- The 90th of just 93 right-hand drive Roadsters made
- A 'Special Equipment' model that was exported new to Hong Kong
- Treated to a meticulous 'chassis up' restoration upon entering the current ownership in 1985
- Participated in the 1st and 2nd Martell Classic Car Rallies to China and has raced at Macau
- Matching chassis, engine and body numbers etc
Last flowering of the separate chassis XK sportscar line, the XK150 was introduced in 1957. A more sophisticated and refined design than its forebears, the newcomer benefited from the adoption of four-wheel disc brakes and a more generously proportioned cabin. Available with a variety of 3.4 litre or 3.8 litre DOHC straight-six engines (in differing states of tune), potential customers could also choose between four-speed manual or three-speed automatic gearboxes. An effortless performer (contemporary road tests recorded top speeds of 130mph upwards) the XK150 did much to cement Jaguar's reputation as Britain's foremost sportscar manufacturer. Although, the model could be ordered in standard trim, the majority of customers seem to have opted for the factory-fitted 'Special Equipment' (SE) pack which incorporated wire wheels, front spotlights, tuned B-type cylinder head and a twin exhaust system. Appearing in 1958, a year later than its Fixed Head Coupe and Drophead Coupe siblings, the Roadster did without their token back seats. Decidedly more rakish looking thanks to a repositioned scuttle (moved four inches further back) and curved door tops, it nevertheless boasted a proper hood and wind-up windows. Of the 2,267 Roadsters made, just 93 were to right-hand drive specification.
According to its accompanying Jaguar Heritage Trust eCertificate, this particular example - chassis S820090 - was manufactured on July 13th 1960. Among the very last right-hand drive Roadsters to emerge from Browns Lane (production ceased at chassis 820093), it was dispatched to Jaguar distributor Gilman & Co of Hong Kong the following month. A 'Special Equipment' model complete with four-speed manual transmission, the XK150 showed very little sign of corrosion by the time it entered the current ownership in 1985; a result no doubt of the former British colony's temperate climate. Living and working in Hong Kong at the time, the vendor purchased the two-seater from marque enthusiast John Northwode Turner as a partially stripped restoration project. Drawing on local contacts, he had AEL Ltd which serviced all the rolling stock at, and on, Kai Tak airport refurbish the chassis, overhaul the original engine, re-trim the interior and renew the hood / tonneau cover. Renowned specialists Suffolk & Turley supplied the relevant trim kits, while XK Engineering of Coventry assisted with sundry new engine internals. Local engineering firm Paul Gross Ltd of Sai Kung tracked down a number of new components such as disc brakes etc. Part of the Toyota Group, Crown Motors helped rejuvenate the original body. Repainted in Old English White with Beige leather upholstery, Dark Blue mohair hood and Black tonneau cover, the two-seater also had its instruments overhauled by Vintage Restorations and a stainless steel exhaust fitted. Suitably mechanically and cosmetically refreshed, chassis S820090 participated in the first and second ever Classic Car Rallies to the People's Republic of China during 1986 and 1987 which were organised and sponsored by the Classic Car Club of Hong Kong and Martell respectively. Taking to the famous Macau Grand Prix circuit as part of these events, the XK150 was invited to contest the Supercar Race on one occasion and thus found itself dicing with modern Porsches and Ferraris (finishing 11th out of 31 entrants). A testament to Jaguar reliability, the Roadster then contested the Classic Car Race at the same meeting immediately afterwards much to the displeasure of the Circuit President!
Repatriated and UK road registered for the first time some twenty-nine years ago, the XK150 now presents as an older restoration. Starting readily upon inspection and proving decidedly un-temperamental whilst we photographed it, the two-seater is understood to pleasingly retain its original chassis, body, engine and gearbox. A decidedly rare car and one deserving of another long-term custodian, 'FSV 998' is offered for sale with numerous restoration photographs and invoices, two under bonnet rally plaques and a fresh MOT certificate.