As restrictions ease, we are seeing an ever-growing demand from customers to visit the site. We are seeing a great deal of interest in sales cars along with many restoration enquiries. In addition, the workshop is extremely busy with servicing and upgrade work meaning we have several cars arriving and leaving each day. For the time being we are still operating on an appointment only basis to allow us to limit the number of visitors to the site and keep everyone safe. Given the current high levels of demand we will be increasing capacity by returning to Saturday openings, so we are now open six days a week. If you would like to book an appointment, please get in touch.
This weeks' update is very XK150 heavy with everything from rally cars to clutch changes on offer. We have also managed to sneak in a D-Type replica for a bit of variety.
The ultimate evolution of the XK range came in the late 1950s with the introduction of the Jaguar XK150 S model. The S was available in both 3.4 and 3.8 litre version and added a straight port cylinder head and triple two-inch carburettors to increase power along with a number of other supporting upgrades. Very few XK150 S models were produced making them exceedingly rare and sought-after cars. Indeed, the 3.8 S drophead coupe is generally considered to be a cream of the crop and the value of these cars can be up in the same realm as early aluminium bodied XK120s. It is rare to see these cars come onto the open market, either as original cars or restoration projects.
All this makes the example on offer at the upcoming Bonhams sale on the 22nd of May 2021 an extremely exciting prospect indeed. The car in question is badly crash damaged so has a tantalisingly low reserve price attached to it. Clearly the car is in need of full nut and bolt restoration, but we would certainly be delighted if we got the opportunity to restore this car to its former glory.
This Jaguar XK150 3.4 S OTS came into for a full check through and advise. The customer particularly wanted us to check over the clutch. On investigation we found that the clutch needed renewing, so pictured here is the engine being removed to allow the clutch to be changed. The owner has opted to have the clutch upgraded with a diaphragm clutch and a roller release bearing. This gives a lighter, smoother pedal and better control over the clutch engagement.
Whilst the engine is removed the owner has also asked us to give the engine bay a good clean and detail along with the engine itself. Everything will be thoroughly degreased and polished up, and paint damage in the engine bay will be touched in and the block and cylinder head will receive a fresh coat of paint. Soon this engine bay will be looking good as new, and the clutch will be working better than ever.
This week saw another D-Type replica pay us a visit. Like the Realm example which we will be taking to Shelsley Walsh for the E-Type 60 hill climb on the 12th and 13th of June, this is a fiberglass bodied replica over a chassis. It also utilises Jaguar saloon running gear.
The XK engine in this D-Type was recently rebuilt elsewhere however the owner was concerned that it was not running properly and was producing a lot of smoke. The car is running a fast road setup with Weber carburettors. Our engine builder set about giving the engine a full health check and was pleased to report it is in fact in excellent health with good compressions across the board. All that was required was a good tune up as is often the case Weber carburettors on XK engines. The carburettors were providing far too much fuel which was choking up the engine. It goes to show it is worth checking the simple things first before going ahead with an engine rebuilt. A professional tune up could save a lot of money!
'Jaguar Driver' is the monthly publication from the Jaguar Drivers Club. It features a broad range of articles on everything from classic XKs to the most recent Jaguars. We were delighted to see the May cover feature is an XK150 fixed head which we have spent many years caring for and preparing for rallies. We have known this special rally car for over ten years having first encountered it at Goodwood on a track day. At the time the owner was testing it having recently had some work done elsewhere but was having all sorts of issues. Fortunately, our team was on hand to help him out on the day and after that he brought the car to us to be refine the setup. In the subsequent years we carried out many upgrades on the car including a wonderful fast road specification 3.8 litre engine. Will all the upgrades this car is really good fun to drive.
The car went on to compete in events all over the world including the Sahara rally (pictured here), the Madrid-to-Marrakesh rally and took a class win in the London-to-Casablanca rally. The current owner provides the car with a whole new set of challenges using it as his regular car for driving to work as well as family transport with his young son in the back.
Continuing this weeks XK150 theme here we have a lovely left-hand drive XK150 OTS. The car is with us for a check over and a few upgrades. This car is also in for a clutch change and much like the 3.4 S we have already featured this will be upgraded to a diaphragm clutch with a roller release bearing. Unlike the 3.4 S however this XK150 does not have an overdrive gearbox, which is rather rare for an XK150, so we will be able to change the clutch simply without removing the engine and gearbox together. In addition to this the car has had several other issues attended to including problems with the brakes. The original style oil seals on the rear hubs had also started leaking so these have been replaced with our uprated modern style seals which should keep the oil at bay in future.
If you would like to book your car in for a service or check over, please do get in touch. We are always happy to inspect cars and discuss work before going ahead.
This Jaguar XK150 DHC has been extensively upgraded over the years. It benefits from an S specification engine with a straight port cylinder head and triple two-inch carburettors. This is a high-performance engine and clearly the owner makes use of its full range of power as he brought it into us with a flat spot. The flat sport in question could only be found when really pushing the car to its limits so proved rather tricky for us to recreate. After a rolling road session and much investigation, the flat spot was found, and it was generally agreed that the issue was being caused by not enough fuel reaching the engine.
So, we had found the symptom and now to find the cause. This, like so many things in life, proved to be more challenging than it initially sounds. The car was already running one of our modern high pressure fuel pumps so we could rule that out. We began by checking the filters, pipes and hoses, working our way from the fuel tank forward. All was looking good and we were beginning to think we would never find an issue when finally the front of the car was reached and the pipe which feeds the carburettors was removed to find a partial build up of rust in the feed to one of the carburettors. Not enough to completely cut off supply but just enough to hamper top end performance. All the fuel lines are now clear and the car is running perfectly, ready to be enjoyed.