As we approach the end of lockdown 2, we would like to thank you customers, suppliers and staff for their support though this period. We have worked hard to keep our business open and all parties safe. It seems that the XK community has kept its head and our workshop remains graced with many of these beautiful machines. We are hoping to be able to reopen to showroom by appointment (subject to government guidance) so please get in touch if you would like to book a slot. This is the ideal time to treat yourself to that classic car you've been dreaming of and have it upgraded to your exact specification ahead of the spring driving season!
This week we turn the spotlight on chemical dipping for bodyshells, some questionable light bulb modifications and a variety of XK140s.
We have cared for this charming XK140 drophead for many years now. It has been built with one goal in mind; reliability for long distance touring. The car has travelled all over the world. Its' most recent trip being a tour through Myanmar. It was supposed to be touring across Africa this year but for obvious reasons it instead had a long trip around the world in a shipping container before being delivered back to the UK. Every aspect of this car has been tailored to the specification for the driver and navigator. These modifications include custom made switch panels, map lights, charging points and walkie talkies. This XK also boasts an impressive mechanical specification including a fully rebuild 3.8 litre engine with triple carburettors, all synchro overdrive gearbox, front disc brakes, electric cooling fan, electronic ignition and much more.
This weeks' 'just when you think you've seen it all' moment came courtesy of some poorly focused headlights. This XK120 had come into us for a service, carburettor tune and a few other jobs. The customer mentioned in passing that the headlights were very poor and asked if we could check them. XK120 headlights are not brilliant at the best of times but this car took it to a whole new level. When testing the lights, the beam was not focused correctly and was creating a very small area of illumination. On closer inspection the wrong bulbs had been fitted but as they would not fit into the adaptor they had been soldered, wonkily, onto the wrong side of the adaptor. This set the whole bulb way too far forward and out of alignment with the internal reflector. The correct bulbs have now been fitted along with the correct fittings to secure them in place
This XK140 bodyshell and chassis has just come back to us from being chemically dipped by our friends at SPL. This process involves the whole car (with the body attached to but spaced up from the chassis) being submerged in a chemical tank to remove all paint, grease, sealant and filler from the vehicle. This process leaves no corner untouched and untreated. After the cleaning process the bodyshell is then submerged in a coating tank which uses an electrically charged zinc paint to protect every inch of the car. This process offers unrivalled cleaning and protection to the whole car, particularly in places where human hands would simply not be able to reach. The XK140 drophead pictured here is an original right-hand drive car undergoing full restoration for a customer. If you would like more information about our restorations please get in touch.
It is often pointed out that the Achilles heel of the XK range is the Moss gearbox. Although they can be a real pleasure to use, the Moss box is slow by comparison the modern gearboxes and therefore feels ill matched to the wonderful straight six XK engine. Moss gearboxes also suffer with synchromesh issues and chipped teeth, the former being expensive to repair and the latter being impossible to fix (short of finding a good original gear to replace it). It is hardly surprising then that one of our most popular upgrades is the addition of a 5-speed gearbox. Not only does a modern 5-speed box improve the driving experience, allowing the driver to swiftly progress up and down through the gears, it is also more cost effective than rebuilding an original Moss gearbox. As you can see here there is no chassis modification required to fit this into an XK140 or XK150 and only the mount needs to be altered on the XK120.
I know we aren't supposed to have favourites but this fully Jaguar XK140 drophead is one of mine. It is an annual visitor traveling from its home in Cornwall up to our Hampshire workshops once a year for a service, MOT and anything else the car requires. It is unusual to see an XK140 finished in Cotswold Blue as this was an XK150 colour but I think you will agree it is stunning and looks just right on this XK140. This year all the car required was a service and an MOT before being safely returned to its garage in the West Country. If you are thinking of booking your classic car in for work but are unable to drive it please get in touch with us to discuss our collection and delivery service.
One of our most popular electrical upgrades is our improved windscreen wiper system. Pictured here is an original XK140 motor on its way out and the new, more powerful and more reliable motor going in. Our system comprises a new motor, linkage, cable and wheel boxes. It provides two speed wiping and a park function as per the original system (and an improvement over the XK120 system). Unlike the original system it doesn't lose a third of its sweep to the parking mechanism meaning that the blades go from the bottom of the screen, right the way to the middle point on an XK140 (split windscreen) and further on an XK150 (single piece windscreen). This system also doesn't suffer with the thermal cut out issues of the originals and because it is more powerful, we can put more tension on the blades to give better contact with the windscreen.
If originality is more your thing, we can also rebuild the original wiper systems to get the very best out of them. To discuss windscreen wiper options for your XK please call or email.