Stored for 40 Years: 1958 Jaguar XK150

The owner of this 1958 Jaguar XK150 is very candid about the fact that the elements have not been kind to the car. With that thought in mind, let’s take a hard look at the car and see if restoring it would be conceivable. The person who takes it on is going to have to be dedicated, but if restored properly, the end result could be quite nice. The Jaguar is located in Prospect, Pennsylvania, and is listed for sale here on eBay. The BIN price for the XK150 is $25,000, although the option is there to make an offer.

Apart from the overall tired appearance of the car, the first thing that really caught my eye with the XK150 is how badly the driver’s door has dropped. This is a bit of a worry because while the door frame itself looks solid, there is no obvious reason why this should have occurred. That is one thing that I would be investigating. The frame of the Jaguar looks to be solid, with only a coating of surface corrosion. While some of the body panels are original, the rear body section and rear fenders are fiberglass. I did a bit of searching around, and while new replacement components are available, new rear fenders are going to cost the next owner $5,000…each! Given a few other factors surrounding the car, it may be that the decision will be made to retain the existing panels. Regardless of which route is chosen, this car will represent a full frame-off proposition if a decent restoration is to be completed.

When I referred to other factors determining the path that the next owner chooses to follow, the engine is the main one. The original engine for the XK150 is long gone, and in its place is a replacement that is newer, but the owner doesn’t specify the capacity. This is going to have a major impact on the final value of the car once it is restored, so this is why I suggested that leaving the fiberglass panels in place might be an option. Due to the amount of time that the car has been sitting idle, the owner has filled the cylinders with penetrating oil. He hasn’t tried to turn the engine, but given the fact that at best it is going to require a rebuild, it might be more viable to source a good replacement instead. The rust in the engine bay is a concern to me because it makes me wonder whether it has impacted down to the door hinge mounts, and this is why the driver’s door is drooping badly.

Time has marched on for the XK150, and it looks like it has marched right through the interior. This would have been beautiful when the Jaguar was new, but that was a long time ago. The various photos in the listing suggest that all of the interior components are present, but the whole lot will need to be restored. I don’t believe that the covers on the seats are original, as I think that it all would have been finished in red leather.

I really would love to see this Jaguar XK150 restored because they are a beautiful car. However, I am under no illusions and am aware that the next owner will face a mammoth task in bringing the car back from the dead. If this was an original, numbers-matching car, I would have no hesitation in encouraging someone to take it on, because while a really nice one can fetch prices in excess of $90,000, an immaculate, numbers-matching example can push up over $120,000. To my way of thinking, the choices are going to come down to refurbishing what is here or trying to restore the car to as close to as original as is possible. Replacement panel costs are the killer there, and that’s without knowing what rust is hiding elsewhere in the body. I personally wouldn’t take it on, but would you?

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Comments

  1. bobhess Member

    The type of corrosion on the aluminum parts looks like salt water got to this car. As much as I love these cars I’d have to see every square inch of this one before I’d put any money on the line. After losing a car to hurricane Irma in ’17, like the insurance ad says, “we know something ’cause we’ve seen some things”.

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  2. Rovinman

    The fact that BOTH doors are sagging, suggests that the frame has corroded, and the car is about to fold in half.
    ”My Grandfather’s axe”, comes to mind !
    ”Caveat Emptor”

    6
  3. SMS

    On the plus side you can find just about every part for this car. Currently going through a ’66 S-type. My preference is for stock cars with some small upgrades for safety or reliability.

    With this poor thing I could see the rational for making a number of modifications.

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  4. OhU8one2

    Buy the car, then ship it to Classic Showcase in California. Spend the money to have it done right. You won’t be disappointed when it’s finished. When it comes to early model XK’s, they have it down pat.

    • SMS

      Funny you mention Classic Showcase. Went there to look at an AJS. They termed it as a driver with a nice patina. This driver looked better than most bikes you would find at a show.

