Another month has passed since our last workshop update. The summer months are always busy for us but this summer it seems more so than usual. We have had a flurry of sales with cars heading off to new owners ready to enjoy the rest of the summer. The show season is in full swing and we have visited a few local shows lately. It is so lovely to see so many classics out and about being driven and enjoyed as they were intended. The Goodwood Revival is now only a few weeks away so we very much hope to see some of you there. We will be in our usual location ‘Over the road’ near Bonhams and Sky Cinema. Please do pop by to say hello if you are attending.
In this week's update, we look at everything from some stunning scale models of XKs right up to the real thing. There are a couple of Daimlers, an SS100 and several E-Types. Read on for a flavour of what we have been up to.
A couple of weekends ago we were invited to support the Phyllis Tuckwell charity motor show. Phyllis Tuckwell provides supportive and end-of-life care for thousands of people living with advanced or terminal illnesses in the Hampshire and Surrey area. They help patients to maintain their quality of life and support them to help make their final days peaceful. They are currently fundraising to build a new Hospice building on their existing site in Farnham to increase capacity and improve the quality of care they offer.
This wonderful motor show was hosted at The Lewis Collection and had an incredible and eclectic turnout with classics ranging from XKs and E-Types to Hotrods and Morris Minors. Additionally, to the cars in attendance, The Lewis Collection is a most impressive private collection of classic cars, supercars, vintage tractors, automobilia and even Lego.
With some nice food stands, a charity auction, an unrivalled collection of cars inside and out and awards for the best cars in attendance this was a great day out for a very good cause. Thank you for having us.
We have always found that five-speed gearbox upgrades are very popular. Since we started offering these for Jaguar E-Types we have seen very high demand. The design of the E-Type is such that there isn’t room for an overdrive gearbox like the XK140 and XK150 had. Although the XK straight-six engine provides plenty of torque so an E-Type with the original gearbox is perfectly driveable many find that when cruising on the motorway they would just like that extra gear to drop the revs a little lower. We are also finding that many folks with automatic V12 E-Types would like to convert to a manual gearbox and a five-speed upgrade is without question the best way to go about this.
Pictured here is Series-2 Coupe up on the ramp with its engine removed. As many will know even to change the clutch one must remove the engine and gearbox together to gain access. This is most easily done by dropping the whole assembly out from under the car. The engine and gearbox will be separated next before the new gearbox and clutch are installed to the original bell housing. The gearbox tunnel and cross member will then be modified to take the new gearbox before everything is reinstalled.
This lovely pair of scale models were brought in by a customer when he dropped his XK140 in for its annual service. We restored the XK140 in question back in 2012 and have maintained it ever since. It is an utterly delightful car finished in Maroon with a Biscuit interior and has been sympathetically upgraded for modern use. When it first arrived with us though it was in a rather sorry state and the paint was a rather sad and faded shade of red. Fortunately, the car was complete in almost every way which makes a full nut and bolt restoration so much easier. Starting with a full complement of original parts is far preferable to having to source lots of parts and then adapt them to fit.
As you can see from the picture, these models are excellent recreations of what the car looked like before and after restoration. The model of the finished car is sublime in its attention to detail and includes the correct number plate and even features the non-standard wood-rimmed Moto-Lita steering wheel which is fitted to the real car. It is the ‘before’ model which really steals the show though. The work and attention to detail which have gone into creating this model are incredible. Everything from the paint, to the hood, to the interior match how the car was at that time.
As many of you will know despite our focus on classic Jaguars, and in particular XKs and E-Types, we often have the classics in the workshop for various jobs. This could be anything from an Aston Martin DB 2/4 to a little Austin. The latest of these was this rather charming pre-war Daimler saloon. We adore the styling of these saloons. They simply exude class and evoke a lifestyle from another age.
The owner of this car carries out much of his own maintenance however he couldn’t get under the car to change the gearbox and differential oil. We are always happy to help out even on the smallest of jobs so took the car in to carry out two quick and easy oil changes.
If you have a classic car and need help with it please do get in touch. We are here for everything from full servicing to small electrical faults. Our teams experience and well-set-up workshop facility mean we can undertake most work to a very high standard.
