A week into LD2 and we are continuing to make progress in our workshops. All our guys are busy servicing, upgrading and restoring our customers car whilst keeping safe. In this weeks' update we see an XK120 being checked over having been sold, some interior trim details, the ongoing SS100 differential rebuild and an XK120 rally/touring car.
This stunning Jaguar XK120 fixedhead coupe has been built to an incredible specification. It is an original SE (special equipment) car and has been extensively upgraded for modern use. These upgrades include a five-speed gearbox, front disc brakes, rack and pinion steering, aluminium radiator, electric cooling fan, electronic ignition, an alternator and much more. The list goes on but this car really has been built with the driver in mind. It even features a pedal box to give more leg room.
We shared these bucket seats with you a couple of weeks ago before going for trim. They had been modified to fit well in the XK140 for which they are destined and pre-padded. The customer then came down to try the seats. The padding has since been altered to suit the driver and passengers' preferences and sent for trimming. We have worked with our trimmer, Mike Thomas, for over 20 years. He never fails to do a top-quality job. The bucket seats are now back and, as can be seen from the photo, have been beautifully trimmed in leather to match the car's interior. All that remains is for the car to come in and have the seats fitted.
In this months' XK Gazette long time Twyford Moors customer, Philip Haslam, recounts the journey of having his XK120 restored by us over 17 years ago. Since then this wonderful car has covered over 182,100 miles and visited 56 countries. Philip reports that the car has been 'tterly reliable' despite the 'odd issue'. This XK120 has been a regular visitor to our Hampshire workshop over the years having received regular attention between its adventures. Most recently the car benefited from a significant overhaul of the engine and the electrics which did require some attention after so many miles. We love seeing XKs we have built out and being used. As the article describes the car looks as great today as it did 17 years ago despite many hard miles.
We put the greatest level of care and attention into every aspect of our work. This sometimes means that jobs take a long winding path but it is the only way to achieve a top-quality finish. Whiteness this dashboard for an XK140 DHC currently undergoing full restoration. Before it was veneered the dashboard was fully built up with all the bezels and switched and any modifications required to the wood work were carried out. This way it minimises any fettling required once the beautiful bur walnut veneer has been applied. There are however always some adjustments required in the final assembly. Where the veneer is applied some of the holes have to be opened back out to fit the bezels. Once this is done the bezels can be carefully fitted, followed by the dashboard backing and then the knobs can be trial fitted. After this some final adjustments are carried out to ensure the switches and gauges are perfectly aligned.
We have covered the ongoing progress for this differential rebuild over the past few weeks. If you have missed this please look back through the last few website updates. The rebuild is now complete and the new crown wheel and pinion are fitted. The car has been road tested, checked through and is driving very nicely indeed.
Whilst the car was in the owner also requested that we fit a tracker system to the car. This is a well worth while exercise to keep your classic car safe. Please read our 'Tracked and traced' article for the real-life story of an XK owner who had their car stolen and recovered thanks to a tracker. The tracker system we fit gives real time map updates straight to an app on your phone, sends alerts if the car leaves a safe location or moves without the ignition on and allows you to remotely isolate the ignition from your mobile phone. Pretty impressive!
It's all well and good being able to keep up with traffic in your classic car but if you don't know what the time is how can you expect to arrive on time, or fashionably late!? Jaguar XK clocks are notoriously unreliable and the same can be said for most classic cars of the period. What's more is that their unreliability is in their nature and not easily resolved.
Car clocks of this era are much like a miniaturised carriage clock or an oversized wrist watch in operation. They use a balance wheel to keep time but rather than using a wound spring to power them they run off a 12v electrical supply. This powers a small electromagnet which when energised pulls the balance wheel around until it reaches a contact which shorts the clock out. At this point the electromagnet loses power for a fraction of a second before the whole process starts again allowing the balance wheel to swing backwards and forwards. Unfortunately, this contact corrodes and burns away over the years leaving the clock inoperative. Additionally, if the clock is not started by giving the adjuster a push when the battery has been disconnected this contact sits closed and can cause damage to the clock. As such very few XKs have working time clocks, telling the correct time just twice a day!
We now offer an upgraded time clock which uses the original movement. This retains the clocks original look, sound and adjuster whilst creating a reliable time keeping device. The upgrade utilises a circuit board with a sensor which replaces the troublesome contacts on the balance wheel and even allows the clock to start itself after the battery is reconnected. Now you can arrive fashionably late every time!