We had a great weekend at the NEC Classic Motor Show a couple of weeks ago. Being in such a central location it always brings together people from all over the country. As such it is an unrivalled opportunity to catch up with customers and suppliers alike. Thanks to everyone who came by for a chat and made it such an enjoyable weekend. We had a delightful array of classic Jaguars on our stand which attracted much positive attention. Nik and Ian were delighted to be invited along to Classic and Sports Car’s Club awards on the Friday night as the SS/Jaguar Centenary celebration at Brookland which we sponsored was nominated for an award.
As founding partners, we were also flying the flag for the Historic and Classic Vehicle Alliance (HCVA) along with countless other trade members. It was great to see so many HCVA flags all across the event and to help promote the good work they are doing to safeguard the classic car scene for the future.
In this weeks’ update, we have an abundance of XKs from XK120s to XK150s. We also touch on the Octane Historic Motoring Awards.
This Jaguar XK150 drophead coupe is a rare, original right-hand drive, 3.8 S. Less than 50 such examples were produced. This is generally considered the ultimate evolution of the XK series. It combines the practicality and comfort of the drophead, with its padded hood, quarter lights and winding window, with the most powerful engine that was fitted to the XK range. This 3.8 litre unit with triple carburettors would go on to power the E-Type. The S models featured a number of other upgrades including larger brake cylinders and a PowerLock rear differential.
We have been restoring this car for some years now as a show car. Many of you will have seen the chassis at shows over the last few years. We fitted the body onto the chassis in recent weeks and are now going about fitting the car up. The next steps will be to run in the wiring, fit all the external fitting and chrome work and then set up the hood frame, doors and windows. Watch this space for further updates.
The Historic Motoring Awards presented by Octane Magazine took place a couple of weeks ago. Nik and Hazel were invited to join Julian Barratt (SNG Barratt CEO) and Zana Barratt on their table. They were also joined by Michael and Linda Ballard who were again nominated for an award for the SS/Jaguar Centenary celebration at Brookland which we sponsored alongside SNG Barratt.
A delightful evening was had by all at The Londoner with wonderful food and company. Julian was nominated for Classic Car Ambassador of the Year. This nomination was well deserved for all the hard work he has put in over the past couple of years getting the HCVA off the ground. That aside the work SNG Barratt has done over the years to support the classic Jaguar community and produce parts that no one else would or could has helped keep countless cars on the road. We are one of many other specialists whose jobs would be much harder without such good spares’ availability. We are delighted to report that on the night, Julian was the joint winner of the award sharing it with James Wood leading to much celebration.
We wanted to share an image of this XK120 fixedhead coupe for not reason other than that it is absolutely stunning. We restored this car over ten years ago and it has spent much of its life in Scotland. Despite it living a long way from us, the owner returns it to us for servicing and storage so we still know the car very well.
When it was restored, the owner opted for a very impressive specification. The car is fitted with a 3.8-litre engine from an XK150 S. This was rebuilt to a fast road specification and still breaths through its original set to triple 2” SU carburettors. This is mated to a five-speed gearbox and a limited-slip differential. To handle this extra power delivery the car has been upgraded with disc brakes, telescopic shock absorbers all around, polyurethane suspension bushes and an upgraded anti-roll bar. The original steering box has been replaced with our rack and pinion upgrade making the handling sharp and precise.
Inside, the battery box behind the seats has been removed allowing the bucket seats to go back much further than the original. The bulkhead has been moved away from the driver and a pedal box has been fitted. Finally, a smaller diameter steering wheel was fitted. Taken together these upgrades allow much taller drivers to fit in this XK120 than usual.
Pictured here is an XK140 OTS or ‘Roadster’. These are not generally as universally popular as the iconic XK120 OTS however they have much to recommend them and are sought after by those in the know. Original right-hand drive cars are particularly desirable as only 73 were built. Rarity aside the XK140 OTS retains the beautiful sweeping lines of its predecessor but features a number of notable improvements including more interior space and rack and pinion steering. For those with their hearts set on that iconic roadster shape but in need of a little more comfort and practicality, the XK140 OTS is a great option.
