1959 Jaguar XK150 Drophead Coupe (LHD)


  • A fascinating example of the desirable XK150 Drophead Coupe for complete restoration
  • Complete with all the harder to source parts and predominantly compete
  • Fitted with a 3.8L straight-six Jaguar engine from the Mk IX saloon

The Appeal

By the time the XK150 arrived in 1957, the XK’s ethos of providing high-performance sports cars at an attainable price had already been established by the XK120 and XK140. The XK150 looked similar to its predecessors but was significantly revised. The single piece windscreen, as opposed to a split screen item, being the most obvious visual differentiator.

Whilst this example is clearly in need of a complete and thorough restoration it will, no doubt, tick a lot of boxes for those in the know. Firstly, the car was sourced by a time-served Jaguar XK restoration specialist. It is only the number of customer projects in the pipeline that necessitates a sale. The car is described as “more or less” complete but with all the harder to source parts present and correct. This car should provide an excellent basis for a full, professional restoration or as a donor car for an ongoing restoration.

The History and Paperwork

  • Courtesy of its heritage certificate we know this car was manufactured in August 1959
  • By September 1959 the car was on the way to Jaguar Cars New York
  • The car left Browns Lane in its current Cream over Black livery
  • The Certificate confirms the car was a manual, left hand drive car
  • It is documented as an X150 Drophead Coupe 3.4L
  • The car seems to have remained in America until the beginning of 2022
  • That was when the car was imported to the UK by the current owner
  • The car was registered in the UK in March 2022
  • It was allocated its non-transferrable, date appropriate registration number at that stage
  • There is a DVLA letter included confirming this
  • In addition to the current V5 registration document there is a heritage certificate included
  • This is taken from the production record and supplied by the Jaguar Heritage Trust

The Interior

  • In an original condition having, seemingly, never been altered
  • Key original parts include seats, steering wheel and Smiths gauges
  • Many loose, original parts are present in the cabin, currently

In keeping with this car’s status as requiring a compete restoration, the interior is much as you would expect. There is plenty of key parts in evidence, however, which should aid restorers in optimising originality when the time comes to bring this cabin back to its former glory.

The big, upright four spoke steering wheel with a Jaguar boss is present and could be re-rimmed and restored by specialists. To the right of this the original instrument panel is in place. This looks to be largely complete with its full set on signature white on black Smiths gauge set. A number of other switches and buttons are also present here.

The front seats are complete and entirely original and, again, should provide a good basis for a full refurbishment and re-upholstering should that be required. Rear seat bases are also noted underneath a number of loose parts which belong to the car. Front door cards and rear side panels are present and almost certainly original.

The shallow boot space looks fairly solid with the underside of the boot lid appearing particularly sound. We were unable to open the spare wheel well during our visit, but the owner does note that this area has suffered from water ingress, which is common with the XK’s, and will require significant repair or replacement. The original boot catches can be seen hanging from their cables in here.

1959_Jaguar_XK150_Roadster-049.jpg 2.94 MB

The Exterior

  • The exterior of the XK150 is, again, mostly complete and highly original
  • Highlights include the original headlamps, bumpers and single piece windscreen
  • The car sits on original, cross spoked wire wheels with central, eared spinners

To the casual observer the XK150 appeared little changed over the XK120 and 140 models. In actuality quite a bit had changed, with the car being wider and more bulbous and featuring a single piece, wrap around windscreen. Regardless of any changes the overall result was unchanged. The XK150 looks fantastic and represents the epitome of 1950’s sports car chic and sophistication.

Again, our example majors on its originality with all its major panels present and mostly in a solid and relatively undamaged state. There are a couple of creases on the offside to the door and the front wing, but these could be easily rectified. The main, obvious issue is panel alignment, most notably to the doors. The current owner does note that work is required to the hinge boxes.

The other notable inclusions are the light lenses and mounts, the side windows and quarter lights and the front and rear bumpers and overriders. The signature elliptical radiator grill is also present, and the hood frame is fitted and, seemingly, complete.

The original looking cross-spoked wire wheels look to be in decent shape and are complete with the Jaguar inscribed twin-eared central spinners. These appear ripe for refurbishment.

1959_Jaguar_XK150_Roadster-155.jpg 2.66 MB

The Mechanics

  • The car is now fitted with a 3.8L Jaguar straight six engine 
  • This replaced its original 3.4L engine when it first arrived in the UK
  • This XK150 is fitted with the original manual, non-overdrive gearbox

The XK150 was the first of the XKs to offer both 3.4L and 3.8L versions of the venerable DOHC straight six XK engine. This car left the factory fitted with the 3.4L variant as the 3.8L option wasn’t made available until 1960. On arrival to the UK the original 3.4L engine was replaced with the current 3.8L version from a MKIX Jaguar saloon. This was the variant used in the XK150 as it happens. The XK150 is understood to be fitted with its original four speed manual gearbox, however. No overdrive is fitted.

The engine bay looks to be in decent order with the inner wings and bulkhead looking in decent order and, seemingly, solid. The twin SU carburettors were noted as being present but, inevitably, a few of the ancillaries may need sourcing. The underside of the car seems to present as expected. The owner states that the chassis appears to be sound. However, this obviously can’t be confirmed, and a full inspection of the underside will be required by the new owner.

Needless to say, all aspects of this cars mechanical systems will need diligent and expert attention and compete restoration and refurbishment. Once again, however, the “bones” appear to be present greatly aiding a restoration project.

1959_Jaguar_XK150_Roadster-033.jpg 2.1 MB


By the standards of the time the XK range was a big success with over 30,000 120’s, 140’s and 150’s built and sold worldwide. Of the 9,382 of these that were XK150s, just 2,672 of those were produced in this drophead coupe configuration. The passing of time has reduced this number to a tiny fraction of the original, making this an increasingly rare and desirable model.

This example clearly is a candidate for a complete restoration but those in the know will see past that and understand what a good candidate this car is. The panels are in good shape and seemingly all present and original. The interior is similarly complete and original offering the restorer a real head start compared to some examples that have been previously cannibalised for valuable spares. What an exciting prospect this interesting XK150 represents for the connoisseur or Jaguar enthusiast.

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This item is sold on an ‘As is Where is’ basis. The condition of this item is the opinion of the seller and may differ from your own opinion. Photos and listing descriptions are for guidance purposes only*.** Car & Classic do not warrant listing accuracy. Full inspection is recommended. Viewings are at the seller’s discretion. Buyer is responsible for delivery and collection of any item purchased.*

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Vehicle specification
  • Year 1959
  • Make Jaguar
  • Model XK150
  • Colour White
  • Odometer 37,814 Miles
  • Engine size 3800
Auction Details
  • Seller Type Private
  • Town Northampton
  • Location Northamptonshire
  • Country United Kingdom
Bidding history
2 bids
  • butler.•••• £5,000 26/05/23
  • ian-mal•••• £1,000 29/05/23

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