Attractive Left Hand Drive Drophead Conversion from FHC, Upgraded to Exciting "3.8LS Specification" with 3.8L 3-Carb Engine and 5-Speed Gearbox.
1959 Jaguar XK150 “3.8 S Spec” Drophead Coupe Conversion
Chassis No. S834697DN
Engine No. ZA3781-8
Carmen Red with Black Leather
The stunning Jaguar XK120 was a radical departure from anything offered when it debuted more than 70 years ago. The motoring press raved over the power and presence of these beautiful cars, offering elegance and sporting driving for enthusiasts worldwide. As time passed, Jaguar improved the model through the 140 and 150 series; the final iteration of this highly regarded classic. The XK150 featured an all-new, wider body, offering greater interior room, blended front fenders, smoother body surfacing, and, with the windscreen moved back, an even more sporting profile. The XK150 delivered the finishing touches to a decade-long run of design and performance excellence.
From 1958-1961 the XK150 was offered with the 210 hp 3.8 liter engine in the desirable SE (Special Equipment) model. This coupled with the S designation chassis (C-Type head for the engine) and DN for overdrive, combined to make a highly desirable Jaguar for open road use. Also offered during these final years, the “S” roadster contained special exterior features including two delicate chrome “S” emblems along the upper leading edge of each door. The S engine featured three 2 inch SU carburetors, a straight-port head, upgraded camshafts, overdrive, and a lightened flywheel. Late-production XKs were further equipped with Le Mans-proven 12” Dunlop disc brakes. These resultant advances produced the fastest, safest, and most comfortable sporting GT cars available at the time.
According to the chassis number affixed to this Jaguar, this handsome left-hand-drive XK150 SE was dispatched from Jaguar as a Fixed Head Coupe with overdrive and C-Type head. Believed to have been delivered new to North America, the car was purchased in the US and returned to England in 1990. The owner David Coleman, a respected Jaguar expert and proprietor of “Jag Spares International”, plied his expertise towards a no-expense spared restoration, converting the car to a drophead and updating it mechanically to S specifications. During the restoration, Coleman prepared the car with attention to authenticity with upgrades to “S” level performance including the installation of disc brakes, a Jaguar XJS 5-speed gearbox, an aluminum radiator, and a walnut veneer dashboard and door caps. Other upgrades included stainless steel exhaust and exhaust manifolds, an upgraded cooling fan, and 16” wire wheels. In October 1998 the car was reported stolen and subsequently recovered (noted by UK Experian Check). By 2012 the car had returned to the US where it was auctioned at the Brooklands Auto Museum. As reported in the auction reference materials, the car was offered with records indicating a rebuilt engine in 2011 including new pistons, unleaded head, a front lip seal conversion (reportedly invoiced at approximately $10,000.00), and an interior retrim (also reported at approximately $6,000.00). The current consigning owner purchased the car in 2013 where it has since enjoyed limited use.
Today this handsome XK150 SE presents in excellent visual condition, with very nice paint and chrome, retaining a high gloss to the Carmen Red paint and fine reflections to the chrome trim. The panel fit is good overall with some variations in the left rear quarter panel, however not distracting from an otherwise high driver level fit and finish. The doors, hood, and trunk all open and shut with generally good fit and closure. The grill, trim and windscreen chrome are in excellent visual condition with no major scuffs or scratches. The car features the unique “S” emblems indicating the performance enhancements to the engine. The lighting and lenses are consistent in presentation with the overall car. The car wears a set of chrome plated wire wheels with an older set of properly sized Avon radial tires. The chrome plating on the rims and knock offs are quite nice throughout. The stately black convertible top opens and closes smoothly with tight fitting to the windshield header when in the up position and very nicely finished interior headliner and top bows.
The interior surfaces are in very good condition with no significant signs of wear, just mild relaxing to the leather in a few areas. The carpet is in good condition overall with light wear in the driver’s foot-well area. The walnut trimmed dashboard and surrounding door trim are very nicely finished with excellent fit to the door uppers. This handsome wood trim adds warmth and elegance to the interior finishes. The instruments in particular have been beautifully restored with nice contrasting dial faces and very nice brightwork trim accenting the dashboard and instruments. The Moto-Lita wood rimmed steering wheel is a fitting sporting accent to the walnut dash. Behind the seats, the rear compartment has been properly finished with correct materials showing little to no wear to the rear seats. The trunk is nicely trimmed in matching black materials housing a wire wheel spare, tools, and jacking equipment. Overall the interior presentation is very satisfying and comfortable, ready for enjoyable use with handsome cosmetics befitting enthusiasts who enjoy using their cars as originally intended.
The engine compartment is very tidy and detailed with a combination of proper polishing on the factory aluminum castings, correct gloss finishes on assorted black parts, and modern upgrades. The engine head is stamped with the matching number corresponding with the engine number on the chassis tag. The engine block is a proper replacement unit stamped with the number ZA7893-8, an appropriate engine block for this series. While some time has passed since the restoration was completed, the engine and engine compartment has been tended to with attention to originality and proper detailing. The triple SU carburetors, and polished linkage are handsome additions to the engine both visually and for the added performance offered when driving. Viewing the underside of the car, one clearly can see the attention to detail afforded during the restoration, employing generally correct finishes that show evidence of modest road use, while still retaining acceptable underside detailing preserved by appropriate care over the years. There is no visual evidence of structural compromise to the frame, floor, or major suspension components.
With a flip of the switch and just a moment’s pause for priming, the engine bursts to life. Engine idle is smooth as operating temperature comes up gradually, indicating readiness for another enjoyable drive. The tachometer functions accurately at idle and under 2500 rpms but hesitates to climb beyond 2500 though the engine has no hesitation at all climbing into higher revs. The steering is a bit heavy under slower driving conditions, likely due to the smaller diameter steering wheel and larger tires, but once underway steering lightens up to easy use. The clutch engages under good pedal pressure, benefiting from the upgraded XKS 5-speed gearbox which operates smoothly and quite easily particularly under more spirted operation. The triple carburetors boast their merit in the mid to upper revs as the 3.8 Liter engine pulls hard on acceleration, revealing Jaguar’s racing heritage. Shifting through all five gears, one enjoys the exhilarating sensation of speed coupled with crisp downshifting. Braking is smooth and in keeping with technology of the period and road manners are particularly nice – a testimony to the final iteration of these cars. The car comes with a tool roll and tools, correct jack, and mallet.
A truly handsome and delightfully prepared XK150 SE, this example presents all the desirable performance advances that put the finishing touches on an already ground-breaking Jaguar. Enhanced with S model features, roadster configuration, upgraded interior, and enjoyable cosmetics, this XK150 will be very much at home touring quaint roadways or open highways, pausing to participate in club gatherings or concours, while delighting the next fortunate owner with a motoring experience that only a vintage Jaguar can deliver.
The above vehicle information is complete and accurate to the best of our knowledge at the time it is posted to this website. Corrections or additional information is always appreciated. All advertised prices exclude government fees and taxes, any finance charges, any dealer document preparation charge, and any emission testing charge. Vehicles are subject to prior sale. All advertised to be true but not guaranteed. We assume no liability for errors or omissions.
Fantasy Junction • 510-653-7555 • 1145 Park Ave, Emeryville, CA 94608