This particular car is with us for a service, MOT and a few other items the owner requested investigating. The owner has been struggling with the clutch which was heavy and notchy. We were also asked to investigate a significant fluid leak from the car. As is so often the way it turned out the be the result of several minor leaks combined to look like one larger leak. As the fluid works its way down the car and is pushed backwards by the car driver it inevitably finds a low point to drip from. This is usually the back edge of the sump or the bottom of the bell housing bringing the fluid together in one spot on the floor.
The weather has been all over the place here on the south coast of the UK recently. It continues to be rather a mild autumn and swings between torrential rain and rather enjoyable sunshine. Pictured here is an XK120 OTS chassis being lit by some rather pleasant late afternoon sun.
This XK120 is undergoing a full restoration with the owner doing much of the work himself. We are helping along the way in areas he doesn’t want to tackle himself, namely repainting the chassis and bodywork and rebuilding the engine. We will be helping with a number of other stages along the way and are always happy to be flexible and lend a hand when needed.
Though perfectly saveable this chassis was in a pretty poor state. The right-hand front side had been completely patched over from the cross member to the front wishbone mount. This allowed the material underneath to continue to rot. This whole section had to be carefully cut out and replaced. Our fabricator has now moved on to repairing the front suspension mounts. Although this careful process of repairs takes time and is very much a specialist job, we feel it is much better to repair the original chassis than to substitute with a replacement.
This Jaguar XK150 drophead coupe is in with us for its annual service, MOT and a few cosmetic jobs. We will be attending to a few minor areas of bubbling paint and some tired chrome work. The owner also commented that the car was sitting a little unevenly. Investigations traced this to an unevenly sat pair of rear springs. The leaf springs fitted to the rear of XKs do settle over time and in this case, they appeared to have settled unevenly. You can compensate for a small amount of unevenness in the rear springs and level the car out by adjusting the front torsion bars. This wasn’t possible on this car as the springs were too uneven and frankly were ready to be replaced.
A new pair of springs have now been fitted. These have to be left with the weight of the car on them and test driven to get them to settle down to the correct ride height after fitting. Final adjustments can then be made using the torsion bars.
With the mechanical work finished on this XK we will next set about attending to the cosmetic work the customer has requested.
Every car we stock in the showroom undergoes a full inspection when being marketed for sale. This inspection allows us to report any mechanical issues with the car to the vendor and address them prior to the sale. It also allows us to satisfy ourselves of the standard of the car and verify engine and chassis numbers etc. We are generally very fortunate that as we have good ongoing relationships with our customers, we have known many of the cars we market for sale for many years.
This XK140 is just such a car. We restored the car in 2010 and have worked on the car many times since. It has travelled and toured all over the world over the past decade and is a well-proven car. When the car arrived with us and we checked it through we found a seized rear brake cylinder. Now sorted! Other than that it is in tip-top shape and a rare opportunity to own an original, UK, matching numbers car in its original colour scheme….. and what a stunning colour scheme it is too! XKs don’t come much better than this.
This Jaguar XK120 was recently purchased by the owner and brought to us to be checked over and improved with a view towards reliability. The owner intends to compete in regularity rallies and other events so ensuring the car is in good condition and minimising the risk of breakdowns is vital. We have addressed a number of mechanical issues which were found but one of the biggest issues we felt likely to cause a breakdown was the electrical system. The vast majority of the wiring was the original harness fitted over 70 years ago. As such the wiring was corroded, the insulation had become brittle and broken away in places and it was generally in poor condition. In some places, the wiring had failed and had been bypassed with a mess of extra wiring which would make it challenging to find faults. We have now set about a full rewire of the car with a new wiring loom and with wiring for any upgrades such as the cooling fan or Brantz rally meter integrated neatly and safely into the car.