Ads on Test: 1960 Jaguar XK150 FHC


Classic Cars magazine

by Phil Bell |

Well-used but fundamentally sound, this is an XK150 that’s ready for new adventures, says our tester Nigel Boothman

This XK’s finish has a nice creamy shine, not crisp like new two-pack, but appropriate to a proper British classic – it was repainted when the car was rebuilt in 2002-2006. The view down the flanks reveals no dings or dents, though the driver’s door bottom is a little proud at the back edge; it’s same on passenger side but less pronounced. There’s lots of nice chrome with only the headlamp bezels, windscreen surround and the top surface of the bumpers slightly aged. Well-treaded Avon Turbosteel 185/16s mount excellent chrome wires. Overall, it’s not concours but at the smart end of ‘useable’.

Classic Cars magazine
Smart, but the wheel is off-centre when travelling straight ©Classic Cars magazine

The cabin’s hides and carpets are settling in nicely, though there are wrinkles under the quarters of the rear screen and other aspects could do with an afternoon’s tidying: the passenger door card panel and door pull are loose. The grey leather on dash panel must be original and though grubby-looking, adds patina. The plywood floors still look new and sound and there’s no rust visible around the painted sills. We couldn’t persuade the radio into life and a stray heater knob is resting in a cubby hole. The doors open and shut nicely, bar a grumpy catch on the passenger side.

There are Austin-Healey rubber floor mats and we spotted slight bubbling around door catches in the door jamb, but nothing serious. Renewed dark-perspex visors disguise a few little moth holes in the grey cloth headlining.

Classic Cars magazine
Efforts have clearly been made to keep the engine bay tidy ©Classic Cars magazine

The cylinder head retains much of its gold paint and the carburettor trumpets have been polished. The heater valve has been painted silver and someone’s even added white paint to the tips of the Champion spark plug caps, so efforts have been made to keep it smart. There’s a metallic flex-pipe for the breather allowing a bit of oil mist to blow back onto the front of the head. Speaking of oil, the level is slightly low but the colour is good, suggesting a recent oil change. The fuse box on the bulkhead looks as though it should have a cover and there’s the odd bit of frayed wiring, but on the whole it’s a smart, clean engine bay with the only cause for concern being a drip from the heater.

The clutch bites rather high, making it slightly trickier to get away cleanly, but it starts readily and ticks over evenly. Throttle response is instant. The Moss gearbox is better than some, though a little double de-clutching helps to make the first-to-second change clean. The overdrive had to remain untested thanks to the location in central Glasgow. The steering has a little play in the column but the four-wheel disc brakes stop the car well.

Along with the rebuild paperwork, the file includes lots of receipts (the most recent from 2019; the oldest charmingly from the Sixties) plus old MoTs and the original buff logbook detailing many owners from all over the UK. This XK150 is poised in a condition that could send the next owner either way – it wouldn’t be at all hard to drag it up to delightful A1 condition, or you could just use it, safe in the knowledge that it’s sound underneath.

This Jaguar XK150 is one of four Ads on Test in the latest issue of Classic Cars.

Engine 3442cc straight-six, dohc, two SU HD6 carburettors Power 210bhp @ 5500rpm Torque 216lb ft @ 3000rpm Top speed 125mph 0-60mph 8.5 sec Fuel consumption 17-23mpg Length 4496mm Width 1580mm

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