Never Restored: 1959 Jaguar XK150 OTS

Jaguar has a rich history in sports car production, and the XK150 marked the last hurrah for its “XK100” series before introducing the legendary E-Type. This XK150 rolled off the line in 1959 and is an original and unrestored survivor apart from a single repaint. It presents beautifully and is ready for some top-down touring with a new owner behind the wheel. If that’s a prospect you find difficult to resist, it is listed here on Craigslist in Newberg, Oregon. The cost of admission isn’t cheap, with the owner setting their price at $95,000.

Jaguar produced the XK150 in three body styles, with the rarest being the Open Two-Seater (OTS). Our feature car is one of those vehicles whose presentation and condition are hard to fault. The seller describes it as unrestored, although they admit it has received a past repaint in its original shade of Old English White. The paint shines beautifully, and like the panels, there are no visible flaws or defects. There is no evidence of rust, although a vehicle falling within this price range is worthy of an in-person inspection. The Black soft-top is in excellent condition, as is the exterior trim and glass. The XK rolls on a set of stunning chrome wire wheels in as-new condition. There are undoubtedly better XK150s in the current market. However, those cars generally climb beyond well $100,000, making an inspection worth the effort in this case.

Jaguar is renowned for its straight-six and V12 engines, although they have used other configurations in various models. This XK150 features the 3,442cc DOHC six-cylinder engine producing 190hp. The power feeds to the rear wheels via a five-speed overdrive transmission, allowing the car to cover the ¼ mile in 16.6 seconds before winding its way to 122mph. The seller states that the XK is numbers-matching, although they supply no information on its mechanical health. The engine bay presents superbly; if it is indicative, the Jag should run and drive well. Once again, questions like this would be worth asking of a seller who appears approachable.

If someone is paying a premium price for a car, they have the right to expect a luxurious feel. That is the case with the XK150. The buyer receives an interior trimmed in Blue leather with matching carpet. The dash offers a center section trimmed in contrasting leather that houses various gauges and switches. The interior continues the survivor theme and presents well for its age. The seat upholstery looks soft and inviting, although it wears the wrinkles and marks common for a material of this type and age. The base shade of the raw leather is visible through some of those creases. If I were to buy it, I would take the car to a leather specialist to investigate treatment options that might address that perceived shortcoming and prevent further deterioration. The dash looks excellent, while the gauges have clear lenses and markings. There aren’t a lot of optional extras, although the AM radio should provide entertainment on long journeys.

The Jaguar XK150 remained in production from 1967 until 1961, with 9,382 examples rolling off the line in Coventry, England. The rarest of the breed is the OTS, of which only 2,265 were produced. They remain highly sought today, with potential buyers willing to pay extraordinary prices for the right car. It is common to see them pass into six-figure territory, although the occasional nice example priced below $100,000 will appear on the market. That probably best describes this car, and while it isn’t cheap, it does appear competitive. The seller is unlikely to be overwhelmed by seething hordes beating down their door, but I suspect that if they are patient, the right person will eventually hand over the cash for this rare British classic.

Comments

  1. bobhess bobhess Member

    Amazing the Brits designed some of the funkyest cars ever but managed to put out pure beauty like this Jaguar. Wow!

    Like 5
  2. DRV

    I’d holdout for an S version of this late 150 if I was collecting, but this one is exceptional for it’s originality.

    Like 2
  3. TB

    Art…defined.

    Like 1
  4. tompdx Member

    I’ve seen this car! A few years ago, the owner showed it at a local concours … I have pictures of it on my phone! It is indeed gorgeous. I owned a lesser, but nearly identical ’58 OTS (white over black) and was very jealous of this example!

    Like 2
    • Dave Peterson

      I’m betting I met you at those British meets out at PIR some 20 years ago. My friend had an MGA. I always thought that the number suffix to these were equal to the top speed. Another myth busted?

      • tompdx Member

        Very possibly, I went every year for decades. But 20 years ago I would have had a TR250, or a black Ser 1 E-type coupe at the meet. (I acquired the XK150 about 2012).

  5. wuzjeepnowsaab

    It’s always striking to me the difference in look between how gorgeous a drop top XK120-150 is compared to how goofy they looked in a FHC build.

    Like 1
  6. Steve

    A truly unrestored car has not been painted, has newer carpets, etc. I would call this a well maintained original.

  7. JohnfromSC

    Nice car, but I question the unrestored story a bit. I own a 150S OTS. I’d need to see better pics to be sure, but the exhaust system doesn’t appear correct and certainly the porcelain exhaust manifolds don’t look like that after 60 years. Ignition wires have very wrong plug ends. Engine aluminum is nicely polished. The pics to really see the condition such as dash, inside the boot, chassis underside are just not there. I guess that is too much to expect for a Craiglist ad for an ask of almost $100K. If it is original, it has been unbelievably maintained over its entire lifetime.

  8. chrlsful

    deff of ‘survivor’ is 1 of the most stretched in car world. ‘Original’ can mean all the usual maintenance (ie prts replacements as wear out) alll the way up toa full lifetime kept in temp/humidity controlled garage, no rain/inclement weather driving, low milage, etc car.

    For me patina is the same. I dislike it cept on a wrk vehicle and even then “light” (nother symbol rather than precision like “#4 car”) is what I tolerate. Math is a precise language, there is enuff variation in it (“Oh, his model is a low #1, all the way!” well there’s a bit of variation here too) but we do need a guide. Shame on them dat violate.

    Like 1
  9. Steve

    Beautiful car. A long while ago I read a story (I think in R&T) about Jaguar bringing the E-Type to the US to see what the public reaction would be. The test car was unbadged. They stopped in the middle of nowhere for gas. The young pump jockey looked over the car rather well and finally (after looking at the spin offs on the wheels) asked, What year Undo is this?”

    Like 1
  10. Joe Haska

    How and why does a car of this quality and so collectable, end up on Craigs List?

    Like 1

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