With the heatwave across the country and particularly down here on the south coast it has been a warm week in the workshop but we haven't let that put us off. In this week's update we will give you a peek at Stirling Moss's XK120, progress on our full XK150 3.8 S restoration, some Jaguar E-Type work and even an MG.
This Jaguar XK120 fixedhead coupe was lent to Sir Stirling Moss by Sir William Lyons in 1952. At the time, Moss was leading the Jaguar racing team and had used this XK120 as his personal transport when travelling abroad between races in Europe.
The car has had a rather interesting history, having been converted into a race car in the 1970s at which point it underwent extensive modifications to both the chassis and body to accommodate an E-type rear axle amongst other things. The car was then restored to something more standard but compromised some originality. The car has been with us over the past few months for some restoration work to put the car back to a more original state whilst also retaining some of the idiosyncrasies it has acquired along the way. We will delve further into the history of this car at a later date.
This incredibly significant and outstanding Jaguar XK120 is pictured here ready to be delivered to the owner ahead of the London Concours on the 18th and 19th of August.
We have been be waiting to get started again on this very special restoration for some years. The chassis has been restored for some years now. We have been using it as a demonstrator in the showroom and at shows such as the Goodwood Revival and the NEC Classic Motor Show. With a new demonstrator chassis in the pipeline we are now progressing with the body work.
When we found this Jaguar XK150 3.8 S drophead it had been in storage for some years and was exceptionally complete. As such we are able to restore it using almost all original parts and it will be one of the most original XKs out there once it is finished.
The body work is complete so the next stage is to fit up all the components on the car from headlights to dashboard to ensure they fit perfectly before paint. This way we minimise the need to modify or adjust anything after the bodyshell has been painted. We will revisit this restoration regularly in the coming weeks and months.
We have completed a programme of work on this beautiful Series 1 E-Type including a service, MOT and a number of minor electrical niggles. The owner also asked if there was anything we could do to lift the cosmetic look of the car. Although the paint, bodywork and chrome on this car are fundamentally in good order and well restored, the car was looking a little tired after many years of use. We recommended a full mop, polish and paint protection. This has left the car looking absolutely stunning and with the paint protection this finish should last.
The cover feature of the September 2020 issue of Classic and Sports Car is of an XK150 on which we undertook an extensive programme of work almost 10 years ago. She still looks as stunning to this day. The feature is a fascinating story of how the car was stolen from the current owner's parents in the 1980s and then reunited with him several decades later.
The car has been kept to a largely standard specification in line with the owner's wishes but with a couple of upgrades to make the car more usable including a cooling fan and electronic ignition. We also converted the car from right to left-hand drive as the owner lives in Europe.
Although we are well known as XK specialists and we have over 35 years' experience with classic Jaguars, we also cater for other classic cars. This MG C belongs to one of our regular customers who has a significant collection including a Jaguar XK150 S and an E-Type. We take care of all his classics be it a Jaguar, an MG or an exceptionally rare Delahaye.
The MG C is in with us due to an intermittent sticking throttle. Intermittent problems can be very challenging to get to the bottom of as they have a tendency to disappear as soon as the car is given to a mechanic and reappear as soon as the car returns to the customer! Investigations continue and we are confident we will resolve the issue and have the car back with its owner in short order.
Any Jaguar E-Type or XK150 owner will be able to tell you that the handbrake mechanisms leave something to be desired. Pictured here is the new rear brake upgrade which we are fitting to E-Types. This upgrade comprises improved aluminium callipers for the foot brake, a better handbrake compensator and, around the other side of the subframe, some new and improved aluminium handbrake callipers. This upgrade makes a tremendous difference to the handbrake operation and allows you to park your E-Type on a slope with confidence. We are also working with the manufacturer to develop a similar system to fit the XK150.