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Survivor 1959 Jaguar XK150

1959 Jaguar XK150 FHC

Over the past few years, I’ve watch a particularly interesting trend take place. It seems everyone is on the hunt for unrestored and all original exotic cars. I can understand the appeal of a car that is as it left the factory, but sometimes it is hard to understand the premiums attached to these survivors. That is until you see a survivor like this 1959 Jaguar XK150 FHC and then the thought process makes sense. We all say it around here all the time, it’s only original once, but when you actually see and experience an unrestored survivor you will see the appeal of originality! Even if the paint has been touched up and small repairs have been performed, you come to find that the original details from the factory are impossible to replicate, especially on hand built and limited production cars. This Jaguar isn’t perfect, but it’s close to it and is definitely worth a look. You can find it here on eBay with a $64k BIN.

Jaguar Xk150 Interior

There are a lot of factors that seem to influence the desire of owning a survivor like this XK, but the things that make them so interesting to me are the small details and history. There are certain aspects of a car that even the best restoration shop can’t replicate. These cars weren’t perfect from the factory, but many of the restored ones I’ve seen have been overly restored and are nicer than when they were brand new. A car might look brilliant after a full restoration, but some of its history is somehow lost. Things like scratches, dents, and dings all tell the story of the life that car has lived, but the moment those problems are fixed, those stories are lost forever.

Jaguar XK150 parts box

Looking this car over, I see some great bits of history and I also see signs that some work has been performed to it in the past. The original owner was an engineer and obviously knew the problems he would face while owning a Jaguar, as he found himself a nice metal box that would fit perfectly in the rear storage compartment to hold spare parts. Little items and stories like this add to the character and history of the car and could have easily been lost after a full restoration. Other than this simple addition, the interior looks to be completely original. It is starting to show signs of its age, but it isn’t anything serious.

Jaguar XK150

The one area of this car that isn’t truly original is the paint, which the seller believes to be mostly original, but has clearly been touched up at some point. Jaguar used a red primer, but there are a few thin spots in the paint that reveal grey primer. Some thin spots do show red primer underneath, so there are definitely areas of original paint. As to why some areas have been repainted but others are original is a complete mystery, but some further digging may reveal the answer.

Jaguar XK150 Engine

Mechanically, this Jag is in nice shape and currently runs and drives. It still needs some attention, specifically to the brakes. The engine looks to be in great shape and the seller claims it starts right up every time and operates as it should. A quick look underneath reveals some grease and grim, but the chassis and floors look solid and original. I would want to address whatever is leaking before it grows any worse though.

1959 Jaguar XK150

While it would be amazing to own a car that is this beautiful and tells such a great story, I would be scared to own it. And that leads me to the single greatest issue I have with survivor cars, it’s hard to drive them. Each time you take them out for a drive, you worry about hurting the originality or damaging it in some way. Like many of you here, I’m all about driving and enjoying my cars and that is such a hard thing to do with a survivor like this. I’m sure there are those out there that would love to own this car and would probably drive and enjoy it to its fullest without the slightest twinge of guilt. Are you one of those people?


  1. George Balen

    It’s only original once.

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  2. geomechs geomechs Member

    I have an original car and I really enjoy it. I say: ‘if it cleans up OK, then keep it as is.’ Recently I see a lot of people promoting patina, sealing it up and covering it with clearcoat. The problem with that is it often drives the rust inwards and eventually right through the metal. If it’s rusty then it’s got to be looked after. This example is one nice car. I find myself questioning if it’s original paint. Sure wouldn’t kick it off my driveway.

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  3. Nick I

    I thought all Jags came with at least one fender mirror?

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  4. Nick I

    My mistake it has a fender mirror.

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  5. jean Lecointe

    Whatever the age, whatever the brand, any car has been built to be driven.
    So, drive, drive, and enjoy the driving, Breakdowns and accidents are evreydays life.
    A car which never leaves the garage is like a work of art concealed in a bank vault.

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    • rapple

      I was just about to express the same sentiments, but I have nothing to add to your succinct comment. Well said!

