The Jaguar XK150

Years 1957-61
See also Jaguar XK120
Jaguar XK140
Notes The third and final iteration of the XK range, started with the XK120 in 1948 and continuing with the XK140 in 1954.  By 1957 the XK design was looking a little dated, and Jaguar had set new standards with the introduction of a monococque design  - the Jaguar Mk 1 the previous year.  At the time it did not grab the worlds attention in the way that its predecessors had. However in hindsight it is recognized as the superb car it is, with more refinement than any previous XK.

Although retaining the cut down MK V chassis, as before, the car was updated in appearance by the fitment of a one piece curved windshield, and (on the FHC) curved and larger rear window. The wrap-around window look was "in" at the time. The curvature of the line from front to rear fender was much straightened, resulting in a heavier look, and the roadster model was fitted for the first time with push button external door handles and wind-up windows.  For better drivability, disc brakes were fitted, with servo assist, and soon after introduction, new and more powerful engine options were made available. At launch time only the the coupes -  the fixed and drop heads were available, and the introduction of the roadster model was delayed until 1958, when it, and the S models were introduced. The roadster was given some interesting body panel changes from its siblings in that the scuttle was moved back 4 inches, resulting in a longer hood and fenders than its brethren. This was apparently done because the roadster model was only a two seater, and this used up some of the extra space inside, and yet still left luggage room behind the seats.

As before with the XK range, standard (steel wheel) and special equipment models were available, but a bewildering range of models was to evolve. First, in 1958 the S model was announced, equipped to special equipment specification, and with a more powerful engine, though still of 3.4 liter capacity. Late in 1959 further options became available with the introduction of the 3.8 liter engine, and the XK150 was available not only in 3.4 liter versions, but two versions (normal and "S") of the 3.8.  All three body versions were available with all the engine options. Production all but stopped after 1960, but a very few cars appear to have been manufactured in 1961. 

One item of note is that the FHC/DHC models lost their extensive use of walnut, and reverted to a plainer, though still luxurious treatment. The dash on all three models was leather trimmed.  

Description 2 door sports, available in three body styles
  • Roadster  (from 1958)
  • Drophead
  • Fixed Head Coupe
Colors See the XK models colors details page
Pictures Pictures of XK150's  Fixed Head Coupe and Drop Head Coupe
Model Engine Bore/Stroke Power
XK150 3442cc 6 cyl twin overhead camshaft 83 x 106 mm 190 bhp @ 5500 rpm
(base model and very rare)
Special Equipment
3442cc 6 cyl twin overhead camshaft 83 x 106 mm 210 bhp @ 5500 rpm
XK150 3.8
Special Equipment
3781cc 6 cyl twin overhead camshaft 87 x 106 mm 220 bhp @ 5500 rpm
XK150 S 3442cc 6 cyl twin overhead camshaft 83 x 106 mm 250 bhp @ 5500 rpm
XK150 3.8 S 3781cc 6 cyl twin overhead camshaft 87 x 106 mm 265 bhp @ 5500 rpm
XK150 Twin SU HD8 
XK150S Three SU HD8 
Engine was the  Jaguar XK type DOHC inline 6.
Brakes 4 wheel disc with servo assist

(Various sources differ, slightly and these numbers are close estimates. Most sources agree to within 10, but some are as much as 100 different in total production)

(It appears that very few standard 3.4 liter cars were delivered, and thus most 150's are either Special Equipment or S models)

No details are available on the split of numbers between RHD and LHD, but some sources do break out the numbers between home and export production. As with the XK120 and XK140 many cars were exported but by this time a higher ratio stayed in the home market. However the cars which stayed home were rarely the Roadster or Open Two Seater model.  Most were FHC's followed in popularity by the DHC.  No information has been uncovered as to how many "standard" 3.4 (as compared to Special Equipment) models were produced, but by all accounts it was a very small number.
Roadster 1957-1961
XK150 3.4
XK150 3.4S
XK150 3.8
XK150 3.8S
Total 2263 76  Home  **
2187 Export **
FHC 1957-1961
XK150 3.4
XK150 3.4S
XK150 3.8
XK150 3.8S
Total 4450 1205  Home **
3245  Export **


DHC 1957-1961
XK150 3.4
XK150 3.4S
XK150 3.8
XK150 3.8S
Total 2682  549 Home **
2133 Export **
Total, all models 9395   (See note in left margin) **
Home/export split is estimated to within 100 cars, extrapolated from available figures
XK150 Roadster 3192 pounds
XK150 DHC 3220 pounds
XK150 FHC 3248 pounds
Length 14 feet 9 inches
Height 4 feet 6 inches 
Width 5 feet 4 1/2 inches 
Top speed 132 mph (XK150)
134 mph ( XK150 3.8)
136 mph (XK150 3.4S)
138 mph (XK150 3.8S)
Wheelbase 102 inches
Transmission 4-speed manual. Overdrive and 3 speed automatic optional (auto not available on S model)
Front Independent. Coil springs, double wishbones and anti-roll bar
Rear Live axle, semi elliptic leaf springs. Telescopic dampers..
Chassis Numbers
Additional codes with number
S prefix indicates SE model, (and early S model), T prefix indicates S model
DN suffix indicates fitment of overdrive, BW suffix indicates automatic transmission
Roadster 820001 and up (RHD models)
830001 and up  (LHD models)
Fixed Head 824001 and up (RHD models)
834001 and up (LHD models)
Drop Head 827001 and up (RHD models)
837001 and up (LHD models)
Engine Numbers
3.4 commences V1001
3.8 commences VA1001
3.4S commences VS1001
3.8S commences VAS1001
For additional details see the Jaguar Engine numbers page
Standard Equipment Heater, Leather seating on all models.
Options Special Equipment Model
gave standard wire wheels, two foglights. overdrive and twin exhaust system to replace standard single pipe and uprated engine with B type cylinder head (developed from pevious C type head)

It appears that very few XK150's were ordered in base trim, and most were delivered as Special Equipment, or as S models.

S Model
Available with 3.4 and 3.8 engines. standard equipment as Special Equipment model, plus the even more powerful triple carburettor engines.

All models except where already fitted to Special Equipment and S
Wire wheels  in silver, chrome or body color (to special order), Wheel trims (rimbellishers) for steel wheels.Various radios, fog lights, Overdrive for manual transmission, or 3 speed Borg Warner transmission on standard and SE models.  Bucket seats and white wall tires. Leaping Jaguar mascot offered for the first time on an XK car.

When steel wheels were fitted, spats were fitted in the rear wheel wells. These were omitted in cars equipped with steel wheels because of the extra width of the spinner. Wheels were all 16 inch, and wire wheels had 54 spokes in the first few cars, and 60 spokes (mid 1958) thereafter)