With another heatwave, or perhaps just the second part of the same heat wave, settled over Europe and making it very hot down here on the South Coast of the UK, it has been rather uncomfortable in the workshop. Many ice cream and cold drinks have been the order of the day and we would like to thank those kind customers who have taken it upon themselves to pop by with treats for the guys in the workshop over the past few weeks. One, in particular, wasn’t even in for work but was simply out in his XK140 and popped by with a bag of ice-cold drinks. The classic car community attracts some lovely people!
We continue to crack on with restorations and servicing in the workshop. We have some exceptionally fine cars for sale so please have a look at our current stock list. Our thoughts are starting to turn towards the Goodwood Revival. We are pleased to have one of our cars feature in the advertising literature and we are starting to plan our stand for this year. We will once again be hosting our friends from the HCVA on our stand so all the more reason to pop by. We will be ‘Over the Road’ near to Bonhams and the Cinema.
In this weeks’ update, we take a look at some of our cars in the press, a couple of finished restorations, an XK touring in extreme heat in France and much more.
We are delighted to see that our fully restored, aluminium-bodied, Jaguar XK120 features in this year’s Goodwood Revival advertising. The XK120 in question is a very rare original aluminium-bodied car built in early 1950 before the factory changed over to steel production. This makes it one of the rarest XKs out there. The car was restored here at Twyford Moors and completed in late 2019. From there it was invited to be exhibited at the Goodwood Revival 2019 and displayed next to a rather special Dakota DC3 aircraft (pictured here). At the show, the XK attracted a huge amount of attention and even had a photoshoot with some of the vintage pit girls. Off the back of this success, Goodwood asked if they could borrow the car for a photo shoot to produce marketing images for future events.
Shortly after this, the pandemic hit and all thoughts so such things were completely forgotten for a while. Indeed, we had quite forgotten about the photo shoot until flicking through a recent edition of Motorsport Magazine we saw a rather striking image of a lady standing in front of an XK120 advertising the Goodwood Revival. Quickly it became clear that this was our XK120 and that it is on the front line of this year’s promotional material. We have now seen the advert in a few places so please look out for the advert and indeed the car which might make an appearance at this year’s Revival.
This wonderful photo was sent to us by a customer currently touring Europe in their Jaguar XK150 drophead coupe. We understand that this stunning photo was taken at a chateau in Normandy and it feels like a natural home for such a fine vehicle. Despite a heatwave reaching up to 43 degrees, the car has, to quote the owner, ‘behaved impeccably’.
This XK150 was purchased as a running car in need of some improvements. The goal was always to produce a reliable and comfortable car for long distances and touring. If that is your goal then there are few better places to start than with an XK. The car was derived to us and we set about a programme of upgrades and improvements. The car had been partially restored in the past and was largely in sound condition. During the restoration, the car had also been fitted with a five-speed gearbox. After a thorough inspection, we identified several places the car needed improvements to make it reliable and having discussed these with the customer we set about the work.
The improvement works included a full rewire, upgrades to the cooling system, full service and tune and more. With these kinds of upgrades for reliability, we would assert that the XK range is the best 1950s sports car for touring and enjoying the summer weather.
Pictured here is a rather striking left-hand drive Jaguar XK150 OTS. It is a rare S model and features the charming mechanical overdrive leaver on the gearbox tunnel as opposed to the electrical dashboard switch. We have never been able to quite get to the bottom of exactly which cars these were fitted to or why, so if anyone out there has a theory or knows we would love to hear from you.
This XK150 has been undergoing a series of work which began a couple of years ago when we first appraised the car for the owner. It was a solid and original car if a little tired in places. The owner wanted to be able to continue to enjoy the car but improve it over time. As such we have been gradually carrying out what you might call a ‘rolling restoration’ on the car over the past few years.
The first stage, which was carried out some time ago, was to get the car mechanically sound and reliable. We undertook a full service, check through and fitted several upgrades to the car to get it to the owner’s specification. There were mostly aimed at reliability and included an electric cooling fan, alternator and electronic ignition.
The next stage was to get the engine bay up to scratch. The engine was removed, all the aluminium parts were removed and polished, the engine was degreased and repainted and then the engine bay was generally tidied up. Next, the engine bay was resprayed and detailed before the engine was refitted. After this, the owner took the car back to use and enjoy.
We are now on the final and biggest stage of the project. The outside and interior have been stripped and all the bodywork required has been attended to. The car has now been resprayed and we are fitting the chrome back on. Finally, the car will be retrimmed ready to be returned to the owner in top condition.
If you have an XK which you wish to improve but you don’t feel requires a full restoration please do get in touch. We love to work on cars where we can keep some of their period charms.
This Series 1 4.2 E-Type is creeping ever closer to completion. We recently shared a photo of the body tub being built up and having the wiring run in. We also shared an image of the engine waiting to be fitted. Work continues building up the car but we are currently waiting for the new five-speed gearbox to arrive before we can fit the engine and some uprated brake and suspension components before we can put the car back on its wheels.
In the meantime, work continues on the car including sound deadening being fitted to the interior. Along with this much of the original interior has been cleaned up and refitted. To allow us to progress as quickly as possible once the engine is in, we have started work building up the bonnet. E-Type bonnets are always a bit of a headache to store and handle as they are so large and heavy. It is all too easy to damage them and given how nice the paint finish is on this one that would be truly tragic. As can be seen, here the bonnet is currently on a jig to allow it to be built up. We usually store them stood up on end but find it easier and more stable to work on them like this. This allows us to run in the wiring, fit the lights and the chrome and have the bonnet ready to go once the engine is in and running.
