The middle of January can feel fairly pretty dreary at times. Seemingly endless grey days. Damp, dirty and possibly salty roads. Drizzle and the odd bit of ice. Not ideal classic car weather. Even the workshop seems to be full of grey, white or dark coloured cars at the moment…. But let’s focus on the bright side! We are busily cracking on with some great restoration work at the moment. We have had a few bright days and have managed to get out on the road to make the most of these. We would strongly encourage you to do the same. Not only is it good for your classic to get out for a run but it is also good for the soul! Pictured here in the foreground is the mud splattered wing of a customer’s XK150 which she just driven to us from Cornwall. This XK150 has to be one of the most regularly used XKs I know of and it always brings a smile to our faces seeing a well-used car.
In this weeks’ update we have a look at progress on a few restoration projects and reflect on the environmental impact of the classic car industry.
We shared some photos of this XK140 DHC restoration towards the end of 2021 as we stripped it down. This XK140 came over from the US, having started its’ life in New York. It was in a rather sorry state but mostly complete which is always great when undertaking a full restoration. Some parts for XKs are getting very hard to find and the parts which you can find will not be cheap. If you buy a restoration project which is missing its dashboard, hood frame and window mechanisms you need to budget several thousands of pounds to source these parts.
This restoration is progressing nicely. The chassis has been stripped back to bare metal and is now being repaired. Pictured here our fabricator Mark is undertaking a repair to the front suspension mounts. This is a very common location for corrosion to occur on XKs and we have a jig to ensure all the suspension mounting points remain in just the right positions. These chassis repairs will shortly be complete and attention can be turned to the body.
We shared a photo last week of this XK150 being delivered in a covered transporter from France. Since Brexit it has become more complicated importing cars into the UK but we are here to help. Please do get in touch to discuss how we can help with car transport within the UK or internationally.
Now this XK150 is safely with us, we have carried out a thorough inspection of the car and reported to the owner. He sent the car over to us with a view to have electric power steering and an electric cooling fan fitted but wants to make to most of the car being with us in the UK. As such he has asked us to make recommendations to improve the car whilst it is here. For the most part this car is in good order with a few mechanical items needing attention.
Once we have completed these upgrades and attended to the mechanical work required on the car it will be heading off for some trim work. The hood in particular is in need of attention. In particular we will be working on the fit.
We are always keen to explore new ways to improve classic cars. Clearly, we all need to be conscious of our environmental impact and here at Twyford Moors we want to play our part to minimise our impact on the environment.
When considering the environmental impact of classic cars and the sector as a whole it is worth remembering that we are already much closer to net zero than might have expected. As the Historic and Classic Vehicle Alliance (HCVA) point out “our industry is the epitome of sustainability through extensive reuse and recycling” and the “typical classic car emits substantially less CO2 annually than a mobile phone or computer”. As a founding member of the HCVA we support them in the great work they are doing in this area and are keen to support them in their mission to put the sector on the “Road to Net Zero”.
As a step in the right direction, we have been trailing some new exhaust systems designed by our friends at Classic Fabs (a fellow HCVA member) which incorporate catalytic converters. Much time and thought have been put into these beautiful 2” stainless steel exhaust systems which use a new six branch manifold. They sound beautiful, provide a modest increase in performance and should reduce emissions. What’s not to like!?
We have known this XK120 race car for quite some years though we haven’t looked after it continuously. About ten years ago, back when we ran our XK150 S race car, we used to look after this car for its then owner. At the time we built it a race spec’ engine amongst other improvements. Since then, it has changed hands a couple of times but has now settled with a custodian who uses it quite regularly for track days and has once again entrusted us with its care.
This car is great fun to drive! It has been extensively upgraded in every area from its full race engine to four-wheel disc brakes with four pot callipers. The car has been lightened, lowered and generally tightened up throughout to make it perform as well as possible on track.
On this visit the car was in for a little bit of cosmetic bodywork after a slight mishap when being loaded onto a transporter during a track day. There was some minor damage below the grill which has now been attended to.
We have been following progress on this Primrose Yellow series 1.5 E-Type over the past months. For those who have missed previous posts the restoration journey for this car started out as a simple respray at another garage. The car was stripped down to a bare tub, resprayed and then progress stopped for several years. The owner has now entrusted her to us to finish off within a limited budget so refurbishment rather than restoration has been the goal wherever possible. The brief here has been to build a smart and reliable car without doing more than was essential. Of course, we are not willing to compromise the quality of our work so where we have felt further work was required, we have discussed this with the owner.
With the electrical work finished we have now set about fitting the interior. In line with the customers brief as much of the original trim as possible was cleaned, refurbished and reused. Some parts had to be replaced such as the trim over the sills, some carpets and the trim on the centre console lid. The original seats, dashboard and centre console were good enough to refurbish. We think the overall effect is rather pleasing and charming.
Last week we shared a photo of the walnut dashboard from this car having the dashboard chromes fitted. The picture here shows the current condition of the car. We have a few mechanical jobs to complete on the car but once these are done it will be heading to the fabrication workshop to have the holes from the old wing mounted mirrors welded up. We will then be fitting a pair of our ¼ light mounted mirrors which are much more practical, give better visibility and we think look much better. The car will then have paintwork carried out as necessary along with a full mop and polish.
Finally, this XK150 is being treated to a full retrim. The hood frame will be checked and adjusted along with the windows ahead of any trim work to get these fitting as well as possible. The eagle eyed amongst you will spot the windscreen has been removed. That is because in order to fit the trim around the windscreen the screen has to be out. Worth remembering if you are restoring an XK150! The car will also benefit from a pair of bucket backs for the seats to give a bit more room and support in the car.