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    • Carl Beck

      A Classic Car which never leaves the garage is like a work of art concealed in a bank vault. So take that Classic to all the Classic Car Shows that you can. Especially if they support charitable causes. Share its beautiful perfection with the rest of us. We well all appreciate seeing it in the same manor as the day it was new.

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  6. Dolphin Member

    Back when I was fooling around with MGs & Healeys and even very long US convertibles with tail fins the size of a series 1 Sprite, these Jags were unattainable for most people. They were scarce and tended to be owned by doctors and lawyers and such. To even see one on the road was special.

    Just look at that engine bay. Looks like an all-aluminum engine. You have to peer down and in to find any paint. The engines in our cars were cast iron, even the head. Chrome acorn nuts everywhere. And overhead cams—two of them. Even the wire wheels were chromed.

    My pals and I felt a little better telling each other that no sportscar should have whitewalls like this one, but I’m not sure we really believed that deep down. We would have given a lot to have one, but we just didn’t have enough to give.

    This is a car I definitely would check over and drive now. The interior is not past the patina stage, and with a careful cleaning could be very comfortable. The only thing I might wish different is the gearbox, which wasn’t the smoothest to use IIRC. But who knows?….it might just seem charming now after all these years. It’s been a long time since I drove one. Too long.

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  7. dj

    My dad painted cars when I grew up and I even helped him. I saw these cars, XKE’s, Sunbeam Tigers, MG’s, Spitfires and his all time favorite Corvettes. I never thought a thing about them since I was around them all the time. Now, I think differently and I had a great childhood whether I knew it or not.

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  8. Alan (Michigan)

    Boy, I dunno.
    In the very first photo, and also the third one, the bottoms of the front fenders appear to be wavy, reminiscent of the look common to home-done Bondo rust repair.

    I agree that this is a really cool car; love the design, etc. But it seems as though the lister is overselling via more words in the description than are comfortable to read. Almost a novella? There is talk of the underside of the car, but no photos. For certain an inspection is warranted. I think at this price the seller is fishing a bit, and I wonder what kind of offer from someone with a real market knowledge might make?

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  9. John

    Those were horrible cars to maintain. Everything that can go wrong with a car WILL go wrong with an old Jag.

    Having said that, I want it. I really want it. As to its problems, its kinda like finding out Kiera Knightly can’t cook. Who cares?

    Although I must admit, that at this stage of life, neither the Jag, nor Keira Knightley fall within my capabilities.

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  10. Bryan Cohn

    My grandfather bought a 1954 XK120 and this simple self reward is what started our family on its 60 year love affair with cars, road racing, rallying, well anything to do with the automobile!

    Can you imagine seeing this car on the road in 1959? Its elegance, speed, presence are something to behold.

    I always have liked the look of the coupe XK120-140-150 better than the convertibles for some reason. Much want going on here. Gramps would be proud.

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  11. gunningbar

    Original is preferred….preserved is next best…I saw so many over-restored vintage race cars at Lime Rock I stopped going…..B O R I N G…..

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  12. Jim

    Just wondering why an all original 1960 Jag has a seatbelt with a manufactured date of 1965?

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  13. John

    I would presume that this car was never fitted with seatbelts at the factory in 1959. The seatbelts are almost surely a more recent addition. I don’t remember exactly when seatbelts became the norm, but I know neither my 1959 Sprite, or my 1962 Midget had them either.

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  14. JIM

    Thanks, I assumed this, just wondering about it.

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  15. charlie Member

    I had this model which began life a dark blue, and when I got it, for $300 in 1969 it was metallic pink/purple. It was an incredibly fast car for 1960, even for 1969, I got stopped once by a CT trooper who just wanted to look at it. But it was dead waiting for parts more than it was alive, and, note the lack of wood on the dash, all plastic and padded. The 140 still had the wooden dash, and, to my way of thinking, a more attractive profile. So I would buy the 140, assuming it was still about $300 not $300,000 or even $60,000.

    Like 0

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