A couple of weeks ago we posted a picture of an E-Type with its rear subframe removed to have the brakes overhauled and upgraded. In that post, we explained how this wonderfully engineered setup makes the E-Types (and various saloons which were also fitted with similar suspension) so nice to drive. We also detailed some of the complications that arise in servicing due to the limited access. One comment crept up a number of times and went along the lines of “You don’t need to remove the rear subframe to change brake pads! You can just hack a hole in the boot floor and then weld it back up.”
Now we are aware that the subframe does not need to be removed to change the brake pads and as explained in the post we had removed it to carry out a full brake overhaul. More importantly, we are absolutely not in the habit of hacking holes in anyone's cars! Where appropriate and with the customers' express permission we do carefully create access panels in the boot area of E-Types to assist with servicing the brakes. When we do this everything is carefully cut out and the exposed metal is treated. We then make a nice plate which can be fixed in place allowing future access if and when required.
Pictured here is a freshly rebuild XK150 rear axle fitted with a Powr-Lok differential. The Powr-Lok diff’ is essentially a different name for a limited-slip differential. This XK150 was recovered to us from Europe where unfortunately the planet gear on the original differential had failed. Unfortunately, we are finding parts for XK axles harder and harder to find but we were able to source what we needed to get this lovely car back on the road.
This particular XK takes parts in tours and rallies all over Europe and as such works quite hard. It has also been extensively upgraded and these upgrades include a more powerful specification XK engine. Given the way the car is used and its higher power output, it was felt sensible to upgrade it from the standard differential to a Powr-Lok.
If ever you have an issue with your car, even when abroad, we will always do our very best to assist you. Please do not hesitate to call or email and we will always try to assist in getting you back on the road or coordinating recovery.
Here we have another one of the SS100s which visits us annually. It is a car we have come to know quite well over the past few years and it never fails to put a smile on our faces when it comes in. More and more of these pre-war SS cars have been coming into us over the past few years and we are getting to know our way around them quite well. They certainly are full of character and a very different driving experience from the XKs which came after them. It really does highlight how radical of a leap forward the XK120 was when it was launched.
For those not familiar ‘SS Cars’ was the name Jaguar traded by before World War 2. For obvious reasons, the SS brand seemed less desirable after the war. SS was a link back to William Lyons previous company Swallow Sidecar. Lyons along with his business partner William Walmsley had started off building motorbike sidecars and then moved into building two-seater sports cars based on chassis and engines supplied by the Standard Motor Company.
One of Sir William Lyons goals when the XK engine was designed was that it should look attractive in the engine bay. I think most people would agree that they achieved this and most of the aesthetics are delivered by the twin overhead cam cylinder head, inlet manifold and carburettors. Even in the process of being reassembled without the cam covers fitted these cylinder heads are a work of art as you can see here.
This cylinder head belongs to an XK140 which after many years of use and enjoyment touring and rallying around the UK and Europe needed a bit of a refresh. Whilst the head was off the cam covers, carburettors, inlet manifold and other parts were cleaned and then blasted in our wet blast machine before being polished. The whole assembly will look fantastic when it goes back together to match the work which has gone on inside the cylinder head.
We cater for every aspect of classic Jaguars including full engine rebuilds, carburettor rebuilds, cylinder head work or even cleaning and blasting of parts. Please get in touch if we can help with any aspect of your project, even the professional cleaning of parts.
Sometimes in the workshop, by pure coincidence, we end up with multiple cars finished in the same colour. Usually, this would be a lineup for red E-Types or British Racing Green XKs. Metallic Pastel Blue is a rather less common colour so to get a lineup of three cars finished in this colour felt like it was worth a photograph.
In the foreground is an XK120 OTS undergoing a full nut and bolt restoration. This car is being built to a modified specification to perfectly meet the owner's needs. From the outside, it will look like a very standard car but will benefit from a number of well-considered upgrades. These upgrades include our extended pedal box to give the driver more leg room, rack and pinion steering and front disc brakes.
Next is a lovely XK120 FHC which was restored by another specialist. Although it is a beautifully finished car, having driven one of our XKs, the owner wasn’t happy with the driving experience. The car has been with us to be tweaked, improved and upgraded where necessary to make it a more drivable, reliable and usable XK.
Finally, in the background, you can see a Damiler SP250 (Dart). This car was featured in a post some weeks ago so please look back at our previous post for more on this.