What a fabulous weekend it was at the NEC Classic Motor Show. Footfall was certainly down, largely due to fewer international visitors, but the atmosphere was wonderful. It was a joy to be back at the show and catch up with friends new and old. We are lucky to be in hall 2 surrounded by our friends at various Jaguar clubs including the Jaguar Drivers Club and the JEC along with specialist parts suppliers such as SNG Barratt and Brantz.
We enjoyed chatting all things Jaguar over the weekend and are looking forward to announcing a few new initiatives which were agreed at the show. The market seems to be in a good place and we had an enormous amount of interest in our Series 3 E-Type. Indeed, the V12 E-Types in the auction seemed to do very well too.
With the show over and the cars safely back in Hampshire we’re straight back to work in the workshop. In this weeks’ update we look at a V12 E-Type, an XK150 having its engine removed, an XK120 with gearbox problems and more.
The V12 E-Type is often considered the least desirable of the E-Type range. Certainly, it isn’t the taut sports car that the Series 1 was and the wider stance and longer doors lost some of the early car’s elegance. We believe that they have a lot going for them though. The flared wheel arches give them a very purposeful stance and the extra interior space certainly makes them more comfortable and will be welcomed by many drivers and passengers. If you look at them as the grand tourer and boulevard cruiser they were designed to be rather than comparing them to their sportier predecessors they really are a fantastic car. The smooth V12 engine mated to an automatic gearbox and refined suspension makes the Series 3 a wonderful car to drive when in good condition.
It seems that they are now attracting increasing admiration and recognition as they become more popular and prices creep up. Certainly, we are seeing more and more in our workshops. They are rather tricky cars to work on and the V12 engine can be a challenge to get running at its best but over the years we have become well practiced at getting the most from these cars.
This XK120 is in the workshop because the gearchange had become excessively sloppy. Driving the car into the workshop we were in awe of the fact the owner had managed to drive it here as it was almost impossible to select a gear. We can only assume it had been driven all the way here in third gear which goes to show how tractable and versatile the XK engine is.
The gearbox in this XK is a five-speed which was converted by another specialist. The gearbox utilises a remote on the back of the ‘box to move the gearstick to the correct position for an XK. The bolts holding this remote onto the gearbox had worked their way loose and fallen out leaving the remote hanging on by the linkage.
With the linkage bolted back on we secured the bolts with lockwire to avoid any risk of the same thing happening again. With that done the gears can once again be selected as intended and the car ready for the owner to drive home with all gears at their disposal.
This stunning XK140 drophead coupe has just arrived with us for sale. It was fully restored here at Twyford Moors some 20 years ago and still looks stunning to this day. It is always a delight for us to have one of our old restorations back in for sale. They are the best possible advert for the quality of our restorations and how well they last.
This XK is an original UK, right-hand drive car. It was originally dispatched in August 1955 and sold by Ernest W Hatfield Ltd of Sheffield. The first owner was a J W Beevers also of Sheffield and the car still wears its original number plate of VWB 88. The car has covered less than 10,000 miles since this restoration and has been beautifully maintained. This is one of the sharpest looking XK140 fixedheads out there!
During the restoration the car was upgraded with front disc brakes, an electric cooling fan, an alternator and a header tank. Inside the car also benefits from seatbelts and a hidden radio with four speakers.
As founding members of the Historic and Classic Vehicle Alliance (HCVA) we are proud to take an active role in promoting the great work they are doing. For those not in the know, the HCVA aim to create a powerful voice for everyone who has an interest in protecting the future of classic and historic vehicles. To do this, they are building a broad base of membership from across the industry, owners and the public. This will be the launching pad to engage decision makers and address those in power to ensure there is a viable future for all.
In recent months Garry Wilson has been appointed as the CEO and he is already working hard in the role. It was great to meet him at the NEC Classic Motor Show at the weekend and to see him along with Shan Stokes putting in the hard hours on their stand.
In the most recent newsletter (which features our own Artie Rochez helping on the stand at Goodwood), they have announced that to encourage young enthusiasts to join that membership for under 21s its now free. They have also introduced a family membership option. Please head over to the HCVA website to find out more about their mission and sign up!
Brian Wilson would not be feeling any good vibrations from this XK150. It has come in to us to have a strange vibration investigated. We felt it was probably nothing major to worry about and suspected the usual things like a lost wheel weight or perhaps a problem with the prop-shaft. Worst case scenario we thought it could be a crank damper as these have a tendency to break apart with age and although they are tricky to replace it isn’t major work.
Unfortunately, the further we looked the more it looked like the problem was coming from the engine. We checked all the simple things first and eventually resorted to removing the gearbox so we could check the flywheel. The good news was that as this car has one of our five speed gearboxes fitted this could be removed through the car without the need to remove the engine. With the gearbox out of the way we were able to measure run out on the flywheel which returned worrying results. With the flywheel off we then measured the end of the crank and again found it was not running true.
It is now clear that something is wrong with the crankshaft so the engine has been removed to be stripped for further investigation. As the engine has not been rebuilt for some decades the opportunity will be taken to refresh the engine where required be this work will not begin until we have established exactly what is wrong with the crankshaft and why it has happened.
It was great to catch up with the folks from the Jaguar Drivers Club at the NEC. They, as always, had put on a great display of Jags on their stand. Straight back to fine form after a year off due to the pandemic!
They have some great things planned for 2022 so please do check out their website for details. We are particularly looking forward to their Swallow/SS/Jaguar Centenary event. This will be the major celebration in their 2022 calendar of events as they take over the Brooklands Museum for the whole of Sunday 15th May to celebrate the centenary of the company that became the Jaguar brand that we now know and love. It will be 100 years since William Lyons and William Walmsley began a business initially involved in building motorcycle sidecars – and the rest is history.
In this months JDC Magazine, which comes free as part of your monthly membership, there is a great article from club member Roger Learmonth. Roger recently brought his XK120 to us to have electric power steering fitted. By all accounts he is very pleased with the results. We are confident it will make the car much more usable for him.