Tiger in the Jaguar enclosure – Workshop update

It has been a few weeks since our last update. Things have been busy in the workshop and we have been making the most of some fairly magnificent weather. The good weather seems to have encouraged people to come down for test drives resulting in a flurry of sales. We are keeping up a swift pace preparing cars for summer use and it seems that many of our customers are getting ready for tours and rallies. It is wonderful to really see the classic car scene getting back into fully swing and people out enjoying their cars again. We are looking forward to the Swallow/Jaguar Centenary celebration coming up at Booklands on Sunday the 15th of May. For more details on that or if you would like to attend, please visit the news section of our website.
In this weeks’ update we look at a Sunbeam Tiger, get an update on one of our full restorations and look at some of the servicing and tour preparation work going on around the workshop.


Classic Car garage Hampshire

Jaguar XK120 FHC servicing

This stunning Jaguar XK120 fixedhead coupe was restored here at Twyford Moors some years ago. I think we can all agree that the XK120 fixedhead is one of the most beautiful shapes the motoring world has ever produced. Finished in silver with a red interior this example is a real head turner. This car isn’t just beautiful though, it is a properly sorted drivers’ car which has taken part in many classic car tours and rallies.
During its restoration the owner had the car extensively upgraded to make it more reliable, practical, comfortable and faster. In subsequent years, we have continued to tweak, refine and upgrade the car according to the owners’ desires resulting in one of the finest XKs on the road. The car has been modified inside with a pedal box and bucket seats to allow a taller driver to fit comfortably. Alongside the usual upgrades you might expect to see such as an alternator or electric cooling fan the car also features more motorsport focused upgrades including a hydraulic hand brake.
On this visit the car is in for is annual service, MOT and an upgrade to make the carburettors compatible with E10 fuel.


Jaguar XK120 servicing

Jaguar World Magazine

We were recently delighted to once again welcome Paul Walton of Jaguar World Magazine down for a visit to view one of the cars we had with us. On this particular occasion Paul was down to take an XK140 OTS out for a photo shoot. Amazingly, given his many years in the motoring press and with Jaguar World, Paul had never driven an XK140 so we were delighted to be able to provide him with this opportunity.
The XK140 OTS in question was an original right-hand drive, UK car making it one of only 73 such cars to have been produced. If you’re going to take your first XK140 out for a drive it might as well be a rare one!
To read all about what Paul thought of this XK140 along with a celebration of 25 years of the XJ8, a review of an E-Type sprint car and much more besides do pick up the May edition of Jaguar World.


Jaguar World Magazine

Sunbeam Tiger

Although we specialise in Classic Jaguars you will usually be able to find at least one example of some other classic car in the workshop at any one time. We are always happy to welcome in a little bit of variety. In this case at least it is another ‘big cat’ in the form of this Sunbeam Tiger.
The Sunbeam Tiger was based upon the Sunbeam Alpine. Rootes Group at the time wanted to expand sales abroad and could see that the small engine Alpine would not cut it so set about investigating option to develop a more powerful version. After a few false starts including negotiations with Ferrari the car project ultimately passed to Carroll Shelby who had had such success fitting Ford V8 engines to ACs. The Ford V8 is a snug but perfect fit transforming this little British sportscar into a real beast. It is worth noting that during development Jaguars were used as the yardstick against which to measure performance with the director of Rootes Motors of North America reporting “we have a tremendously exciting sports car which handles extremely well and has a performance equivalent to an XK Jaguar.”


Sunbeam Tiger

Jaguar XK120 Pedal Box

A well sorted XK120 is one of the most exciting and pure cars one could ever wish to drive. Unfortunately, one’s ability to enjoy driving an XK120 can be severely hampered if you are 6 foot or taller. Both the legroom and the steering wheel position on an XK120 can make it challenging for taller drivers to fit in the car, let alone use the pedals. If you then factor in a potential knee, hip or back problem they can become almost impossible to get in and out of.
Over the years we have developed a number of solutions to this issue. These are more easily executed during a restoration but can be done retrospectively. One of the limiting factors on space is that the battery boxes in the XK120 were behind the seats. In the XK140 these were moved to the inner wing which gave more room to move the seats back. Removing these boxes on an XK120 allows the seat to go back further.
The most popular upgrade for more space in an XK120 is a pedal box moving the pedals away from the driver into the engine bay. As pictured here this is achieved by cutting out the bulkhead and then fabricating a new extended box to house the new set of pedals.


Jaguar XK120 pedal box

SS100 servicing

We have just retrieved this SS100 from our storage facility where it has been safely tucked away over the winter. Now we will give it a thorough check over, service and MOT to ensure it is in tip top condition for the owner to collect. Then it will be off again for another driving season before being returned to us for winter storage.
The car required little work this year, though some play in one of the kingpins had to be attended to. It had also been a number of years since the car was last cleaned, detailed and waxed underneath so a good waxoyle was also in order.
These SS100 are tremendously good fun to drive. The performance that was achieved at the time was quite phenomenal and it is no wonder that they won so many motorsport events. That being said the lively handling from very old-fashioned suspension and cross-ply tyres combined with cable operated drum brakes mean one has to be very careful and alert driving one of these. An SS100 will put a smile on your face!


SS100 specialist

Jaguar XK140 sold

This lovely Jaguar XK140 OTS has now been sold and will soon be making its way to a new home ready to be enjoyed this summer. Being an original right-hand drive car, it is one of only 73 such cars to have been produced. The new owner is very keen to embrace the rarity of this car and has commissioned us to return the car to a much more standard specification.
This move back towards a more standard specification has started with removing the chrome wire wheels and fitting a set of original steel wheels. These steel wheels have been painted in the cars original black colour scheme. Once the owner has had the car to drive and enjoy over the summer it will then return to us for further work over the winter. This is likely to include refitting the car with the original spats (covers over the rear wheels), respraying it in its original black and retrimming it with the original biscuit and red interior. Once this work is finished the car will really exude 1950’s charm.


Jaguar XK140 specialists Hampshire

Jaguar XK140 restoration

We had promised more updates on the progress on this XK140 drophead undergoing a full nut and bolt restoration. When we last checked in with the car the engine and many of the auxiliaries had been fitted. The wiring had been run into the car and this had started to be connected up.
Since then, much detailed work has been completed, some of which is obvious to see and some more subtle. The dashboard wood has been painstakingly fitted, adjusted and refitted to give a perfect fit. The under-dash panels have been custom made to fit the car along with having the extra switches and lighting fitted to them. The windscreen and screen chromes have been fitted which is a seriously tricky job and the window frames are in the process of going in. As can seen in the photo the bumpers have been fitted along with the lights which all come together to start making the car look much more complete. The new stainless steel exhaust system has been fitted as have the frames for the upgraded bucket seats.
There are still one hundred and one small details to sort out but we will keep progressing over the coming weeks and will keep the updates coming.


Jaguar XK140 full restoration