2018 Shannons Melbourne Winter Classic Auction
1959 Jaguar XK150 Drophead Coupe
|Engine||In-line six-cylinder, 3400cc|
|Gearbox||Four-speed Manual with overdrive|
|Body Work||Drophead Coupe|
This lot is no longer available
Launched in 1957 and 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 Martin, Maserati and Ferrari. The XK had been around for almost a decade by this time, the original 120 causing a sensation when it first appeared in 1948 before being revised into 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 available 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 for the XK150 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. For many collectors, the XK150 represents the ultimate variant of Jaguar’s classic ‘50s sports car and values have soared in recent years.