It has been rather a busy few weeks! Car shows, Jubilee parties, a bank holiday and a very busy workshop have made the three weeks since our last update fly past. We hope you all had a wonderful Jubilee long weekend. It was great to see so many classic cars out at events to celebrate our Queens impressive dedication to our country. We particularly enjoyed seeing all the Jaguars involved in the Pageant down The Mall on Sunday. It was a bit of a shame to see the Jaguar MK V with Prue Leith on break brake down. In fairness to the car, it is quite a tall order to get old cars to wait around in queues and then drive very slowly like that without having some issues.
Although we didn’t have much in the way of decoration for the Jubilee, we did manage to get this rather charming line up of red, white and blue XKs in the front of our showroom. We also took a couple of cars to a show over the Jubilee weekend which we will touch on again later.
In this weeks’ update we wish a happy first birthday to the HCVA and have a look at XK120, XK140 and XK150 restorations.
For those of you not yet familiar with this, the Historic and Classic Vehicles Alliance (HCVA) have created a strong voice for everyone who has an interest in protecting the future of classic and historic vehicles. HCVA actively engage with key decision makers from the DVLA to MPs to ensure that there is a viable future for classic cars. As founding partners, we would like to wish the HCVA a happy first birthday.
We have been so impressed by the progress that has been made over the past 12 months. The organisation has done fantastic work quickly growing its membership and more importantly engaging to make a positive difference for the classic car industry and enthusiasts alike. They have worked tirelessly on our behalf to tackle important issues ranging from registering cars with DVLA to the future of fuels, from engaging with government on the potentially devastating “Tampering” legislation to positioning the sustainability and environmental credentials of our sector.
We would like to thank them for their continued work and support in securing the future of the classic sector. Pictured here is the third generation of the Rochez family helping out on the Twyford Moors stand at the Goodwood Revival. If you have a passion for classic cars and hope they will be here for future generations please do visit the HCVA website and to find out more.
This Jaguar XK150 drophead coupe is a regular visitor to us. In fact, the owner likes the car so much we are currently restoring another one for them! With the values of classic cars going up and cars like XKs often commanding over £100,000 or much more in some cases, it is sadly inevitable that they have become the target of crime. As values have gone up the criminals that target these high value cars have become more sophisticated. As such we must become more sophisticated in how we protect and secure out cars.
On this visit we were fitting a tracker system to this XK150. The system is tied into the electrics of the car and hidden away. It has its own internal power source so if the cars battery is disconnected or the wiring is tampered with it will still operate for some hours. The system will alert the owner via the app, text message and email if the system is tampered with, if the car moves without the ignition on, if the car leaves one of its selected safe locations (such as your garage or our workshops) and if the cars battery runs low. The app allows you to track the car in real time on a map and the ignition can be switched off remotely.
Over the Jubilee weekend we had the pleasure of taking a couple of cars to Leonardslee Gardens for the Floral Fringe Fair. This event is ‘a quirky, quality, friendly event with a vintage feel’. It features everything from flower stalls and a variety of vintage and eccentric producers of quality items, to music, dancers and even a classic car show. The atmosphere was as ever fantastic and incorporating the Jubilee celebrations only added to this year’s event.
We took our fully restored XK140 drophead coupe and a C-Type replica to display at the show and were the centrepiece of the Jaguar display. There was a great showing of Jaguars and we ended up flanked by a MK2 saloon, SS100 replica and an E-Type. Beyond that there was a great array of classic cars including a stunning pre-war Triumph Dolomite and a pristine four door Morris Minor.
Many of you will have read about our XK140 but may not have seen the C-Type replica before. This car was the first of two steel tubular chassis cars built in the early eighties by the founder of Proteus, Jim Marland, and was the show model featured in the original sales brochure.
