This week we have been getting ready for the NEC Classic Motor Show in Birmingham on the 12th, 13th and 14th of November. We haven’t missed a year for as long as I can remember so it was strange not to be at the show last year due to the pandemic. Let’s hope for a triumphant return to form now that the show is back on! If you are visiting, please do pop by and see us on the stand in Hall 2.
Getting ready for a show is a time-consuming business but we don’t let this slow down progress in the workshop. We are as busy as ever so we have to keep our foot firmly on the accelerator an get work done. Currently we have what much be an unrivalled array of classic Jaguars here with every model represented from an XK120, through the full range of E-Types, a MK2 saloon and an S-Type.
In this week update we look at an overheating 4.2 E-Type, an XK120 power steering, our stand at the NEC and much more.
The NEC Classic Motor Show is in full swing this weekend in Birmingham. We are on our ‘usual stand’ with four lovely Jaguars for sale. We have an XK140 DHC, an XK150 3.4 S, a rather special series 1 E-Type and a lovely series 3 E-Type. Hopefully something for everyone to enjoy there!
We are in our ‘usual’ location close to the entrance of Hall 2 near Silverstone Auctions. If you are visiting the show, please do pop by to say hello. We will be on hand throughout the weekend to discuss all things classic Jaguar. If you want to know about anything from our restorations to the correct wire colour for a fuel warning light, please stop by to speak to Nik, Harry or Martin.
For those who haven’t been before the NEC Classic Motor Show must be on of the biggest indoor classic car events in the world. It has a mindboggling collection of car clubs, dealers and restorers along with a hall of tools, spares and restoration equipment. If you’re into classic cars there is no better place to visit!
This lovely Jaguar XK140 drophead coupe is one of four cars which we will have on our stand at the NEC Classic Motor Show. The car was originally sold by H Webb of Hornchurch to a Mr John Young of Surrey in November 1955. By 1966 it was owned by Mr G P Dale of St Albans. In 1988 Mr Dale sold the car to the current owner as a restoration project. The car underwent a full nut and bolt restoration in 1990 with Autech Classic Cars Ltd. This restoration is recorded in the history file along with a collection of photographs. The car has covered less than 9000 miles since this restoration.
This XK140 has been off the road for some years and has just been recommissioned. The restoration undertaken 30 years ago was completed to a high standard and the car remains in good condition. Given the passage of time the car possesses the charming patina of age but is very presentable and useable.
Overheating is always a worry for classic car owners. XKs and E-Types seem to have earned themselves an unfair reputation for overheating problems. In our experience a well cared for XK or E-Type is more than capable of regulating its own temperature. Those that do suffer with overheating issues usually have some fundamental fault or simply have a poorly maintained cooling system.
In the case of this E-Type, what presented itself as overheating with coolant being expelled from the cooling system, turned out to be a simple part failure. On testing the car, we found that there was a small hole in the header tank (which disappointingly was less than 2 years old).
With a new header tank fitted we refilled the coolant system, carried out a pressure test and a head gasket test and finally ran the car up to temperature. We are pleased to report all problems are resolved and this XKE is once again ready for the road.
By pure coincidence we ended up with these twin Sage Green fixedheads parked next to each other in the workshop. It seemed like too good a photo opportunity to pass up.
In the foreground is an XK120 FHC which a customer of ours has been restoring and has now brough into us to carry out some finishing touches and get ready for the road. The car has been built to a very impressive specification with a very powerful engine sporting triple Weber carburettors, a five-speed gearbox and disc brakes all around. The finish is beautiful with the Sage Green paint and Green interior. Over the coming weeks we will be fitting the windscreen (always a challenging job), attending to a number of electrical jobs and setting up the suspension. We will also be rectifying a braking problem and doing a full check though of the car to ensure it is safe for the road.
In the background is the XK140 FHC which we shared a few weeks ago. It has now been tuned on the rolling road and had the final few jobs carried out ready to go back to its owner.
In this months XK Gazette there is a great article which takes a deep dive into some of the work we have been carrying out here in recent months. It also discusses the joys to having a car restored to your exact specification. In addition, this months’ Gazette features their quarterly ‘Competition Department’ with articles on D-Types, the Goodwood Revival and the Castle Combe Autumn Classic.
If you are not familiar with the XK Gazette it is the monthly magazine published by the XK Club and is included in the cost of membership. It is a great read every month featuring technical articles, contributions from owners and enthusiasts. There are fascinating dives into the history of the cars we love from some of the most world-renowned experts including Philip Porter and Malcolm McKay. If you are not yet a member, we would strongly urge you to join up and start enjoying the magazine along with the other benefits the XK Club offers.
Power steering has been one of our most popular upgrades over the last twenty years. It has proved consistently popular with our customers as it makes jumping out of a modern car and into an XK feel like less of a step back in time. Over the years our power steering system has evolved from using a hydraulic steering rack with a pump to utilising an electric motor attached to the original steering column. There motor is hidden behind the dashboard leaving the car looking standard under the bonnet and in the cabin. This system also allows us to fit an on/off switch so you can have the assistance on when parking in a pub carpark and then off when enjoying a track day. The best of both worlds!
This XK120 is currently having power steering and an alternator. The XK120 is the trickiest model to fit power steering to as the steering column is a single piece. This has to be cut to allow the motor to be mounted. It is also worth noting that the rest of the steering system has to be in good order to have power steering fitted. If you have a steering box with play in it this will feel even worse with power steering fitted. Fortunately, we can rebuild steering boxes and have refurbished steering racks on the shelf ready to fit.