We're out of lockdown and straight into tier two. This means that our showroom is now able to reopen. All visits to our workshop or showroom are by appointment only to allow us to limit the number of visitors so please get in touch if you would like to book an appointment. We are also able to offer test drives on the wonderful range of XKs we currently have in the showroom.
In this weeks' update we are going to look at power steering, an XK120 back from trimming, a tracker system being fitted and look back at when one of our cars appeared in The Crown.
With a new series of The Crown out on Netflix we thought we would take a look back at when our fully restored XK140 drophead appeared in the TV drama. If you wish to look back and find it the car featured in episode 5 of series 2. The episode recreates the royal visit to the Browns Lane Jaguar factory in 1956. We were approached by the producers who were looking for a car which would look exactly correct for the period. We were delighted to have been able to provide a fully restored 1956 XK140 in its original colours and factory fresh condition to recreate the moment the Queen arrived at the factory.
This lovely XK120 OTS has been a long time in the making. The full nut and bolt restoration was started by the owner some 17 years ago and it is finally nearing its end. It is common for us to help owners along the way with their home restorations. We undertake the work which they cannot or do not want to do and check the cars over when they are finished. This way we help owners ensure their home restorations are up to the highest standards, enjoyable to drive and safe.
Just back from being trimmed this XK120 is looking stunning in a blue of the owners choosing with a sand hood. The interior is biscuit and looks equally wonderful. We will try to share some more photos of Mike Thomas' trim work in the coming weeks. The car is now heading into the workshop for the final few jobs and checking over before delivery to the owner.
Pictured here is the electric power steering motor just about to be fitted to an XK120 fixedhead. A very similar system can also be fitted to the XK140, XK150 and many other classic cars. Over the years we have helped develop the system and have fitted electric power steering to countless classics including an Aston Martin DB2/4, MG A, a pre war Morris Oxford taxi and E-Types to name but a few.
The system fits behind the dashboard, is hidden away from view and leaves the rest of the steering system (box or rack) exactly as it left the factory. This means no changes in geometry from after market steering racks and no unsightly pumps or pipes. We are also able to fit this system with an on/off switch so you can turn it on when manoeuvring and switch it off when enjoying a winding B-road. Please get in touch to discuss power steering options for your classic car.
This E-Type belongs to a regular customer of ours and the car visits us annually for service and MOT. We also store the car over winter in our secure storage facility. This way the owner knows the car is safe, dry and kept in top condition over the winter.
Whilst with us the owner has asked to have tracker fitted to the car. Tracker systems are becoming increasingly popular. Every week we see social media posts about stolen classic cars. Combine this with the increased values of classic Jaguars over the years and the cost of good tracker systems coming down, it is hard to come up with reasons not to have a good tracker fitted.
Our preferred tracker system is small and completely hidden in the car and does not make a mess of the cars wiring. It has a number of useful features including real time tracking on app or PC, customisable notifications when the car leaves a safe location or moves without the ignition off and the ability to remotely turn off the cars' ignition.
One of the most attractive features of the XK dropheads is that they are a 1950's sportscar that will really keep you dry. More than this the hood can be put up and down by one person in no time at all and they have, luxury of luxuries, winding windows! All this in a time when many comparable sports cars really didn't give much thought to driver comfort still featuring side-screens and hoods that require a small scout troop to erect.
All that being said the XK hood and window set up is complex. It requires time and skill to get them operating perfectly. Combined with worn parts which are 60-70 years old we often see cars with poorly fitting or difficult to operate hoods.
This XK140 is with us as the hood had become difficult to close. On inspection all that was at fault on this occasion was a broken rivet holding two of the leavers together. This was replaced and the hood is going up and down smoothly once more.
The XK150 fixedhead has to be the most practical of the whole XK range. Superior interior space and mechanicals give it an edge over its predecessors and the solid roof, though not everyone's cup of tea, is certainly well suited to the British climate. In my humble opinion it is also a great looking car and the proportions of the roof really suit the XK150.
This lovely and very original car came down to our Hampshire workshop for some work on the brakes and because the horns had stopped operating. Horn problems are common across the XK range and can have a number of causes. Worn or poorly adjusted slip rings on the steering column are a favourite fault and as a result you will often see XKs with auxiliary horn buttons where people do not want to or know how to rebuild the steering column. Another common cause is the horn diaphragms becoming stuck due to lack of use. This is hardly surprising but perhaps its worth thinking about every time you get your XK out or put it away just giving that horn a quick toot to help keep it in good working order.