Wed, 14th Oct 2015 12:00

Imperial War Museum Duxford

  Lot 55

1959 Jaguar XK150 SE 3.4 Litre Drophead Coupe

Sold for £91,125

(including buyers premium)

Lot details
Registration No: 421 HYR
Chassis No: S827443

The final iteration of the XK sportscar line and the last Jaguar to carry a separate chassis, the XK150 was introduced in May 1957. While its use of independent torsion-bar front suspension, a 'live' leaf-sprung rear axle and rack-and-pinion steering mirrored the practice of its XK140 predecessor, the new model benefited from the option of all-round Dunlop disc brakes (though, in practice very few - if any - cars were delivered with drum brakes). Stylistically, the newcomer was brought up-to-date with less ostentatious curves and a larger, wrap-around single piece windscreen. The dashboard too was altered eschewing wood trim for padded leather. With the E-type still very much under development, Jaguar was keen to sustain the sporting reputation that a remarkable five Le Mans victories (1951, 1953, 1955, 1956 and 1957) had earned it.

Initially powered by a 3442cc derivative of the marque's race-proven DOHC straight-six engine, the XK150 could be had in Fixed-Head Coupe, Open Two-Seater (Roadster) or Drophead Coupe guises. More expensive than the other bodystyles, the soft-top coupe boasted occasional rear seats and a fully lined hood. Ticking the 'Special Equipment' box on the order form resulted in the following upgrades: B-type cylinder head, overdrive, twin-exhaust system and wire wheels. With a claimed 210hp on tap, the 'SE' 3.4 Litre cars were reputedly capable of 0-60mph in 8.5 seconds and 124mph. Total right-hand drive XK150 Drophead Coupe production is thought to have amounted to just 663 cars (for both 3.4 litre and 3.8 litre variants). Unsurprisingly, survivors are highly prized by collectors.

According to the copy Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust Certificate on file, this particular right-hand drive XK150 SE 3.4 Drophead Coupe was manufactured on 1st September 1959. Supplied new via J.R. Inwards Ltd of Ruislip to Messrs F.G. Ruggles Ltd of Hounslow some twenty days later, the Jaguar initially sported the number plate 'R 80' but has since been re-registered as '421 HYR'. The subject of a very thorough, 'chassis up / body off' restoration in recent years, the 2+2-seater has been upgraded with a Kenlowe fan, alloy header tank and Coopercraft front wheel brakes. The engine number visible on the cylinder head matches that shown on its chassis plate and heritage certificate. Starting readily upon inspection and remaining highly presentable, this attractive 'home market' XK150 SE 3.4 Drophead Coupe is worthy of close inspection. Offered for sale with V5C Registration Document, numerous restoration photographs and fresh MOT certificate.

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