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This really is an outstanding car that not only presents superbly, but on the road is quite simply exceptional in every respect. However, before we go into detail describing the sensational road test on arrival, the car does carry some interesting history and provenance. UDU 995 was registered new in Coventry on the 16th September 1957 for the Californian based thriller writer Leonard St Clair. Jaguar Ltd at Browns Lane transferred the vehicle into Leonard St Clair’s name, C/O American Express Co, Haymarket London, and the XK spent until at least 1964 in the UK in LHD format before being shipped to the US by its first owner.
On arrival in the US, the XK150 was kept at Leonard St Clair' Los Angeles residence and he really did use the XK on a regular basis. After 16 years of ownership and 57,345 miles, the car was sold another private owner in California in September 1973. The Jaguar changed hands again in 1974 leaving California for Missouri having covered around 8000 miles in one year with its second owner. In 1981 the XK sold to a Doctor in Texas who was the cars last owner in the US, and from the detailed history we can see he was a keen classic car enthusiast with several cars covering 2000 miles during his lengthly ownership. The Jaguar arrived in the UK with 66,000 miles, still with its original engine unit and was re-registered in the UK and later re-patriated with its original Coventry registration mark UDU 995 and converted to RHD.
The XK history has been very well documented and service records with the car date back to 1973. During the 1970's the XK was subject to regular, general servicing and one of the more significant invoices relates to cylinder head work in July 1974. Invoices go right through the 1970's and into the 1980's where the XK was getting gentle use. It is clear the Jaguar didn't get any use during the 1990's and early 2000's so it was by 2007 in the UK when the XK was then re-commissioned but still in excellent working order with a first class, very original bodyshell. The XK was treated to a full re-paint and lots of invoices are on file. The carburetors were stripped and rebuilt, the clutch master cylinder replaced and other new parts included a fuel pump, voltage control box, vacuum hose, starter motor, steering rack rods, various seals and Avon tyres.
In 2014, shortly before the last owner purchased the car, a brand-new stainless-steel exhaust system was fitted. The most recent owner purchased the XK150 in 2015 with a genuine 68,000 miles from new recorded. Over the past five years the Jaguar has had occasional use attending various events in the Gloucestershire area. The car has been continuously kept in top condition with excellent maintenance and upkeep. Invoices are on file for regular servicing and more significant items include a new brake servo, new clutch slave and master cylinder. UDU 995 has been thoroughly enjoyed with its last owner and has proven completely reliable throughout the five years.
On arrival we road tested the XK and can confirm this is something quite special. UDU 955 feels one step ahead of the typical standard XK150 and this is due to some subtle upgrades that hugely improve the driving and handling. First of all, its original 3.4 XK unit is super fit, pulls beautifully holding excellent oil pressure and delivering impressive power. The XK has a later all syncro gearbox with overdrive and with a slick, smooth gearbox, it really enhances the drivability of an XK. With rack and pinion steering the car is incredibly precise, the steering is perfect, and the car sits correctly and offers sharp, efficient braking. UDU 955 looks as good as it drives with a beautiful Black paint finish, matching body colour wires and excellent chrome work throughout. The body is first class, it seems obvious this has never been a car with serious corrosion, panels are beautiful and straight, panels gaps are excellent, and the chassis is outstanding front to back. This is a car that covered most of its mileage in its first 16 years so is very much a genuine, honest low mileage example with 70,000 miles that has never been left to deteriorate. The interior of the XK150 is gorgeous with fabulous carpets, lovely Red leather upholstery, clean door cards, excellent headlining and lovely dashboard and instruments. This is fantastic value for a low mileage, beautifully presented example that will no doubt drive better than a concours fully rebuilt car. The do not drive much better than this, and we have driven dozens of XK150's over the last thirty years.
Please see our walk round and road test video here;