The Preston dream machine . . . in need of a bit of TLC

To many this crash wreck is just a pile of rusty old junk . . . but to collectors it is a dream machine.

Monday, 17th May 2021, 5:34 pm

And there could be a long queue of suitors when what is left of this Jaguar XK150 S sports coupe is put up for sale by the famous Bonhams auction house at the weekend.

Sixty years ago it was driven out of Preston’s Jaguar House on Blackpool Road as a gleaming new car. But it spun off the road on a wet day in 1996 and smashed head-on into a tree.

Since then it has stood forlorn in its owner’s garage, gathering dust and rust and looking increasingly destined for the scrapheap.

Classic car for sale - needs some attention. (Image: Bonhams Auction House)

Now, following his death, this rare classic could be heading for a new life as bidders do battle for a daunting restoration project.

Already an opening bid of £10,000 has been made and Bonhams think it could go much higher before the hammer comes down on Saturday.

Considering a fully restored XK150 can fetch more than £100,000, it might be money well-spent.

Jaguar only made 2,680 between 1957 and 1961 and most of those were for the export market.

This S model, which can do nought to 60 in 7.3 seconds, was supplied to the Preston Mattress Company on January 1, 1960.

The vendor bought it in 1969 and was at the wheel when it crashed in 1996.

Bonhams say: “Sadly the car was spun off the road on a wet day in September 1996. The vendor unfortunately lost control and ended up crashing head-on into a tree. He remarkably walked away.”

The XK150 was launched in 1957 as an upgraded version of the XK140. The ‘S’ version offered drivers 265 bhp.

It was quick off the mark with the drophead (soft top) version accelerating from zero to 60 in just over seven seconds and giving a top speed of 133mph.

The Preston model, registration NRN 6, was first registered in 1960 and was in single ownership from 1969, standing in dry storage for the 25 years since it crashed.

Bonhams say that despite being stored since 1996 the car “is still in salvageable condition and offers enormous potential as a rewarding project car.”

The auctioneer’s estimate is £15,000, “bought as seen.”