Displacement: 3,781 cc
Horsepower: 265 bhp @ 5,500 rpm
Engine Torque: 260 lb ft @ 4,500 rpm
Top Speed: 136 mph
0 - 60 mph: 7.1 seconds
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Launched in 1957, the XK150 was the last of the classic XK series and thus the most refined and advanced. It was, for instance, the first production car to feature four-wheel, power assisted, disc brakes. The body was considerably revised also, by comparison to its predecessors, incorporating even greater interior space, wraparound front & rear windshields and a higher, more modern, coachline.
Its 3.4 litre XK engine was basically carried over from the XK140. However, in 1958, in an effort to keep up with spiraling American production car horsepower figures (the U.S. was their most valuable market), Jaguar introduced the 'S' model. Fitted with three SU HD8 carburettors and a straight port cylinder head, it boasted an additional 40 horsepower over the stock 210 horsepower model. This put the Jaguar's performance back in the forefront.
In late 1959, a 3.8 litre version of the venerable XK engine was introduced. In standard trim it offered 220 horsepower but, like its 3.4 litre brother, it was also offered in 'S' form. In this guise, it put out 265 horsepower, making it the most powerful and fastest XK ever. It was also the most expensive and, most significantly, the rarest. A total of only 282 3.8 'S' cars were built. Of these, only 75 were left-hand drive. Furthermore, only 30 were exported to the U.S. and of these, only 20 were FHCs (the other 10 were DHCs. No 3.8 'S' OTSs were exported to the States). Thus, the 3.8 'S' is the rarest and most sought after, production Jaguar of all time.
Offered here, is one of the 20 U.S. delivered FHCs. Sold new through Charles Hornburg Jaguar in Beverly Hills, California in October 1960, it was subsequently traded back to them the next year by the first owner for its successor, the newly launched E-Type (which coincidentally bore the same engine). The second owner bought the car from Hornburg's and it has remained in his possession until now. Consequently, it has had but one owner since 1962 and has spent its entire life in the idyllically dry climate of Los Angeles. A mechanical engineer and keen Jaguar enthusiast, the second owner kept detailed records and maintained the car superbly.
Still sporting its original black plates, it retains its excellent, rust-free, original sheetmetal, matching-numbers engine, four-speed overdrive transmission and complete tool roll. The Carmen Red coachwork is very straight with superb shut-lines and a perfect 'thunk' upon shutting the doors or boot. The interior is predominantly very good, original, with the exception of the front seats and the carpets, which have both been reupholstered to a very high standard, using correct materials. The chrome wire wheels are shod with Pirelli Cinturatos all round and the car runs and drives well.
With the values of 3.8 'S's far exceeding their more mundane brethren, there has been a proliferation of counterfeit examples coming to the market. This particular car however, is fully documented and is listed in the Jaguar Archive list of factory built 3.8 'S' cars. Its provenance is unquestionable and consequently represents an incredibly rare opportunity to purchase a genuine example of one of the most significant Jaguars to leave Browns Lane (the site of the Jaguar factory until 2005).
The XK150 3.8 'S' is the Holy Grail of Jaguars. Due to its rarity, it is a most elusive, yet de riguer crowning piece for any XK collector and therefore, an essential part of any serious collection.