Happy new year to you all. We have been back for a week now and the workshop is busy as ever. We had a real cold snap before Christmas which wasn’t ideal for test-driving cars with the roads covered in grit and salt but did make for some lovely photo opportunities. We then had a rather damp and mild Christmas break and the team are now back at work refreshed.
2023 is going to be a very exciting year for us here at Twyford Moors. We will be making some big changes but please rest assured there will be no interruption to our usual high standards of work. Please do keep an eye on our new feed for a big announcement in the coming weeks.
In this week’s update, we look at an E-Type and an XK140 restoration, an XK150 which took part in La Carrera Pan-American, an XJ8 and more.
It is generally agreed that fewer than fifty right-hand drive XK150 3.8 S drophead coupes were built. Possibly as few as 19. Given this incredible rarity, we felt it was quite extraordinary to find ourselves with two in the workshop at the same time. One is the BRG car currently undergoing a full nut and bolt restoration and the second is this beautiful example which came to us to have power steering fitted and to be stored over the winter months. This XK150 has been beautifully restored some years ago and is in exceptional condition. The owner has had the car for a number of years but was finding it increasingly difficult to use due to the weight of the steering. The addition of power steering should allow him to enjoy the car for many more years.
We fit an electric power steering system which comprises a new upper steering column with an electric motor fitted to it. The motor is hidden in the bulkhead and the only visual sign of the modification is if you look up at the under-dash panel. The engine bay is left completely standard. We fit the system with an on/off switch so the power assistance and be used as much or as little as the driver desires.
Those of you who follow these posts will recognise this Jaguar E-Type which we have been carrying out a full nut and bolt restoration on for some time now. As you can see the bonnet has now been refitted to the car for the first time which feels like a huge step forward. If you have ever handled an E-Type bonnet you will know that fitting and removing them is not for the faint-hearted. They are extremely heavy and require several people to lift. They are also rather tricky to get shimmed and lined up correctly.
The biggest task over the past few weeks has been fitting the five-speed gearbox and making the alterations to suit. With the gearbox finally fitted the new stainless steel exhaust system with long manifolds from our friends and fellow HCVA founding partners at Classic Fabs could be fitted. Next, the wiring to the engine was finalised, fluids added and the engine was ready for start-up. The car now moves and stops under its own power and attention can be turned to finishing fitting the chrome work and interior.
We shared a photo of this XK120 OTS a couple of months ago when it had been freshly imported into the UK. At the time we helped the new owner register the car, undertook a few jobs to get it through an MOT and gave the car a thorough inspection. Following the inspection, we gave the customer a list of work and set out which areas should be prioritised. As the owner had a limited budget, he took the car to enjoy for a few months and has now returned it to us for the first phase of work to get the car up to tip-top condition. This work is mostly focused on the suspension, oil seals and brakes to get the car safe for regular driving. Once this phase has been completed the car will be returned to the owner and he can then bring it back in when he is ready for further work.
If you are looking to buy or import an XK or E-Type and would like help or advice please do not hesitate to contact us. We are well set up to advise and inspect cars and have a good logistic network to help bring cars into the UK.
Pictured here is a Jaguar XK140 drophead coupe which is currently undergoing a full nut and bolt restoration. The bodywork has been completed and we are now setting about fitting the bodyshell up before paint. We fit all the parts to the car ahead of paint to ensure a perfect fit and to allow for any alterations or holes to be drilled ahead of the paintwork being done. This includes fitting the full door mechanisms, windows and hood frame so that we know everything lines up and operates correctly. We also fit the bumper irons and the bumpers. All these parts are stripped back to bare metal before trial fitting and are then sent for chroming after this first fit-up is done. All this work early on ensures a minimum of fettling when we come to finally assemble the car and minimises the risk of damaging new chrome or paintwork.
We have a range of excellent XK140s in for sale at the moment including a restoration project. If you are considering purchasing an XK please do get in touch to discuss what you’re looking for.
This is a quick reminder for the upcoming Mike Hawthorn Track Day. Next July is the 70th anniversary of Mike Hawthorn’s first victory GP win in 1953. This is considered one of the most exciting races of all time seeing Hawthorn battle it out with Fangio and winning by just a second. To celebrate Michael Ballard is organising a track day at Goodwood on the 5th of July 2023. We supported Michael in putting on the 100th anniversary of Jaguar Cars at Brooklands last year, and are pleased again to support Michael with the Hawthorn anniversary.
The entry cost is £350 and spaces are limited to 60 cars. Additional drivers can be added at £100 per person and for passengers wishing to accompany a driver, there is an administrative charge of £30 per person. The event has a sound limit of 98 decibels. For those wishing to spectate numbers are unrestricted and admission is free. The Twyford Moors team will be in attendance on the day with our C-Type replica to make the most of what promises to be a wonderful event. If you are interested, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for further details.
This Jaguar XK140 has been brought to us by its owner to have the hood frame and hood wood fitted and aligned. It is vital before retrimming an XK hood to ensure the hood frame operates and lines up correctly. This is not just to ensure the hood shape looks good but more importantly to ensure the window frames fit well. This allows for the doors to shut properly and all the seals to meet well and keep the water out properly. An even bigger problem we have seen with some cars is that if the hood frame is under too much tension it can pull the screen and A post backwards causing the door gaps to close up and stop the doors closing with the hood up. We have even heard of this causing windscreens to crack in extreme circumstances. All this becomes all the more important when building up a restored car as many of the distances may be slightly different from when the car was originally built.
Although we are best known as specialists in XKs and E-Types we welcome all sorts of cars into the workshop. This XJ8 is one of the more modern cars we look over but it has become a regular visitor over the past few years coming in for its regular service and MOT. We have a bit of a soft spot for these V8-powered Jags. They are wonderfully refined and the V8 engine provides bucketloads of power. We think these XJs have really stood the test of time well and still feel refined even by the most modern standard. Combined with classic XJ styling and currently very low values these cars look like a very good buy to us at the moment.
On this year’s visit, this XJ had been off the road for some time and had developed a bad water leak, an ABS fault and severe clonk from the suspension. With a new water pump gasket, a refurbished ABS pump and a new ball joint fitted the car was through its MOT and ready for another year of enjoyment.
This rather charming XK150 OTS comes with a rather lovely story and what is believed to be its original paintwork. The car’s former owner took part in La Carrera Pan-American in an XK120 back in the 1950s before the rally was cancelled in 1955. La Carrera Pan-American was a border-to-border rally event taking place on open roads in Mexico. It was Mexico’s answer to the Mille Miglia but was considered to be the most dangerous race of its type in the world. When the rally was revised in 1988 this XK150s then-owner once again took part in the rally in his much-loved XK. This car not only has some lovely originality about it but it also has a wonderful story to go with it.
Given that the car has never been restored it is unsurprising to find that it has quite a number of worn and tired components. The hood was beyond use, which was probably not much of an issue in Mexico, but is much more important in the UK climate. Many of the suspension components were worn out along with various bushes and boots. We are setting about sympathetically repairing the mechanical aspects of the car to get it into top driving condition. We will also be carrying out work to preserve the original paint work and protect it against the UK weather.