      If you want to see what one of these can look like visit them. Impressive driver cars and restorations.

      1
  5. Ron H

    Look at the pictures in the eBay ad. You can see daylight through the bottom of the left side of the cowl. And when you look at all the pictures of the frame you see it is rusted in half, as Rovinman suggested. It would be a great looking cruiser but when done would still have what I consider to be finicky British mechanicals.

    1
    • SMS

      Yes the Jag is a bit more complex than say my Hudson. Not much though. Doing a valve adjustment on an L head is just about as time consuming as on the Jag. This guy came with twin carbs which are as easy to tune as the twin H on the Hudson.

      Brakes and suspension pieces are easier on the Hudson. You also have to grease the Jag more often.

      Love driving them both and both when running right are dreams. Just one is a cruiser and the other looks for every corner or reason to hear the exhaust rumble.

  6. Coventrycat

    That top is hideous. Make a pickup out of it.

    1
  7. JohnfromSC

    The engine installed has 3 SUs. In an XK150 that configuration was reserved for the high performance XK150S, which this car is not, based on lack of door logos. It could be a 3.8L or even possibly 4.2, possibly from an XKE. Also the 150 had a generator, not alternator.

    Seats are incorrect and no way is the convertible top (hood) correct. Originals are elegant. With such sag in doors, it’s likely more than worn bushings in the hinges. These are frame based cars, so it’s straightforward to see condition issues on a lift.

    So many parts are missing that cost big $ that it appears this has already been somewhat scavenged. Given the rust in engine bay, truly looks like it had a salt bath. Engine rebuilds easily surpass $10K, and unless you have prior experience those carbs will take over $1K themselves given their poor condition.

    IMO unlikely to restore and be even money on a non-original motor car, even with your own free labor.

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    • Nate

      Lift pics are shown in the ebay ad. Clearly shows the frame completely rusted in half on both sides.

  8. Mike Litscher

    I agree this looks like a real Frankenstein. There are red interior parts with black seats and I don’t see the plate with all the serial numbers.

    I did a 1960 150 DHC and it took 10 years with some help for major things. I think this is really too far gone and I’ve decided I wouldn’t offer $5000. My wife would shoot me.

    Mike

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  9. Allen Member

    I don’t pretend to know anything about XK150s, but there’s one photograph on Ebay, a central view of the underside, where I think I’m seeing almost complete disintegration of the frame just forward of the lift support pad. Am I misreading something I see? It looks like about 8-10″ of the box section is completely gone. While we can’t quite see the condition on the passenger side, I’m seeing open space where it appears the inside of the box-section once was.

    If what I think I see is right, why is it not a game ender right there? Somebody – if I’m wrong, please educate me.

    Also… is that an A/C compressor I see below that incorrect alternator? That can’t be original on a ’58!

  10. Maestro1

    i don’t know about this one. In the long term, there’s going to be a market Correction as early as this coming year, and with the mistakes the current Administration is making it could be severe,
    resulting in Hobby prices either freezing or declining. For that reason I would not take the car on.

  11. pat gill

    beyond repair, parts car at best, the frame is rotted out as is the body, nothing nice about it, and it is a 150 so not the prettiest XK in my book, pass

  12. Allen Member

    Based on the views of others, I’m much more confident of my earlier interpretation of the pictures. On what evidence does Adam Clarke conclude: “The frame of the Jaguar looks to be solid, with only a coating of surface corrosion”? I hope nobody is drawn to the car based on his misperceptions of it. I just read through the Ebay ad, and must conclude that Adam’s naïve representation is by far, the most positive claim made for the car. I can only conclude that he never viewed these pictures accompanying the ad.

  13. Dennis M

    JohnfromSC is correct, dropped doors are a chronic problem on all of the XKs. The hinge bushings wear, no way to lubricate them, and they are serious buggers to replace. Been there, done that and I have no desire to do it again!,

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