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XK150 originality questions

XK150 Originality Questions

We had the Sydney concours today, 21 XKs showed, a few less than last year I think. Anyway, some questions that I have not yet checked / double checked that arose with an XK150 OTS: 1. Where does the head colour (in the valley) stop? How much above the exhaust manifolds? Any on the front timing cover? 2. Oil filter colour? I think it is generally accepted as black. 3. Driving lights - some have the ribbed Lucas top, others are smooth. I forget which ones are the XK type (the others are Mk II type - the ribbed ones I think). 4. "Made In England" - only on export cars? i.e. not original on a UK delivered car? 5. Regulator cover: often seen upside down, although there is a different type of cover that is right way up. I think upside down is correct for that particular type of cover. 6. He lost points because the studs were in the exhaust manifolds when they were re-enamelled. It seems accepted here that the manifolds were first enamelled, then the studs inserted (therefore no enamel on the studs!). Impress your friends with this one (if you still have any friends, that is, after a conversation on this sort of subject!). 7. Black studs required for all boot area "snaps" (and tan leather straps where appropriate). 8. T handle - black seems to be thought right - but what about a plated (not bright) finish? 9. Bonnet lock - very common concours error to plate the striker on the cross member above the radiator - but what about the spring and male assembly on the bonnet (hood) itself? I said body colour (not plated etc). All comments as always welcomed. I have not had the time lately to research anything so have not responded to many questions raised over the last few months where work would be required. - Regards, John Elmgreen

This is in response to some of the questions raised by John Elmgreen about originality of XK150 OTS. Let me begin by saying the I purchased my XK150 OTS (S831186) from the original owner in 1980. I have what appears to be a nearly complete repair record for the car. Apart from the engine that was rebuilt at 135,000 miles, it has had nothing that approaches a restoration. It is my belief that most of the car is original. This car was delivered in England to an American for export. Accordingly, I guess it is a North American export design. Its is LHD. Oil filter is brown. Telltales are clear (as are all the parking light lenses; in Porters book the parking lights are red or orange). Has "Made in England" tag. Regulator cover is upside down. Manifold is enameled, the studs are not. All bonnet lock pieces (both male and female) are painted (since early on, the car's color was changed from white to red, the white bonnet pieces argue that the paint was from the factory). Brake lever mounted on the passenger side (LHD) When the engine was rebuilt it may have been re-painted. With that to be considered, the head valley is light blue. This includes the vertical face of the valley at the front of the engine. The color stops just above where the engine number is stamped. The horizontal surface at the front (above the valley) and the entire front of the engine are not painted. The light blue stops just above the exhaust manifold. The light blue paint appears to be over a dark blue-green paint (primer?). The dark paint extends to the bottom of the exhaust manifold. - Paul Patek

Paul, I am interested in your comment suggesting the car may have been changed from white to red at the factory. My '55 140 dhc has red everywhere, but under that seems to be white. Could this have been a response to American tastes? But mine has red under all pieces I have disassembled. - Jim Warren S817518 dhc

I bought one of my 150 roadsters, as the second-owner in 1965, which I still own today. At purchase the only change from original was a respray, new top, and poorly recovered seats. Two observations to add: 1) the oil filter is brown, and, 2) the RB 310 voltage regulator is mounted such that the stamped words are upside down. - Bob Oates

Jim, Sorry, I did not make myself clear. The original owner did not like the white and he had it repainted shortly after he and the car returned to Los Angeles. Thus the car was white when it left the factory and I presume everything that is white was painted in factory. Sorry for the misunderstanding. - Paul Patek

John, I have noticed that there are two versions of the RB310 regulators. One version was mainly used on the XK140 and used long screws to hold on the cover. The printing on the cover is right side up. The other version used short screws to hold the cover on and is used on the MK II, MK VIII, and MK IX. This version has the lettering backwards from the other type. If you have an XK140 and the lettering is upside down, the regulator has been changed or replaced with a sedan version. I can't speak about the XK150 as I have not worked on or owned one. Just my observation, I can't say that the other version found its way on a car at some time or another. Another thing, most of the Lucas parts have a date stamped on them so that could help determine if its the orginial or period part if the car build date is known. - Cleo Bay, XK120, XK140

Thanks, Cleo. I knew if I mentioned a specific part or model number in one of these discussions that the more knowledgeable and detail-oriented folks would respond. Sharing my understanding of the XK150 and its RB310 regulator, the build dates of my two roadsters closely match the Lucas dates on the regulators. And these both have the print on the cover in an upside down position. (If I had the energy, I would research Volume I of the XK 150 Parts Manual to determine if Lucas fitted more than one model of the RB310 to the 150 and then I would advise this audience of the affected chassis numbers. Hint, hint.) Years ago I learned that Lucas stamped the date of the manufacture on most of their parts and it was kind of interesting to check the dates of each of the electrical components. Using this information, other enthusiasts and I would then estimate the build date of the car. Of course all of this predated the services of the Heritage group. - Bob Oates

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