1960 Jaguar XK150 SE Roadster ($119,000)
Photography by Nima Salimi
Written by Andrew Golseth
1960 Jaguar XK150 SE Roadster
- Location: Emeryville, California
- Chassis: S832124DN
- Engine: 3.4-liter straight-six
- Transmission: four-speed manual with overdrive
- Mileage: 60,101 on odometer (true mileage unknown)
- Color: Light Cream / Red Leather
The Final Iteration In A Long Lasting Lineage: The XK150
The 1948 London Motor Show unveiled Jaguar’s first sportscar in nearly a decade: the XK120. Considering what the automotive landscape looked like in the late ‘40s, the new Jag looked like nothing else in production. With long exaggerated lines, front pontoon wings that melted into the rear quarters, a heavily raked two-piece windscreen, a boat tail boot, and deep cutaways in the topside of the doors, the British roadster was as elegant as it was innovative in design.
Not known for merely making cars aesthetically alluring, the XK120 nomenclature was a nod to what was beneath the skin. The “XK” referred to the new dual-overhead-cam 3.4-liter straight-six engine equipped with an aluminum cylinder head stuffed with inclined valves that pulled air through twin side-draft carburetors. The “120?” That designated the car’s top speed in mph, making the XK120 the fastest production car in its day—it’d go even faster with the windscreen removed!
The mid-cycle refresh XK140 introduced a number of modern updates including rack-and-pinion steering, a cushier suspension, more power, better brakes, and added interior space—specifically, an additional three inches in the cramped footwell area thanks to the engine and firewall being moved forward. The XK140 received minor aesthetic changes but the general shape and trim remained the same.
By 1957, the final iteration hit the market: the XK150. Despite overall homogeneous XK characteristics, the XK150 was the furthest departure from the original XK120 design. The shoulder line was raised significantly, removing the once deep door cuts. A one-piece wrap-around low-cut windshield replaced the old two-piece unit and the grille was widened with added vertical bars for a more modern “mesh” appearance. It’s worth noting the XK150 Roadster was the first convertible to feature roll-up frameless door windows.
Inside, the typically wood trimmed dash was instead upholstered in leather and the doorframes were thinner, giving occupants more room. The suspension and rack and pinion were carried over from the XK140 predecessor, but by late 1960 the engine was bored out to 3.8-liters and received a new “B type” alloy head equipped with dual 44 mm carburetors—increasing power output to 265 horsepower in the “S” model. For the first time, Dunlop four-wheel disc brakes were offered and 16×6 inch wheels wrapped in Dunlop Road Speed tread were standard.
By late 1960, XK150 production ended with around 9,400 units made—of which, only an estimated 2,265 were Roadsters. After 12 years of production, the XK1XX model gave way to the all-new E-Type, and the Jaguar sportscar legacy continued.
This 1960 Jaguar XK150 SE Roadster is one of the aforementioned 2,265 lidless examples built before production ceased. This particular car was built at the very end of the 3.4-liter equipped models but features the later model taillights normally found on the 3.8-liter cars. The car was nicely optioned in a light cream color over red leather and ordered with the Laycock de Normanville overdrive four-speed gearbox.
Previously owned by a Jaguar Club of North America (JCNA) member who acted as a JCNA judge, the car underwent a no-expenditure-spared body-off restoration. The drivetrain and powertrain were completely overhauled to ensure driving enjoyment was turnkey ready. Unfortunately, the original engine and transmission perished in a shop fire but the rebuilt powertrain is an appropriate 3.4-liter unit and overdrive four-speed combination that was stamped to reflect the original chassis plate—quite particular standards.
The chrome wire wheels (with matching spare) are mint wearing Firestone rubber and although the chrome body trim isn’t perfect, it’s complete and fits well—notice the car retains its original Lucas Industries headlights. The panel gaps are in good measure and the light cream nonmetallic paint is exceptional with only minor imperfections incurred from driving since the restoration.
Inside the vibrant red leather stitched cockpit, the SMITHS meters and gauges are all accounted for and functioning properly. The black four-spoke steering wheel, dash trim, polished brake handle, and shifter are excellent while the matching red wool OE style carpets and floor mats are stain free with great fitment. All instrumentation, switchgear, and cabin accessories are period correct with the exception of the later model stereo. The roof was remanufactured in black canvas and a cabin tonneau cover is included that completely seals the cabin or covers only the passenger compartment for solo touring.
The previous JCNA owner went to great lengths to ensure the engine compartment was reconstructed to emulate its original Coventry factory finish—notice the correct glass windshield washer reservoir, semi-polished valve covers, and proper Chaney piping clamps. Overall presentation under hood is tidy without deterring from functionality. Clean, orderly, and mimicking its factory specifications, this XK150 is in near flawless running condition despite a small exhaust leak that needs tending to. The engine climbs through the revs without hesitation and the overdrive optioned four-speed gearbox shifts smoothly with no grinds or whines.
- Brilliant nonmetallic light cream respray in great condition
- Complete original chrome and brightwork in good state
- Lucas headlamps and new taillights
- Slight hazing on some exterior trim
- Fully functional switchgear and SMITHS instruments
- Factory steering wheel, trim, and knobs
- Proper OE style wool carpeting
- Later model stereo
- Rebuilt engine and transmission with added matching stamp code
- Engine bay restored to resemble original assembly presentation
- Not original engine and transmission
- Small exhaust leak
Aside from the majority of the brightwork, body panels, glass, and interior trim-bits, the car has been completely renovated to return the car back to like-new factory specifications. As mentioned, the previous JCNA caretaker had an incredible knack for attention to detail and his tedious restoration speaks for itself—the man didn’t want the engine bay to resemble jewelry, he wanted it to look factory fresh, which says a lot about the labor of love this XK150 was treated to.
Included in the sale is the original data plate, owner’s manual with pouch, matching spare wheel, wheel spinner ‘knock-off’ tool and hammer, and extra parts to include carpeting, emblems, and lighting equipment.
If you’ve been on the hunt for your very own vintage XK series, you’ve probably realized finding a well-sorted example that’s complete and in factory spec is a bit of a challenge. With a still-fresh restoration carried out by a diehard Jaguar enthusiast, this XK150 is a classic driver’s car that is ready to enjoy as is. Turnkey drive ready, extra parts included, and mechanically dialed in, the only thing this Jag needs is a trip to the exhaust repair shop of your choice to fix a small leak. Otherwise, the car is show-and-go ready.
This car is for sale by Bruce and Spencer Trenery at Fantasy Junction. You can get to know them better here.