque. A dual exhaust system and the option of an automatic transmission for the American market rounded out the list of major changes. Inside, the traditional veneers were replaced with a more modern facia of aluminium and leather and occupants found the cabin considerably more comfortable than earlier models. For many collectors, the XK150 represents the ultimate variant of Jaguar’s classic Fifties sports car and values have soared in recent years.