Pictured here is a pair of Jaguar XK140s both finished in black. In the foreground is an XK140 FHC and behind it an XK140 OTS both looking stunning. The fixedhead is a fairly standard car with the original overdrive gearbox and just a few upgrades to make it more reliable and usable. The roadster on the other hand has been more extensively upgraded with a five-speed gearbox, extended pedal box, louvered bonnet and more besides. Both of these cars passed through our showroom in recent years and have remained annual visitors for servicing. All this goes to show that there is an XK out there to suit almost any taste. You might in the market for a great value fixedhead or a super rare right-hand drive roadster. You could favour a completely standard car with drum brakes or desire the practicality offered by one of our fully restored and upgraded cars. Whatever it is you are looking for in an XK please get in touch and we are sure to be able to find the right car for you.
Both of these lovely XK140s are in with us on this occasion for their annual service and a few other minor jobs. It is lovely to have cars return to us year after year and we are proud that we are able to build such good, ongoing relationships with our customers.
This picture shows our busy restoration workshop with just a few of the cars which are currently undergoing full restoration with us. This seemed like a great opportunity to get a photo of the workshop as it features Jaguar sportscars built between 1948 and 1968. It is an impressive achievement that Jaguar consistently produced such great and iconic cars over this 20-year period and beyond!
At the back of the picture is the Jaguar XK140 drophead coupe which we have featured in a number of recent updates and we will touch on again in more detail later. Next is a Jaguar E-Type 4.2 Coupe which the owner started to restore some 20 years ago and has now brought to us to be completed. In the middle of the line-up is a Jaguar XK120 OTS which was by all accounts dragged out of a swamp in Mississippi and is now undergoing a full restoration. The engine, gearbox and axle have been rebuilt and fitted to the chassis and the suspension is in the process of being built up. Second from the front of the photo is another XK140 drophead. This is the automatic car which we sold at the Goodwood Revival and is now well on its way being restored. Finally, in the foreground is our Jaguar XK150 3.8 S drophead coupe which many of you will have seen at shows over the years in this form. It will soon be having its body refitted ready to be completed after many years of service as a demonstrator chassis.
The Series 1 E-Type is unquestionably one of the most iconic cars ever produced. The much over quoted Enzo Ferrari line ‘Jaguar’s E-Type is the most beautiful car in the world’ still holds true to this day. Combine that beauty with the engineering knowhow which had won Le Mans over several years with the C-Type and D-Type it is easy to argue that Jaguar produced the definitive sportscar of the 1960’s. At about half the cost of an Aston Martin DB5 they were also reasonably affordable. To this day the E-Type offers good value for money compared many other classic cars of their ilk. Indeed, few cars for the era drive anywhere near as well as a Jaguar E-Type. A completely standard E-Type is one of very few classics which can be driven with confidence in modern conditions and offer reliability along with the ability to keep up with or outpace the vast majority of cars on the road.
This particular Series 1 OTS is one of our annual visitors and was back for this years’ service, MOT and check over. Other than regular service items such as oil and spark plugs and a tune up the car didn’t require any real attention and was quickly ready to head back to its owner for a summer of enjoyment.
For those of you who follow us regularly you will likely recognise this Jaguar XK140 drophead undergoing a full nut and bolt restoration. We have featured regular updates on this cars progress in recent months as it approaches completion. Last time we saw the electrical systems being tested and all the lights illuminated for the first time. Additionally, all the fiddly work was being put in to making the doors, windows and interior parts fit perfectly and operate smoothly.
Since then, the engine has been started for the first time. If getting the lights illuminated feels like the first breath of life for a car being restored, having the engine running and the car moving under its own steam really makes this XK feel like it has come to life. The brake and clutch hydraulics have been blead out and adjusted and we are now in the careful stages of running the engine in.
As can be seen in the picture the bonnet has been built up with all the chrome work and the outside of the car is now complete other than the hood. Now that we are content with the mechanicals on the car and have everything prepared the car will be trimmed. This will take a few weeks and once the trim is done there will still be a few jobs to be completed such as fitting hood chromes and finally setting up the car and road testing. We are on the home straight though.