Now that we are in March the workshop is once again full to the brim with classic cars. These are in for every kind of work you can imagine from servicing to full restoration. Fittingly in their 60th birthday year we have several E-Types in, most of which are hoping to be ready for the E-Type 60 event being held by the E-Type Club at Shelsley Walsh (12th and 13th of June 2021). If you haven't yet booked your ticket, we urge you to do so. The event is incorporating the XK club so all you XK owners please do not be shy. There will be many exhibitors, technical talks and you can even enter your car into the competitive hill climb.
In this weeks' update we will be looking at an Aston Martin DB2/4, a lovely historical photo of our workshop, an E-Type with demister vent issues and two XK140 fixedheads.
With the weather starting to look a bit kinder to classic cars and the promise of restrictions starting to ease in the coming months we are starting to see a lot of interest in the cars in the showroom. No doubt people are thinking of how to best make the use of what we hope will be a beautiful British summer and I can think of few better ways to enjoy it than from behind the wheel of a classic Jaguar.
This week we sold this stunning Jaguar XK140 drophead coupe. This car was fully restored to an extraordinarily high standard some years ago and has since been maintained meticulously. In fact, this car is so nice that a few weeks ago, before the car was for sale, I shared a photo of it in one of these updates stating that it is one of my favourite, and probably one of the best, XK140s on the road today. It is then little wonder that the car sold so quickly.
This Jaguar XK140 fixedhead coupe has come in with a problem with the nearside door. The window frame has been fouling the A-post resulting in the paint being damage, the door not closing easily and draughts around the window frame. Setting up XKs doors and windows is notoriously tricky. Fortunately, our team has the experience, knowledge and patience to do the job properly.
As you can see here the door trim has been removed to give access to the mechanism and mounts behind. One of the trickiest elements of this kind of job is that is that every part you adjust has a knock-on effect elsewhere. When you make one gap larger, you make another gap smaller. If you tilt the window frame too much you will stop the window mechanism running smoothly. This really is not a job for the faint hearted.
This wonderful Aston Martin DB2/4 has been an annual visitor here for over five years now. We have got to know this interesting car rather well over those years and it is always a joy to see it back. This year it is back with us for its annual service and MOT.
Sold in July 1955 this is one of 565 Mark I models however the keen Aston enthusiasts amongst you will notice that the front grill is not that of a Mark I. The first owner returned the car to Aston Martin on numerous occasions and in 1956 he had them fit what was to become the Mark III grill along with front disk brakes. The car has been fully restored but is very original throughout and with its unique period upgrades this must be one of the most interesting DB2/4s out there.
XKs are sadly know for their oil leaks. Some are challenging to fix and require modern upgrades to resolve such as the flawed rear main oil seal. Others are common but are much more easily remedied when in the right hands. One such leak which we often see but really need not be such an issue is the differential pinion oil seal. This is the oil seal in the front of the rear axle which manifests as a small pool of oil under the rear of the car.
We are currently carrying out an extensive list of improvements and upgrades to this Jaguar XK140 FHC. Today it has had the leaky diff' pinion oil seal replaced. At the same time, it has had a new prop-shaft universal joint fitted to the rear as there was excessive play in it. All these small improvements really add up to make the difference between an ok and a really lovely classic car. If you have a few 'niggling little problems' with your classic don't feel you have to live with them; Please get in touch to discuss how we can help you.
Unsurprisingly we love old things around here. We are not just classic car enthusiasts, but our staff are into everything from old steam engines to old clocks, from vintage guitars to vintage cloths. As a group we actively seek out history relevant to the business and recently we were delighted with coming across this lovely photograph of our Hampshire workshop. We believe the photo was taken at some point in the late 1960s judging from the extension to either side of the main workshop and the white cladding on the front. The main central workshop pictured here still stands today and is our main servicing workshop. The site has changed a great deal though with our showroom extending out from where the main workshop doors are in the picture and over where the petrol pumps are.
We are currently working our way though a list of improvements on this lovely 4.2 E-Type for its new owner. One issue he had faced was a steamy windscreen which would not clear even once the car was hot, and the heater was on full blast. On investigating the problem, we found that the demister vents on the near side of the car were not connected. Where the heater hose should come out of the bulkhead had been blanked off and the hoses removed. We assume this was done when an alarm system was fitted which makes it rather hard to route the hoses. Further to this it was found that the hoses on the offside were probably the original and had split so were not directing as much air to the vents as one would desire. With the dashtop removed we have now reinstated the demister vent hoses and before long they will be providing a clear screen and some much-needed heat in this changeable spring weather.