The workshop continues to the extraordinarily busy with servicing and upgrade work but the team are doing a fantastic job keeping up with the demand. Over the last few updates, we have focused mostly on the servicing work so we thought we would give you all an update on a few of the restoration projects this week.
Beside the workshop, the showroom has been very busy with many customers in for test drives and to plan out work on their cars. We are still encouraging customers to wear masks on our site if they are able and particularly on test drives when sat in a car with a member of our team. We also ask customers not to enter the office or workshop unless invited through. For our part we are maintaining enhanced cleaning procedures and our staff are still maintaining social distancing. With these simple and small measures, we hope to be able to continue to provide a high-quality service whilst keeping everyone safe and able to work.
This Jaguar XK140 drophead coupe has just come back from being trimmed. We are in the process of fitting all the woodwork to the interior and will then begin shaping the hood beading. This is a particularly delicate job as the brass beading has to be carefully shaped to the hood so that it fits snugly and has nice smooth bends before being removed again and sent for chroming. When it returns, even greater care has to be taken in refitting it as it has inevitably distorted slightly during the chroming process and bending it can cause the chrome to crack.
The owner carried out most of the restoration of this XK140 himself and has done a wonderful job of it. Unfortunately, he found that the hood frame did not fit the car when coming towards the end of the project so it came to us to have the bodywork altered, hood frame fitted, paintwork done as necessary and then to be trimmed.
The clocks in classic Jaguars to this era are notoriously unreliable. They must be one of the earliest cars to have electric clocks predating quartz clock movements becoming widely available. As such they work much like a carriage clock using a balance wheel but instead of a spring winding, they employ an electro magnet. The power to this electro magnet is cut by a tiny set of contacts which short out and allow the wheel to swing back the other way thus powering the movement and letting the clock tick along. Although this was an ingenious design it has a major flaw in that the contacts burn and corrode over time. Worse still is that when the clock stops (say from the battery being disconnected) these contacts come the rest closed and if you do not then restart the clock immediately when reconnecting the battery, they can burn out.
Fear not however as we have a solution! We can now upgrade original XK clocks using a printed circuit board in place of the contact thus creating a reliable and fairly accurate (please keep in mind the movement is 70 years old) clock which even starts itself when the battery is connected!
It has been a busy few weeks in the showroom with a number of test drives, new cars coming in for sale (keep your eyes peeled as these will be on the website shortly) and cars heading off to new owners.
The latest of our carefully curated selection of cars to find a new home is this fantastic Jaguar XK150 drophead coupe. This car is an original right-hand drive, UK car and better still is a genuine special equipment (SE) spec' car. We have known this car for almost two decades and it has been in the hands of the previous owner for some 17 years. Over this time, we have upgraded it to create one of the best and most reliable XKs for touring out there. It features a fast road specification engine, alternator, electric cooling fan, header tank, electric power steering, bucket back seats and much more. We hope it will serve its new owner as well as it did its previous.
The restoration of this Jaguar E-Type Series 1 4.2 roadster has been bubbling away in the background over the past few weeks. Parts have been being refurbished ready to be refitted and as can be seen from the pictures the front subframe is back in place. This is a fabulously original and complete car so we are taking care to refurbish as many of the original parts as possible. The aim here is a sympathetic restoration to retain originality where possible and safeguard the car for another 60 years of motoring joy.
The eagle eyed amongst you will have spotted that this photo was taken in our showroom. This is because we are so busy in the workshop, we have had to temporarily relocated the E-Type to make room for other cars. If you are planning to have work done on you classic over the Autumn or Winter, please get in touch to book so we can save you a space.
It is important to acknowledge that when it comes to classic cars things do not always go to plan. We do everything in our power to quality control our work. As such each car which comes in for a service has a 102-point check including everything from wheel bearing to the charging system. In addition, every car undergoes a thorough pre-delivery inspection (PDI) before it is returned to the customer. Beyond this our whole team have a deep love of what we do and take great pride in our work. However, when things do go wrong, we feel that the important thing is how you deal with it.
In the case of this XK150 we recently overhauled the alternator. Shortly after leaving one of the four bolts which hold the two parts of the alternator case together worked loose and sheared off, damaging the alternator fan. Fortunately, no other harm was done. We have now removed the alternator, replaced the broken bolt and rechecked all the other bolts before repairing the damaged fan and refitting the alternator. All free of charge of course. The car is once again fully operational and our happy customer is ready for some more miles behind the wheel.
We've had a lot of people asking about the Jaguar XK150 3.8 S drophead coupe which we have been restoring as our show car for some years now so we thought we would share an update. Many of you will have seen the chassis built up at shows or in our showroom with is magnificent 'Pumpkin' cylinder head and triple carburettors. We have been using this as a demonstrator to show the quality of work which goes into our cars before being covered up by the body. It is also quite handy to have around when trying to explain work we are doing on customers cars. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, well being able to point at a suspension arm takes this a step further!
Using it for shows aside we have been making quite progress in the background. Many of the original parts for the car have been refurbished and are ready to fit. The bodywork has been completed along with everything from the lights to the hood frame being trial fitted and aligned. The body is currently at the paint shop ready for several coats of its original British Racing Green and we will bring you another update once this has been completed. You can't rush perfection!