Magazine Cover - Classic Cars For Sale - 1000s of Classic Car Reviews, How To Service & Maintenance Guides

Jaguar XK150

Jaguar XK150 Published: 30th Dec 2015 - 0 Comments - Be the first, contribute now!

Jaguar XK150
Jaguar XK150
Jaguar XK150
Jaguar XK150
Jaguar XK150
Jaguar XK150
Jaguar XK150
Jaguar XK150
The latest issue of Classic Cars For Sale is on sale now - Pick up your copy from all good newsagents including WHSmith or click here to subscribe now

Subscribe to Classic Motoring Magazine and save over 20%

Subscribe NOW

Available at all good newsagents including WHSmith

Twelve years to be exact. But long term, it wasn’t a licence to print money CAR: Jaguar XK150 YEAR: 1959 OWNER: Robert Couldwell

I knew I would have to sell my precious XK 150 one day… I bought it 12 years ago when I retired early from corporate life and had some money to invest. The idea was I would enjoy the car for a few years and treat it like a pension, to be sold when necessary. I have certainly enjoyed it and it has proved a far better investment than some ISAs bought at the same time.

In the summer of 2014 the car was at K and N, the excellent Jaguar XK specialist for a service when the general manager of another specialist, Twyford Moors, happened to drop by and comment that perhaps this was the right time to sell my car as it could fetch up to £100,000 if some issues were attended to.

This got me thinking – perhaps this indeed was the time to sell when I wasn’t desperate and so not accept silly offers. Apart from anything else, I now found the Jaguar to be rather anti-social with just two seats.

WHAT TO HAVE NEXT?

There are few affordable four-seat open classics around and I decided on an Alvis TC21 DHC; rare with only 96 made, beautifully built and, while it’s no performance car, can keep up with the traffic. I went to see two cars each at £35,000 and, sadly, both heavily overpriced and needing major work.

Next step was to attend the Alvis International Day and low and behold there was a beautiful specimen in silver with maroon hide. It also had the benefit of front disc brakes and a five-speed gearbox. I dropped a business card on the seat asking the owner to let me know if he ever sold the car. To my surprise he phoned me three weeks later and said he might sell the car the following year. We sort of agreed a price of £50,000 and he undertook to give me first refusal on the car.

It so happened that Keith Martin of K and N had an E-type customer looking for an XK but I would need to do some work before he viewed it.

The XK had some paint work damage and the finish on the bonnet left a little to be desired so £800 later it was looking a lot better. Also, Keith suggested the aluminium engine parts should be polished to create some under bonnet ‘wow’ factor so off I went to a company in Cowfold Sussex who made an excellent job for £130.

I also carried out a lot of detailing under the bonnet including decals on the washer bottle and high temperature paint on the exhaust manifold. I had some aerosol cans made up with the correct British racing green and painted the area behind the radiator grille. I also sprayed some paint into the lid and used a fine brush to touch up various areas under the bonnet, inside the boot and under the petrol cap, then touching up the wire wheels finishing off by cleaning every surface and orifice in sight.

 

WHEELER DEALER?

Believe me, to achieve anything like £100,000 for a car it has to be right. After various viewings, and a great deal of effort on Keith’s part, an offer of £95,000 was made and accepted subject to the buyer testing my car with the roof up. Unfortunately, he noticed a gap between the top of the passenger window and the hood. I had never noticed it and the hood had certainly been watertight in some of the most severe rain storms.

Some people seem to expect 50 year old cars to be like new…

Despite some improvements made to the hood fitting by Nigel at K and N, the buyer seemed to have been spooked and as a result pulled out. Realising that I would now have to actively market the car, I decided to spend more money on replacing some chrome parts which were polished down to the nickel but many buyers don’t seem to like this originality and patina! I then also decided to have the hood lining replaced as it was slightly soiled around the rear window. A guy came to my home to do this and it turned into quite a debacle. When the material was stripped off, one of the hood’s problems was disclosed – the wooden rail at the front was actually broken.

I was able to repair this myself with screws and glue and the covering complete with new lining was refitted. The hood now clamped down better than ever. Incidentally the lining came from BAS International by the way and was of very high quality. I then thought I would treat the hood to a good clean and contacted one of my favourite suppliers, Woolies for advice. The experts suggested using Renovo Hood Reviver, Ultra Proofer and Plastic Window Polish. I put aside a day for the job and followed the instructions religiously. The result, I thought, was quite remarkable and worth the effort.

I was now in a quandary. Having reached the car’s best condition ever, I couldn’t really use it as it’s impossible to maintain such a concours condition in regular use. I therefore would have to actively market the car and leave it under its cover in the garage.

I placed the car on various web sites at £105,000 and I was initially impressed with the results, with seven or eight phone calls which resulted in two offers one of £85,000 and another from a guy in France of £80,000 which would have been over £90,000 except for the plunging Euro. Hoping for more, I carried on advertising but the process was becoming tedious so I got back to the guy who had offered £85,000 and said I would accept to which he replied that he could only offer £80,000 now. Hmmm…

Time for Plan B: I took the XK to Twyford Moors, the company that I had purchased my XK from all those years ago and asked this expert to sell it on my behalf. Less than three weeks later it was sold for £95,000, less commission, and the money was safely in the bank!

 



User Comments

This review has 0 comments - Be the first!

Leave a comment

Keep it polite and on topic. Your email address will not be published. Please do not advertise products, all posts of this nature will be removed. We do not stock or supply any of these products, we independently review these products.

Latest Issue Cover - Click here to subscribe

Subscribe to Classic Motoring Magazine and save over 25%

Subscribe