1958 Jaguar XK150 FHC
The Swallow Sidecar Company was founded in 1922 by William Lyons and William Walmsley. In 1934 Lyons formed SS Cars Limited to effectively take over the operation from Walmsley. The SS brand was quite successful; though they had a reputation for having ‘more show than go’. The Jaguar name first appeared as a model name on an SS 2½ Litre Sports Saloon introduced in 1936. For political reasons, Lyons changed the name of his company to Jaguar Cars in 1945.
Whilst the SS100 is indeed a fabulous car, it was the launch of the legendary Jaguar XK120 at the London Motor Show in 1948 that really put Jaguar on the map. The car caused a sensation, which persuaded Jaguar founder and design boss William Lyons to put it into production. The “120” in its name referred to its 120 mph top speed, which made the XK120 the world’s fastest production car in its day. It was available in two open versions, first as the roadster (designated OTS, for open two-seater), then also as a drophead coupe (DHC) from 1953. The car was also available as a closed or fixed head coupe (FHC) from 1951.
The XK120 was succeeded by the XK140 which was launched in late 1954 and sold through until 1957. Whilst the XK140 looked similar to the XK120 there were in fact many subtle and indeed important differences. The XK140 featured a more spacious cabin and had improved brakes, suspension and steering. Visually the car had American style bumpers with overriders, a different grille (that had fewer, thicker vertical bars), a chrome strip on the bonnet & boot and an emblem “Jaguar Winner Le Mans 1951-3” on the boot.
The final iteration of the XK was the XK150 that was released in 1957. Whilst its family resemblance to its forbearers is obvious the XK150 was in fact a very different car. Most noticeable was the change to a one piece windscreen and the smoother ‘wing line’ from the front to the rear of the car. Cabin space was significantly improved making the XK150 a far more comfortable car to drive. Mechanically the first XK150’s were similar to the XK140’s, however, an ‘SE’ variant with a modified cylinder head giving more power and an ‘S’ variant with triple SU carburettors giving even more power were soon available. In 1959 engine capacity was increased from 3.4 litres to 3.8 litres.
Like the XK120 both the XK140 and XK150 were offered in three body styles being the roadster, drophead coupe and fixed head coupe.
Oldtimer Australia is delighted to confirm the sale of this stunning 1958 Jaguar XK150 Fixed Head Coupe.
This particular car has a fascinating history. According to the Jaguar Heritage Certificate, the car was sold new through Henleys of London to its first owner Miss R Massey. The Heritage Certificate notes the car was a ‘Personal Export Delivery’ with a date of manufacture of 23 June 1958 and a date of delivery of 18 July 1958. It was first registered as URW 782. The car was originally finished in cornish grey with a grey interior. It was delivered with a 3.4 litre engine that had a compression ratio of 9:1.
Miss Rosemary Massey, of the famous tractor-making family, raced the car with some success in 1958 and 1959. She was the partner and later husband of Dick Protheroe. They were personal friends of Sir William Lyons and Protheroe was a racer of note. As a result of his relationship with Lyons, Protheroe was able to secure the 4th Jaguar E-Type FHC ever built – chassis # 860004, which they raced.
The current owner acquired the car in a poor state in the UK 37 years ago. He is a fully trained Jaguar mechanic (retired many years ago!) who has travelled the world with his trade. He moved to Brisbane in the 1970’s and has always been passionate about and owned classic Jaguars and Daimlers. He completed the restoration of this car 10 years ago, but it wouldn’t have travelled 1,000 miles in that time.
Anoraks will love the fact that this car was also registered in Queensland as URW 782, so it has carried that registration all of its life!
Today this Jaguar XK150 Fixed Head Coupe presents in near concours condition.
- Jaguar XK150
- Fixed Head Coupe
- 62,861 miles