Two 1958 Jaguar XK150’s look set to be the slightly rough stars of the first ever Restoration Show Sale being held at the Birmingham NEC on the 12th April. The Jags are both barn finds and given their rarity and the fact that two of them have come along at once I think they are worthy of me putting pen to paper, or fingers to keys in this instant.
Now personally, I do like a good barn find, there’s a certain mystery and magic about cars that have been locked away out of sight for decades. The stories of how they came to be always fill me with intrigue. And in the case of these two big cats the reasons why they ended up how they did are all the more interesting because of what they are. Highly collectable, very rare pieces of automotive art. Stumbling across these two is the motoring equivalent of finding a Picasso in your shed, and I don’t mean of the Citroen variety!
Both cars will need a fair bit of TLC to get them back on the road but that hasn’t stopped Silverstone Auctions, the company behind the sale, estimating the cars between £35,000 to £45,000. This might seem a bit steep for a 56 year old non runner, but given that a fully restored XK150 was recently sold by Silverstone Auctions for £127,000, these two could be a bit of a bargain for somebody who’s not afraid to wield a socket set.
Drop Head Coupe
So the cars in a bit more detail, the blue one’s a drop head Coupe. It was discovered in Italy where it had been taken by its former Italian collector owner in the 1980’s. The Jag was stored, then subsequently found, along with what has been described as “a treasure trove” of other classic British sports cars. It has now of course been brought back to the UK and entered into the sale by a vendor who unfortunately has too many other priorities to give this old Jag the full attention it deserves.
Fixed Head Coupe
Next up is the red fixed head Coupe, although more of these cars were built than the drop heads, this one has a more interesting story. Last on the road in 1969 this Jag has been out of use for some 40 years. The car was bought new by a garage owner and racer of the period called Alan Eccles, he specified the car with a close ratio gearbox, presumably so he could indulge in a little more racing! In 1969 Alan was offered work abroad so the car was stored in a barn at his home, what was thought would just be a short trip away ended up going on a little longer. The car was eventually uncovered in 2009 and now finds itself going to auction in a few weeks time.
XK150 Technical Specifications
Technical specifications on the XK150 range were very impressive for the late 1950’s. A choice of 3.4 0r 3.8 litre straight 6 engines could be had with power ranging from 190 to 265bhp, and with a top speed in the region of 130mph, the XK was a very capable machine. As I’ve mentioned though, these two will need a fair bit of work before they get anywhere near those figures again. If you fancy joining the bidding war or just want to go along for a look the Practical Classics Restoration Show arrives at the Birmingham NEC on Saturday, 12th April. The full auction catalogue including some lovely detailed images of all the cars available can be found on Silverstone Auctions website.