Currently Not Purring: 1959 XK150 Coupe

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While many people prefer the earlier XK120 and XK140, I’ve had a soft spot for the XK150 coupes ever since one of my college professors drove one daily (and no, I’m not THAT old, it was unusual even then to see a 150 on the road). This 1959 model requires a full restoration according to the seller, but parts of it don’t look that bad (look at that paint shine down the passenger side). It’s located in Canton, Ohio and is listed for sale here on eBay.

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The driver’s side doesn’t look bad either. Panel fit, on the other hand, seems to leave something to be desired. It’s good to see the bumper, over riders, grille and lights in place. Even with the defects, I love this design! Classy and sporty at the same time.

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The seller characterizes the body as “solid.” I’d have to agree, with some spots that typically are rusty on XK’s are pretty nice on this car. The seller includes pictures of the bare floor, inside the trunk, and other places underneath that don’t look bad at all. There’s an odd shot of what I think is the right rear suspension that shows where the shock absorber mount has obviously scraped on the ground–I’m guessing the car lost a rear wheel at some point.

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While the interior isn’t complete, it’s not horrible either, and the floors do look relatively solid. There are seats; they are placed in the floor in some of the other pictures. Unfortunately, the cost of restoring the interior to original specs will be high. I found a kit here that is $7,500. Ouch! It does look like the car has not only a manual transmission but the very desirable Laycock overdrive–definitely points in it’s favor!

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Although the engine doesn’t run, it’s great to see it so untouched; almost all components look to be in place and it’s even relatively clean. It’s a 3.5 liter and is not free at the moment. I would hope that some diesel fuel down those spark plug holes would free it up. Given the way the rest of the car looks, I’m fairly confident it would eventually free up, although you still don’t know why it was taken off the road in the first place. According to the seller, it was purchased as a barn find after being owned by the same family for more than 30 years. I hope whomever purchases the car is able to make contact with the family to find out whatever history they can. I’d like to be that purchaser, but not this time. What about you? Would you wait for a 120 or 140, or do the plumper lines of the 150 appeal to you as well?

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Comments

  1. redwagon

    i do not know jags and do not follow them very much but this one looks yards (meters?) better than others i have seen advertised.

    this i think is agean blue? timely color.

    • Davnkatz

      Actually, I love the color. Question: in the interior, it looks like the clutch pedal is all the way to the floor. What could that possibly indicate?

  2. rogerowen

    Personally, I find a classic that has recent paint – whilst the rest of it (especially the interior) is hanging in rags – a bit of a non-sales point. I think you have to look past the shiny exterior and view the project by its other virtues. As the seller advises, the car needs complete restoration which means that the current paintwork is likely to become damaged in the process, thereby voiding any advantage to its current appearance.

    I don’t know any restorer who would paint the outside first – that’s just nonsense IMO.

    Also, what’s it like under that shiny paint, were the panels perfectly prepared before spaying? Are the window seals all new? I can see overspray on the front windscreen which would suggest that they were in place at the time of painting – which is not really professional.

    It’s probably a good project to restore, but I think the paint side of things should be totally ignored if purchase was being considered.

    A cheap outside respray of second hand cars in the UK was a crafty dodge a few decades ago and ranks higher than putting sawdust into a noisey the gearbox!

  3. Doug M. (West Coast) Member

    Unfortunate color choice! If it is not its original color, then it was a very poor choice for a classic Jag! IMHO.

  4. Patrick P

    Interesting, it has a very early head. The head and cam covers do not have the front stud and bolt.

    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

      Patrick — early as in earlier than the car would have originally had? Thanks!

      • Ross W. Lovell

        Greetings All,

        Good eyes Patrick.
        Jamie, these cam covers were from the early XK120/MKVII. Would be interested to know more about the engine as the head has been changed for sure. Most likely a MKVII supplied at least the head and or the rest.

      • Dennis M

        Early as in early XK120! The later 120s, all 140s and all 150s had the cam cover with the front stud. I’m with Ross and willing to bet that is an entire 3.4 out of a MK VII or an early MK I. Most likely the original engine was a 3.8.

  5. rogerowen

    Master cylinder probably removed from the car.

  6. Van

    I think the XK-120 and 140 look more exotic.
    They have a stronger connection to the style of cars of the 1930s
    I would think, that being said, that a 150 is a better all weather driver.
    The 150 has disc brakes and I would think through development would do a better job of separating us from mother nature.
    Anybody that has driven both extensively should be able to educate us.

  7. Kieron

    Colour ????
    Why would someone do all this and the interior hasn’t got an ounce of primer
    Or am I wrong ?

  8. John H. in CT

    As Ross said, some things just don’t match. The exhaust manifolds are in too good condition for the rest of the engine In the interior, the steering wheel had to have seen awful moisture. I’d look carefully underneath that dash. Battery cables in trunk? If they connect up that is very wrong as the batteries ( yes, plural) mount behind each front wheel inside the fenders, not the trunk. And that ain’t a Jag color to my knowledge. Good restored value is $60K- $70 K. Most all the unobtainium seems to be there. So still possibly worth restoring. Would need to do a really detailed examination.

  9. Dolphin Member

    rogerowen is right. Painting at the beginning is exactly the wrong thing to do. The body, and also the paint, are very important for the value and desirability of a restored car, and the paint is easily damaged during restoration.

    The new paint makes me think this is a quickie (odd color, bad masking, bad timing in the restoration) for flipping

  10. Wayne S.K.

    I guarantee that no car ever offered by any manufacturer anywhere in the WORLD ever came with a Desert Turquois exterior and a red interior. These things just aren’t DONE!

  11. charlie Member

    I owned one of these for a while, a ’60, so wood dash was now vinyl, padded, ugly, but a lot more structurally rigid than the XK 140 owned by a friend. On the road one week of four, waiting for some small part the other three, but one of the most exhilarating cars I have ever driven. Ass down low against the rear axel, feet and arms straight out in front of you, big hood way out there, FAST for 1966 when I had mine, was dark blue to start, woman who owned it before me had it painted a metallic pink/purple, rockers were rusting out. “A $12,000 engine in a $6000 car” was the slogan of those of us who owned one in the ’60’s. I will bet this will cost about $35,000 to put back in mechanically running, cosmetically show, condition, but once done, what a great car!

  12. rogerowen

    I think we probably herald from around the same era. When you say $35k to restore – are you talking cost of parts? Not sure that amount would cover very much outsourced work these days. As you say Charlie, a great car. A friend had one (a DHC) in the early 70’s. It had dark blue metallic paint, whitewall tyres, and white hood (top), and white leather interior. IMO, a 150 can carry that off, not sure a 120 or even a 140 would look right jazzed up like that.

  13. charlie Member

    Oh, I was assuming one does most of the work oneself, that the body is as sound as it looks, needing repaint and a few dings fixed, and the engine can be made to run with little work – not a rebuild. I forgot that the engine is probably toast, clear to others here that it is not all the original set up. As I remember it the owner’s manual called for oil changes at 3000 miles, 16.5 quarts at a time. So owners skimped and didn’t change the oil, and engine wear was a real issue. Mine had been owned by the girlfriend (mistress?) of a used car dealer with a repair shop and had been well tended. Could not prove it, but dealer’s son who ran a parking lot where I parked, stole a wheel cover from my ’54 Corvette and then sold it back to me, I had tattooed the VIN of the car on the inside, but enough cops were dirty that not worth reporting it to anyone.

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