This is a very special XK 150 indeed; chassis XB 1001 was a hand built, factory prototype development car. A letter from the Special Facilities Office at Jaguar to the car’s owner in 1980 confirms the XK was used by Jaguar’s experimental department in early 1958 and that it had additional work carried out whilst at Browns Lane. They note that the engine number prefix “KE” shown on the Heritage Certificate corresponded with a 3.4 Mark I saloon of the time, highlighting that as a hand built pre-production prototype XB1001 didn’t conform to standard production car practice.
After its developmental duties at the factory, XB1001 was sold (or perhaps given?) to its first owner, the prominent racing driver Ivor Bueb. Bueb had a close relationship with the marque having driven a Jaguar D-Type to victory at Le Mans in 1955 with Mike Hawthorn and again in 1957 with Ron Flockhart and Ecurie Ecosse. By the time he registered this car on 9th June, 1958 with the registration number WDU 493, he was one of Jaguar’s go-to drivers.
This important XK150 has featured in numerous specialist publications about the marque, including A.D Clausager’s Jaguar XK140/150 in Detail and Bernard Viart’s authoritative tome specifically on the XK150. It also featured on the cover of Jaguar Driver magazine in June of 1988.
XB1001 entered an important private collection in the 1990s, and within the past 12 months has been the subject of extensive cosmetic and mechanical work that included a complete bare metal repaint in its original factory colour of Sherwood Green, and a re-trim in matching green leather. Completely re-chromed, with new colour coded wheels and tyres, the brakes have also been extensively overhauled and mechanically serviced throughout.
As a rare prototype from Jaguar’s experimental department, this hand built pre-production car has numerous distinct details differentiating it from a production car, and would suit the collector who appreciates its unique place in the history of the Jaguar sports car.