We continue to be exceptionally busy. We would like to thank all our customers for their continued support and we are delighted to be welcoming many new customers. We would also like to thank all our customers for their understanding, patience and adherence to our current Covid-safe protocols on site.
Pictured here are just two of the many E-Types we have passing thorough the workshop getting ready for the big E-Type 60 celebration at Shelsley Walsh on the 12th and 13th of June. For more information on the event or to book tickets please visit the E-Type 60 website.
In this weeks' update we have a look at two XK150 full restorations, talk tyres and have a sneak peek at one of our upgraded heaters. We will look back at a charming pre-war Fiat which we had in some time ago.
It has been a joy to be able to reopen the showroom in the last couple of weeks. We have been welcoming customers back to view cars and enjoy test drives. Given the ongoing risk from Covid-19 we have a number of measures in place to keep both customers and staff safe. Viewings are by appointment only, we ask that customers wear face coverings at all time when on site and do not enter any areas beyond the showroom where our staff are working. In addition, we are able to offer unaccompanied test drives with one of our team following in another vehicle.
This week we sold this wonderful Jaguar XK150 which featured in the film 'Scandal' about the Profumo affair. The car was driven by John Hurt in the film, who only held a licence to drive an automatic car, so had to learn to drive a manual in an XK with a Moss gearbox!
When we restore cars, we do endeavour to reuse as many original parts as possible. We are able to rebuild original XK heater motors and even offer and uprated heater matrix to increase the capacity and output of the heater. Unfortunately, not all cars which come into us for restoration are complete and many parts are becoming increasingly difficult to source. One such assembly is XK heater units. These units comprise both the heater matrix, heater motor and foot vents in one unit. They also have the take-off for the demister vents built in. This makes them a rather difficult unit to replace like for like whilst keeping the vehicle looking original both inside and out.
Pictured here is our custom-made heater upgrade. The unit uses the original bulkhead mounting points, the original hose positions and connects to the original demister vents. This gives a completely standard looking heater system with the added benefit of a more powerful fan and a more efficient matrix.
This Jaguar XK150 FHC bodyshell has just come back from the paint shop and is looking absolutely stunning. We shared pictures of the body some weeks ago when we were getting everything set up and prepared for paint. This was a very solid and original bodyshell and the owner wanted to be sympathetic to that originality.
The body is now ready to be carefully lifted off of our dummy chassis, which is used for painting and body repairs, and can be reunited with its own chassis. This separation means that whilst the body is repaired and painted work can carry on with the chassis. The chassis has now been stripped, rust proofed and painted. We use paint rather than powder coating chassis as we found that powder coating can crack over years of use due to the slight flex in the chassis. The chassis has subsequently been built up with all the suspension and brakes etc ready for the body to come back from paint. We will share the body and chassis being reunited in a future post.
With a few notable exceptions classis cars often do very few miles each year and as such do not wear through the tread on their tyres particularly quickly. Although recent campaigns have made us all well aware of the dangers of low tread levels on our tyres, what is spoken about less frequently is the dangers of old tyres. We routinely see cars come in with extremely perished side walls on their tyres. This is a sign that the rubber in the tyre has started to degrade which can affect both handling and stopping. In the most extreme circumstances perished tyres can even blow out when driving.
We routinely check our customers tyres when we service their cars and it is not uncommon to see tyres which are ten years old but still have plenty of tread left on them. We have seen cars running tyres which are 20 years old and even some running cross ply's which were so old we couldn't date them but we suspect they went back to the 70's or 80's. Please ensure you check the condition of your tyres thoroughly. Not just tread levels and tyre pressures but also age and condition.
Last week we had a lovely little Fiat 124 in the workshop and it reminded us of this charming Fiat Ermini we worked on some time ago. It is such a lovely car we thought we would share a photo of her.
This unusual and rare car dates from the mid 1940's. It is based on a Fiat 1100 but as can been seen was radically reengineered into a remarkable little sports car. Pasquale Ermini undertook his apprenticeship with Emilio Materassi but set up on his own after Materassi's death at the 1928 Grand Prix in Monza.
Ermini produced a number of race cars but saw most success with his Fiat 1100 based cars. He designed and built his own twincam cylinder heads for the cars producing incredible performance for a small engine of its age.
This car has successfully competed in many international motorsport events including the Mille Miglia. It continues to be used in anger all over Europe and is an absolute delight to drive.
This Jaguar XK150 drophead coupe was a full nut and bolt restoration we completed for the customer just over a year ago. The car was restored to the owner's specification and is finished in British Racing Green with a Sueded Green interior. Mechanically the car has been extensively upgraded and features a fast road engine, five speed gearbox, uprated brake callipers, polyurethane suspension bushes, adjustable shock absorbers and much more. In addition to these performance upgrades the car has been made more reliable with an alternator, electronic ignition and an electric cooling fan.
The car is back with us now that the owner has put some miles on the car for its first service. We will also be making some adjustments to the car to suit the customers driving style and checking through every aspect of the car as things do need time to 'settle' after a full restoration. Finally, the car will go for a rolling road tune now that the engine has been run in.