Bob Jacobson first laid eyes on a 1960 Jaguar XK150 Drophead Coupe when he was 18.
“I absolutely lusted after it,” recalls the Garrison resident. “But I was going off to college. It was not a car I could afford.”
In 2002 he spotted an XK150 in a showroom in New Jersey and couldn’t resist taking it for a spin. Six months later, he was shocked when he opened his garage door to find the car with his grandson sitting behind the wheel. It was a gift from his family for his 60th birthday.
More than 20 years later, he’s still lovesick.
“What I like best is that I have to do everything; there’s nothing automatic about this car,” Jacobson says. “It has a four-speed stick shift that I have to double clutch; I have roll up windows!”
1960 Jaguar XK150 Drophead Coupe
Number built (1957-60)
3442cc straight six
*Jacobson says he gets 14-15 mpg
The car has “rudimentary power brakes” and no power steering. “Parallel parking in a tight spot is a lot of work,” he said.
When Motor Magazine tested the XK150 during its production years in England, it was capable of speeds just over 130 mph. Jacobson was asked to race at Connecticut’s Lime Rock Park but declined. He’s had the car up to 70 mph but feels he doesn’t want to press his luck with a 63-year-old vehicle.
“I drive around here,” he said. “The top is down; my hair is flowing. I absolutely love it.”
One of his favorite jaunts is a Sunday morning drive on the Goat Trail, the winding road between the Bear Mountain Bridge and Peekskill. “You have to do some work there,” he says. “I want to see what the car can do, and what I can do. I’m still pretty crisp!”
Jacobson doesn’t know a lot of his Jaguar’s history, other than it “grew up in California.” Restoration has been an ongoing process, from fixing a steering column that broke the first time he drove the car to redoing the badly worn interior.
“I’ve always been crazy about cars,” he says. “I can name almost every car from the 1950s on.”
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