Horns, heads and hope for the future - workshop update

Despite the current lockdown the workshop still feels fairly normal. There are fewer staff in to allow for social distancing but we are, as ever, packed full of Jaguars. The showroom remains closed and we miss the hustle and bustle of customers coming and going, be it for test drives or to see progress on their XKs in the workshop. We are hopeful that in the coming months we will be able to once again welcome customers back to our Hampshire showroom and workshops in a safe manner and that this year might even see the return of classic car shows. This week we have been working on plans for both E-Type 60 and the Goodwood Revival so we sincerely hope it is safe for them to go ahead.
In this week's update from the workshop, we taking a look at a steering column rebuild, the removal of a cylinder head and some unique interior trim work we did a few years ago.


Jaguar XK120, XK140 and XK150 in Hampshire garage

Early Series 1 E-Type

We have cared for this early Jaguar E-Type for some years now. This is a very special car being an exceptionally early matching numbers example. These early series 1 E-Types can be easily identified at a glance by their external bonnet locks. They are often referred to as 'flat floor E-Types' or just 'flat floors' as the foot wells are flat on these early cars whereas on later cars, they had a deeper footwell. They also benefit from very elegant bucket seats and aluminium dashboard making these early E-Types arguably the prettiest cars ever built.
This E-Type is in with us to have a cold start problem investigated and a little bit of paint on the bonnet attended to. Once this work has been carried out this car will be looking and running perfectly, ready for E-Type 60 in June.

Jaguar E-Type in Hampshire workshop

A pair of epic rally XKs

These two Jaguar XKs were both built and prepared for long distance rallying and touring here at Twyford Moors. They both feature many upgrades including 3.8 litre engines built to fast road specification, five speed gearboxes and upgraded disc brakes.
The XK150's last big trip was a rally across the Sahara which it completed with ease. It has completed a number of other events including Tour Britainia and it has also been out on track at Goodwood Motor Circuit. 
The XK140 has featured relatively frequently on our website. We think it may be the most well-travelled XK140 ever built having taken part in events all over the world in multiple continents. The car has covered over 250,000 miles on the road and countless more being shipped to events.
If you are interested in classic car rallying or touring please get in touch to discuss your needs.

Jaguar XK140 and XK150 rally cars

E-Type 60 at Shelsey Walsh - 12th and 13th of June 2021

We have a long-standing relationship with the classic Jaguar community and are proud to have worked closely with the XK and E-Type Clubs for many years. In recent years we have been delighted to support and take part in the Round Britain Coastal Drives with both the E-Types and XKs and to have been a lead sponsor at XK70. We are delighted now to be sponsoring E-Type 60. If XK70 is anything to go by it we look forward to a truly magical event E-Type 60.
E-Type 60 will take place at the historic Shelsey Walsh Hillclimb. As well has an unrivalled gathering of Jaguar E-Types, there will be XKs, C-Types, D-Types and even F-Types. There will be a competitive hillclimb, live bands, exhibitors, stalls and technical talks.

Jaguar E-Type 60 year anniversary

Exhausted exhaust valve

The owner drove this XK140 down to us for a number of jobs including a five-speed gearbox and a suspension rebuild. On arrival it was clear the car was running on five cylinders so, with the owners' permission, we investigated the cause of the problem. It quickly became clear that there was no compression on cylinder number four and after a little more investigation that this was due to a failed exhaust valve.
The inlet and exhaust manifolds have been removed along with the cylinder head. The head can now be stripped down before being machined and new valve gear fitted. Once this work has been completed everything will be refitted and this XK engine will be in perfect working order once more.
We undertake a full range of engine work from full rebuilds to cylinder head work or carburettor rebuilds. Please get in touch for more information.

Jaguar XK140 cylinder head rebuild

Horn fault - steering column rebuild

We see a lot of horn faults and we have covered some of these in pervious workshop updates. A common cause of horn failure is lack of use so we do suggest that you try to test your horn every time you use your car.
In the case of this XK140 the fault was not caused by lack of use but by a worn-out slipring on the steering column. This is another common fault as rebuilding the steering column is often overlooked during restoration. In this case it looked like the steering column had never been rebuilt and the original slip ring has simply worn out. The column was removed by our electrician, dismantled and a new slip ring, contactor and wire up the centre of the inner column were fitted. Now that the steering column has been rebuilt and refitted the horns sound at will and the car is once again legal for UK roads.

Jaguar XK140 steering column rebuild

Child seats in an XK

Technically speaking the XK140 and XK150 are 2+2s with small 'occasional seats' in the rear. This change was made after the XK120 as a huge number XKs were exported to the USA and two seat sports cars attracted a higher level of tax.  In reality the rear seats in an XK are not practical even for children and at best can be used to transport a single adult sitting sideways over a short distance.
About twenty years ago, our manager Ian Mills (then metalworker extraordinaire) was set the challenge of creating some proper child seats in the rear of a customers XK150. We have not seen this car for some years but the new owner has brought the car into us to be retrimmed so we thought we would take the opportunity to share some photos of Ian's creation before they are removed. These custom-made child seats were modelled on a child seat purchased at the time and were trimmed by our friend Mike Thomas. The children who sat in these seats must be fully grown by now but we think the seats still look great.

Jaguar XK150 child seats