- Exceptionally rare: one of only 14 Left Hand Drive 3.8S Roadsters
- Unusually, it was sold new to Beirut, Lebanon.
- Comprehensively restored by Terry Larson
That most respected journalist Paul Frère once commented in Auto Motor und Sport magazine that: ‘Although there are now sports cars that are faster than the Jaguar XK150, there is hardly another that is still so civilised’. He was astutely identifying the wonderful dual personality of the car, whose basic design was about 12 years old when this exceptionally fine XK150 S roadster was built in 1960. The relaxed tourer could easily become a fiery 125mph performer with a snap of the gearchange and a stamp on the accelerator.
Of the 9400 or so XK150s produced by Jaguar at Browns Lane, just 1471 roadsters were built to S spec. That brought a redesigned cylinder head with better gas-flow, triple 3in SU carburettors, and a near-20% leap in power; it was virtually an all-new engine, more powerful even than the V12 in Ferrari’s 250 SWB and clearly, in retrospect, being tried out by the factory in advance of the launch of the E-type.
But when the facts are dialled in that this car has the 3.8-litre, 265bhp engine and is left-hand drive, it emerges that there were only ever 13 other XK150s exactly like it.
Supplied to Lebanese agent Trad Imports in Beirut on 25 April 1960, chassis T 832123 DN was no doubt very much at home in this notorious (at the time) playboy’s oasis. Later on, the car travelled to the USA, and when it was acquired by its current owner in 1992 it had belonged to Philip Anderson of Washington DC for exactly 20 years.
When being assessed by expert Terry Larson, it was discovered that the car had at some point been involved in an accident, probably early on in its life in sun-kissed Lebanon. It was decided that near-perfection couldn’t be achieved without a full, body-off restoration. That work then progressed as, simultaneously, a full overhaul of the drivetrain and suspension was undertaken. Returning the XK150 S roadster to its exact original specification was one of the main tenets of the project.
Once returned to its factory-fresh glory, a long drive was taken through eastern Arizona by Larson and the owner, together with some close friends. All went well until the ignition coil exploded while driving through a severe snowstorm late one night, miles away from any possible help! Sorting this out joined the short ‘snag list’ from which Larson was able to finish the car seen here today – without doubt one of the best in the world.