Jaguar XK150 (1957-1961)
As an answer to competition from BMW and Mercedes-Benz, Jaguar replaced the XK140 in its lineup with the XK150. There were a few cosmetic changes in the new model, but the biggest changes were in performance and suspension. These sports cars were powerful for their time and as beautiful today as when they were made five decades ago.
The XK150 was Jaguar's third variant of the XK production cars, following the XK120 and XK140. It was produced in three body styles; the coupe, which was a hardtop that seated two to three people and referred to as the Fixed Head Coupe (FHC), a convertible that seated two to three people and referred to as the Drophead Coupe (DHC) and the Roadster, which was an open two seater (OTS). The back seats in the coupes were small and not very passenger friendly, which is why they were considered to be two to three-seaters. The Roadster had no back seat.
Read: Sports Car History
As far as appearance was concerned, the XK140 had a flat, divided windshield and the one on the XK150 was a single curved piece. The hood was wider and longer on the later model and it opened down to the fenders. The top of the fender on the 140 was deeply cut near the door and the top of the fender near the door on the 150 was straighter and less curved. This was an interesting change because the deeper cut was sportier. The parking lights were mounted on the top of the fenders and they had a red light, so the driver could tell when they were turned on.
The XK150 came in a variety of colors, including black, British racing green, Carmen red, claret, Cornish gray, Cotswold blue, Indigo blue, Imperial maroon, Mist gray, Pearl gray, Sherwood green and white. Interior changes included roll-up windows, inside door handles, and a leather-trimmed dashboard replaced the walnut one on the earlier model. Jaguar also made the doors thinner to provide more interior space.
There was no power steering; it was rack and pinion. Whereas the XK140 had drum brakes, the XK150 had disc brakes on all four wheels. Buyers could order the 150 with drum brakes if they preferred them. They could also choose between wire wheels and solid wheels.
When the XK150 came out, it was not as powerful as earlier models, although it had the same 3.4-liter straight-six engine. Jaguar eventually evolved that into a 3.8-liter "S" engine which featured triple carburetors and produced 265 horsepower. It could exceed 135 miles-per-hour and hit 60 from a dead stop in seven seconds.
During the five years of production from 1957 to 1961, Jaguar made 2,265 XK150 Roadsters, 2,672 convertibles and 4,445 hardtop coupes. If you have one, you already know that it is worth a lot of money. If you don't and you want to buy one at auction, you could easily invest over $200,000. That`s a lot of money, but the Jaguar XK150 is a lot of car.
Read: Jaguar XKE History