With just two weeks to go until the E-Type 60 celebration at Shelsley Walsh on the 12th and 13th of June we are delighted to have finally had the sun reappear this week. We are now in full swing preparing for the event. We are working on a number of cars ahead of the event including our own E-Type restoration project which will be on display at the show.
E-Type 60 will celebrate the sixtieth anniversary of the Jaguar E-Types launch and is being organised by the E-Type Club. The XK Club are also taking part in the event so there will be plenty of XKs in attendance. This event follows on from the clubs hugely successful XK70 event also held at Shelsley Walsh. There will be much to see over the weekend including an unrivalled gathering of E-Types, technical talks in the theatre, a competitive hill climb event and live music.
In this weeks' update we have a look at a fully restored XK140, an XK150 with steering problems, an XK140 with a stick instead of a window winder and more besides.
As restrictions have eased, we have seen a real surge in interest in our cars. We are maintaining measures to keep customers and staff safe such as encouraging viewings by appointment only and mask wearing in the showroom, but it is wonderful to be able to welcome people back inside. We have had many visits in the past few weeks to view cars, for test drives or to plan out full restorations.
In this past week the MK1 saloon pictured here found a new home. This is an exceedingly rare late car featuring the much sought after 3.4 litre engine, overdrive gearbox and disc brakes (the earlier cars having been fitted with a 2.4 litre engine and drum brakes). It is an original UK car and remains finished in its original colour scheme of Indigo Blue with a Grey interior. A happy summer of motoring lays ahead for the new owner.
This XK150 drophead coupe was brought into us with a suspected braking problem. The customer had found that the brakes pulled hard to one side when braking at speed. Once we got the car in and inspected it, we could find no issues with the braking system however excessive play was found in the steering rack, particularly on one side. This was allowing the front wheels to move freely and under the extreme forces caused by breaking it was causing the steering to shift and pull the car across the road. So, a steering rack rebuild was in order.
We keep rebuilt original steering racks on the shelf ready to be fitted. In fact, we keep an extensive stock of parts on site which minimises turn around time for customers and increases efficiency thus reducing our customers final bills. With the new steering rack fitted, along with new steering rack mounts, and the tracking reset this XK150 is once again driving beautifully and stopping in a straight line.
We are moving on at pace with the restoration of our Series 1 4.2 litre E-Type. The paint work is almost finished but we are keeping this under raps until after E-Type 60. The engine has been stripped down and the rebuild is underway. All the suspension and subframes have been stripped to their constituent parts and are being powder coated as we speak.
Pictured here is much of the chrome from car being assessed. Given the originality of the car we are trying to retain some character in the restoration, so care has been taken to assess the parts. Any parts which have been damaged will be stripped before we repair them and then sent for chroming. Other parts where the chrome is poor will be re-chromed and those parts deemed good enough will be cleaned, polished and refitted to the car in their original finish.
We've heard of XKs with sticky windows but this takes it to the next level. This Jaguar XK140 fixed head coupe is rather well known in classic car circles. It belongs to Robert Coucher of Octane Magazine, is used as his regular transport around London and features frequently in the magazine. He has brought the car down to us as the window winder mechanism failed causing the window to drop down inside the door. Original, good quality parts for XK window winders are incredibly scarce these days but between our stock of spares, our years of experience and our engineering knowhow we can affect repairs on running cars and restorations alike.
Mr Coucher was delighted to show us his temporary solution to keep the window in place when the dropped the car off with us. The simple addition of a stick to the window channel wedged the window in place and you can remove the stick to slide the window up and down. One wonders if the window mechanism even really requires fixing or if this stick system is the future of XK windows?
Another week and another of our older restorations is in with us for a service and MOT. This car was finished nearly ten years ago, and it is lovely to see how the cars mature with use. On this visit the XK was in for a regular service, check over and MOT. The owner asked us to look at the fuel gauge and sender which was jumping around when driving. In addition to this there was a slight weep of fuel from the sender. This car had its original fuel sender refurbished when we restored the car as there were no good quality reproductions on the market at the time. Although we do like to reuse original parts this can sometimes have its limitations and in the case of this fuel sender they manifested in the contacts inside the unit becoming worn and causing the gauge to flicker. Fortunately, we now have a good supply of sender units, so with a new sender unit tested and fitted the fuel gauge is now as accurate as you can hope for in an XK and no fuel leaks in sight!
Another visitor in for a service and MOT was this Jaguar XK150 fixed head coupe. As with so many classics cars at the moment, this XK had barely been used in the past 18 months due to the pandemic. Servicing remains vital for these cars despite their lack of use and perhaps even because of it. Although the cars aren't suffering with the wear and tear of use there are more serious safety issues that can crop up from long term storage without maintenance. Brake cylinders can seize, seals can fail causing leaks and old fuel can cause corrosion inside the fuel system. Many of these issues and more besides may not be immediately apparent when first starting up the car and getting out of the garage but could prove potentially dangerous a few miles down the road. We recommend at the very least thoroughly checking over your XK when bringing it out of storage and in an ideal world every classic car should be serviced and MOT'd on an annual basis. This both ensures the car is kept in top condition and is safe for the road.