A full workshop in full swing – Workshop update

Another busy few weeks have passed since our last update. Many classics have come and gone over the past few weeks from Aston Martins to E-Types. We have even had a Land Rover pass through. We continue to press on with restorations and have lots of servicing work on the go. Many of our customers are away using their cars on tours. We love seeing photos of the cars out and about on their adventures in the UK and around the world. These classic Jaguars are so nice to drive and if in good condition can be very reliable making them ideal for touring.
In this weeks’ update we look at an SS100, a Land Rover Defender, a MK2 saloon, an E-Type engine rebuild and more besides.

Jaguar XK chassis restoration

Jaguar SS100 recommissioning

It appears we have earned ourselves a real reputation for our work on early Jaguar and SS cars. In recent years we have had an influx of these cars. From Jaguar MK4s to SS1s we have had all sorts through the workshop in recent years. The most regular of these pre-war visitors have been SS100s. We have had these in for everything from servicing to five-speed gearbox conversions. Driving these cars, it is easy to see why they had so much motorsport success in period and why they remain so popular to this day. Compared to may vintage cars of their era the performance of an SS100 is very impressive and they remain entertaining to this day.
Pictured here is a 2.5 litre SS100 which is currently in our workshops. The car was fully restored some years ago and is absolutely beautiful. It has been off the road for a long period and has now been brought to us to be recommissioned ahead of being sold. We have begun carefully checking though the car and will produce a list of recommendations based on our inspection. Great care has been taken to check through the engine which has now been started got running to help assess the cars condition.

Jaguar XK engine rebuild

We have many years’ experience rebuilding XK engines. From those simply needing an overhaul after many years of use to those that have been left standing for decades and are in a terrible state. Our expert engine builder knows just how to get the most out of an XK engine and how to tailor it to the customers’ needs. From our years of racing our XK150 S we know just how far you can push and XK engine to get the ultimate performance for motorsport applications. The vast majority of the work we do is for those looking to get the most out of their cars on the road. With this in mind we have developed our ‘fast road’ specification engines which provides the perfect balance of performance, practicality and reliability with an emphasis on low down torque.
Pictured here is a 4.2 litre XK straight six from a Series 1 E-Type we are currently restoring. This engine has been built to our ‘fast road’ specification. All elements are fully balanced and blueprinted to ensure the ultimate free revving and smooth performance. We hope to bring you more updates on this E-Type restoration in the near future so please keep your eyes peeled.

Jaguar E-Type XK 4.2 litre engine

Jaguar MK2 saloon oil leak

It is a privilege to be trusted to care for cars year after year and a pleasure to see them gradually improve as we work on them. This MK2 saloon was back for its annual service and for us to investigate an oil leak from the front of the car. On investigation it was discovered it to be two oil leaks. One form the front main oil seal and one from the steering box.
The leak from the steering box was easily accessed and fixed however the front main oil seal is somewhat trickier. As can be seen in the photograph the front subframe has to be dropped out to access and remove the sump. With the front subframe out of the way the front of the engine can be accessed and the oil seal replaced. When we carry out this job, we do a slight modification to the engine so that the seal can be more easily replaced in the future. Clearly this seal shouldn’t need changing again for quite some years but we do look at the long-term future of these cars and do as much as we can to improve them for future mechanics and owners.

Jaguar MK2 saloon oil leak

Blue is the new black

Following on from our well received twin pair of black XK140s a couple of weeks ago here is a photo of two metallic pastel blue XK120s. In the foreground is an XK120 fixedhead coupe and in the background is an XK120 drophead coupe. Both are very rare and desirable cars, particularly in right-hand drive form.
The XK120 FHC in foreground has recently been purchased by a customer privately and he brought the car to us to be checked over, improved where necessary and to have power steering fitted. Fitting electric power steering is a rather tricky job on an XK120 with the original steering box. It requires the top of the steering column to be very carefully cut in order to fit the motor which is hidden away in the bulk head. Once done it is a huge improvement to the drivability of an XK120 and is all hidden away. The only compromise is that the horn/indicator manette then rotates with the steering wheel.
The lovely XK120 DHC has just been sold through our showroom and was in the workshop to be serviced and checked over ahead of an MOT test. All the cars we sell are treated in this way so you can drive away with confidence knowing the car is in good order.

Jaguar XK120 FHC and DHC

Land Rover Defender

As ever we always like to sneak something non-Jaguar related into the workshop. This week we had this rather cool 1980’s V8 Land Rover in. These utilitarian beasts are super cool and have really come into their own in the last few years. Since Land Rover discontinued the old-style defender and replaced it with the more modern version these older cars have become much more desirable. Particularly models such as this cracking V8 powered short wheel base.
The owner of this example lives locally to us and had struggled to find a mechanic capable and willing to tune the carburettors properly. On arrival we found that the carburettors were wildly out of balance and one was far leaner than the other. We also discovered that the throttle pedal was excessively stiff due to a very old, worn and corroded throttle cable. With the car tuned up properly, a new throttle cable installed and a good set of K and N air filers installed the car was quickly ready to be returned to the owner. Having driven home the owner called up to ask if we had changed the engine as the difference in the driving experience was so markedly improved.

Jaguar XK150 interior trim

We restored this XK150 drophead coupe a couple of years ago and with it sat in our showroom waiting to be collected we just had to share a photo of the beautiful interior. It takes a brave person to choose a black interior, especially matched to black paint, but on this car, it looks absolutely perfect. Being an early XK150 it has the very rare aluminium centre dashboard which really stands out against the black trim. This combined with the dual MPH/KPH we made especially for this car it gives the cockpit a real aircraft feel. The look is completed with a Mota-Lita wood rimmed steering wheel which again stands out against the black and gives the interior a little lift.
No detail is too small for us when we undertake a full restoration and we will always to our best to accommodate our customers’ requests. In this car you can see the custom MPH/KPH gauge and the Moto-Lita steering wheel. Other hidden or less noticeable modified details on the interior is the modern cigar lighter which can be used to charge a sat-nav or phone but looks original, the original looking five-speed gear knob, footwell lighting and the original vacuum washer button which has been converted to operate and electric pump.

Jaguar XK150 interior trim