The busy times continue in the workshop and we can officially say that the old days of having some quite time to catch up on restoration work in the winter are long gone. We are now heading into a very busy period getting customers cars ready for Spring and Summer use. The influx of booking has begun so if you need your classic prepared for the road, please do book sooner rather than later. We are also delighted to report that the showroom is getting busy again with many a visitor coming to view the various cars we have on offer. We have a really great range of cars for sale at the moment with new arrivals regularly so please do check out the ‘Cars for Sale’ section of the website.
In this weeks’ update we have a great spread of XKs and E-Types in for everything from restoration to servicing.
In our last update we saw the chassis and body of this XK140 drophead coupe restoration waiting to be reunited. Since then, they have been put back together and we have shared a video of the magic moment. If you wish to watch the video, please check out the news section of our website.
Although the car looks almost finished at this point, it would be more accurate to describe it as the half way point of the restoration. It does however mark a turning point in the restoration as you are putting things back together rather than stripping, cleaning and repairing old parts.
The body will now have final adjustments made as it is bolted in place. After that all the wiring will be run through the body shell and we will start to fit various components, chrome and interior parts. Pictured here the fully rebuilt engine and gearbox are ready and waiting to be fitted into the car.
We will share more updates on this restoration as we progress. If you are considering a restoration and would like to discuss your requirements please get in touch.
Here we have the independent rear suspension system removed form a Series 1 E-Type. You can see the car in the background, up on the ramp with a gaping hole where the suspension should be. This setup is simultaneously one of the E-Types greatest strengths and greatest weakness. The engineering and design that went into this system was exquisite. At a time when the majority of road cars were still using a live rear axle and leaf springs, this set up put Jaguar a cut above the rest. From the inboard brakes to the four coil springs, the system was such a leap forward. Unfortunately, they do also require a lot of maintenance and the design does make accessing many of the components difficult if not impossible. More over the rubber mounts of the subframe are prone to wear but replacing them is often overlooked in servicing as it can be a difficult job to complete. The net result of this is that the rear suspension, and in some cases rear brakes, are not maintained well on E-Types which ultimately compromises the driving experience.
If your E-Type isn’t driving as it should or you just want to have everything checked over, please get in touch.
The XK140 drophead coupe pictured here is just having the finishing touches put onto it including having the hood chromes carefully fitted. Fitting these chromes is a tricky job, particularly the ones which run around the back of the hood. Before this final fit we trial fit all the chromes in bare brass and shape them to ensure a perfect fit. A tiny gap is left where the beadings meet each other at the rear to allow for the thickness of the chrome. Once we are happy with the fit they are removed and sent for chroming. Finally, they are refitted. Due to the chroming process and the fact the parts have to be handled, they often loose their shape a little so great care has to be taken when bending them so as not to crack the chrome. A proper set of hood chromes really brings an XK to life and lifts the look of the whole car. If your car is missing its chromes, the hood is looking a little tired or your classic Jaguar has any other cosmetic issues we are here to help.
Back before Christmas our friend Paul Walton of Jaguar World paid us a visit and had a look around a few of the lovely classic Jaguars we had on site. In last month’s Jaguar World magazine, he published a great article about this lovely Jaguar E-Type which we have looked after for many years and currently have in for sale. The article features some stunning photos and Pauls in-depth impressions of the car. If you want to know what he thought of this beast of an E-Type pop out and pick up a copy of the March 2022 edition of Jaguar World.
This particular E-Type is rather unusual in that it has been extensively upgraded as an homage to the Semi-Lightweight racing E-Types of the 1960’s. Cosmetically it has been altered with false air scoop and a set of fog lights so it looks like the period race cars. Mechanically it boasts a most impressive specification including a 4.2 litre fast road engine, five-speed gearbox, electric power steering and much more besides. This car somehow manages to be both a fantastic track day weapon and a very comfortable long-distance cruiser without feeling like you are compromising anywhere. Quite the achievement!
We have been sharing updates of this XK150 drophead coupe restoration over the past couple of months. When we last updated you on this car the body had just been fitted and we were starting the run the wiring in. The car has now been fully wired up. All the lights and other electrical components have been fitted and tested. The dashboard is now in place ready to have the dashboard wood fitted. An XK150 dashboard is such a handsome thing without the front on that it often seems a bit of a shame to cover it up. Fitting the wood and in particular the chrome surrounds is a rather fiddley process. The dashboard wood is in three parts which all move independently of each other. The chrome surround is then made up of a further seven parts which again can all move and be adjusted. To get the interior of an XK150 looking just right it is vital that all of these parts are aligned correctly so each one aligns with the next.
Also visible in this picture is the upgraded five speed gearbox waiting to have the gearbox tunnel fitted. These five-speed gearboxes really are a lovely upgrade in any XK. They are a great improvement in the ease with which one can drive an XK and they allow you to move through the gears much more quickly.
There has been much interest in how we have been getting on with the partial restoration of this Series 1.5 E-Type. If you have missed previous updates on this car it arrived with us a bare tub which had been resprayed and a pile of rusty, oily and generally mixed-up parts. The owner had never intended a restoration but after several years of little progress, he brought it to us to get his car back on the road.
The car is rapidly approaching completion and now has a lovely new hood fitted. The bonnet had already had the lights and wiring fitted to it ahead of time ready to go onto the car. It has now been secured in place over the gleaming engine and the car is really looking the part. Next the bumpers and a few other chromes parts will be fitted and we will do some final electrical checks. After that we will fit the new exhaust system which has just arrived with us and finally be able to start the car up. From there the car will be tuned, set up for the road, test driven and adjusted before finally being prepared for delivery. Watch this space for further updates.
This Jaguar XK150 had its engine removed after a lengthy investigation into a mysterious vibration. After ever other possible avenue to find the source of the vibration had been explored from checking the prop shaft balance, via the gearbox, all the way to the clutch and flywheel we eventually resorted to removing the engine to investigate. It was found that when the crank had been machined many years ago it had not been set up quite quare on the machine and as such did not run quite straight. Although this was a very minor run out it had gradually worn the bearings at one end of the engine unevenly and after many years had resulted in this very unusual vibration. With everything re-machined and square, the engine was also given a freshen up. Now the time has come to refit the engine and gearbox, tune it up and return this lovely XK150 to its owner just in time to be enjoyed this Spring.
This wonderful Jaguar XK150 FHC is a genuine right-hand drive ‘S’ model. It started life in Australia so has a rather rare 8:1 compression ratio (S specification cars in the UK had a 9:1 compression ratio) which we believe was to compensate for lower octane fuel in the Sothern Hemisphere. The car is in wonderful condition throughout and although it has never been restored the chassis is perfect. It goes to show what a dry climate can do for these cars.
It is with us now for a regular service and tune up. In addition to the usual oil a filter change we give each car we service an over 100-point check. These checks include a detailed assessment of the electrical systems, inspections of all part of the car and a check of all fluids. This allows us to report to the owners any immediate problems they may face but more importantly allows owners to drive an enjoy their cars in the confidence that every aspect of the vehicle has been checked over. This also allows for future maintenance to be better planned out and budgeted for.