We always like to share something a bit different from the workshop and it doesn’t get much more ‘different’ than this. Pictured here is a Morgan 3-Wheeler produced in 2013. We are used to working on all sorts of cars and all sorts of engines, ranging from little 4-cylinder A or B-Series engines in Minis or MGBs through to V8s in Daimlers and V12s in Series 3 E-Types but it is rare for us to see a two-cylinder engine.
These little three-wheeled Morgan’s are powered by S & S V-Twin motorcycle engines mated to a Mazda MX5 gearbox. They produce a reported 115bhp which is pretty impressive in a car that weighs only 550kg. This results in a 0-60 time of 4.5 seconds. The car was famously tested by Richard Hammond on Top Gear and went on to win Top Gear “Not-A-Car of the Year 2011”.
Although not our usual fare the owner lives locally to us and wanted a traditional garage with the skills and quality of service to look after an unusual car such as this. In addition to a service and MOT, the customer wanted several other items attended to which other garages had struggled to deal with including a faulty sensor and an oil leak.
We were thrilled when we picked up the September edition of Classic Cars Magazine and saw at the top of the cover an XK120 which we restored a couple of years ago. Inside was a glowing 9-page review from Ivan Ostroff, who by all accounts thoroughly enjoyed his drive in the car. The article takes a dive into the very special history of this wonderful XK120 which was raced and rallied by its first owner in the 1950s. For the full details, I advise you to pop out and pick up a copy as Ivan does a wonderful job of describing this XK120s fabulous history.
His kind words about the quality of our restoration and his positive comments on how the car drives are warmly received. We were particularly pleased with how impressed he was with our fast road engine commenting “In standard form zero to 60mph in 9.2 seconds might not be astonishing, but as I look down at the rev counter needle and see it whipping around the dial, the Jaguar is hardly hanging around. Twyford Moors has put the engine back together in fast road specification with larger valves, lightened and balanced.” This is high praise indeed from someone who must drive quite a number of exotic and high-performance cars.
It is a special day when we can hand over the keys of a full nut and bolt restoration to a happy owner. This particular one has been a long time coming due to the intervention of a pandemic and then a hip operation for the owner. As a result of these factors, this particular Jaguar XK140 drophead coupe was finished some time ago but we have had her safely tucked up in storage until the owner was ready to take delivery of the car. That glorious day has finally come and the weather could not have been better. In fact, it was so hot that there was some debate as to whether the hood should be up or down. In the end, the hood was down of course!
The restoration of this particular XK140 has been chronicled by the owner, Tony Hall, in his regular column in the XK Gazette titled ‘The Musings of a Gentleman Restorer’. There will no doubt be a follow-up article now he has taken delivery of his beautiful XK. The XK Gazette is the monthly magazine published by our friends at the XK Club and comes free every month as part of your membership. If you are not a club member, we urge you to head over to their website and check it out. As well as the magazine they put on some wonderful events and tours throughout the year and have created a wonderful community in conjunction with their sister club the E-Type Club.
As if one rare Jaguar XK150 OTS wasn’t enough we have actually had three in the workshop recently. Pictured here is a rather lovely example which first visited us last year for a full check-through and then a series of improvements including upgrades and cosmetic work. The car has been in the same family for quite some years and by all accounts sees a lot of use. It is always great to see these wonderful cars getting the use they deserve and we find that the cars which are used most tend to prove themselves the most reliable.
Following last year’s programme of improvements, this XK needed very little work this time around. There were a couple of minor items the customer wanted to attend to it is still a 1950s car of course, and then we carried out a full service. We recommend that classic cars are serviced annually regardless of mileage. It might be that if you have done very few miles the oil, filter and spark plugs do not need changing but it is still advisable to have these checked. It is also vital that all the systems of the car are kept in top working order, particularly fuel lines and brakes. This has become all the more important as the law no longer requires these cars to undergo an MOT inspection. If you would like a safety check or a service carried out on your classic (Jaguar or not) then please get in touch.
Pictured here is a rather charming period radio which we have just fitted to this Jaguar XK150. This is a period correct ‘His Masters Voice’ radio and we think you will agree looks the part in the car. This unit has been upgraded so that a phone can be plugged into it via a 1/8” jack socket. It remains mono and has been wired up to a single, period speaker in the original location in the dashboard next to the steering column. This has been finished with the original style mesh and the radio has been fitted with a pair of custom-made brackets to look original and get the radio fitting nicely below the dashboard.
In addition to the above, we offer several options for audio systems. We can fit upgraded period radios such as the one pictured here with FM and Bluetooth compatibility and upgrade the amplifiers to run four speakers in stereo. In XK120 and XK140 dropheads and fixedheads we often fit modern radios hidden behind the draw at the bottom of the dashboard. This gives you modern functionality but leaves the car looking standard. We fit a hinge to the bottom of the drawer front so it flaps down to reveal the radio. For those who don’t want any visual sign of an audio system, we have also fitted hidden amplifiers which connect to your phone via Bluetooth and you simply stream music or radio from an app of your choice.