We have just about recovered from our weekend at the Silverstone Classic car meet. This event, one of the biggest in Europe, is staged over three days and to see the range of classic cars racing is a real treat. Everything from pre 56 cars, pre ww2 cars and classic 70's formula one racing all from the club grandstand in lovely weather made this weekend one to remember. The noise and smell of vintage racing is something that every classic car fan needs to experience - when the Williams Formula One Winning car from back in the 90's was out on its ten lap display it was a very special moment indeed. The unity of racing fans and the noise is an experience that will not be soon forgotten. Taking a stroll around the site there is everything from Austins to Aston and Ferrari and Maserati. With over 10,000 cars on display it took many hours to cover them all and most interestingly you do find yourself used to seeing 100k+ plus classic cars and really spoiling yourself with an 'imaginary shopping list'! The Jaguar stand was demonstrating the latest product and the passenger and viewing experience smelt like it cost a set of tyres for each run they made - you probably would not want to buy one of these as an ex demonstration model...
The auction also ran over two days and armed with our £20 catalogue we moved amongst the movers and shakers of the classic car world - and had a nice chat to Mike Brewer who was raising money for charity and presenting on the Ebay stand. This was one of the only Ebay experiences we have seen where someone does not make a bid and then disappear! The auction itself has some lovely examples although with a sale rate of around 60% many struggled to find a new home. We were tempted on a few but sadly our budget of 25k would not stretch very far on the day! There were two halls of cars and some presented outside and as the pic shows - something for everyone which was the theme of the weekend. We will be back next year for sure. Take a look at our YouTube channel for more clips of all the action!
Happy motoring and enjoy the (somethings good) weather.
We currently have a Jaguar XJS-C V12. Our philosophy is to buy classic cars that we admire and enjoy and then pass them on to the right clients. When we were offered this beast of a car it had sat forlornly for a number of years. Although it had been locked away we took on the challenge of a light restoration. As with all projects there is always more than meets the eye and this Jaguar has been no different!
We first addressed the seized brake calipers and installed a pair of rebuilt rear units. We reconditioned the original front units. The inboard rear discs are not much fun to work with and very costly to repair. It is a time consuming job and took us a day to complete! It was interesting to see that the brake pads that were originally on the car had seen many better days so we think maybe many XJS owners do not like to update/replace these parts (and we can see why!)
Once the car was rolling and stopping we turned to the V12 engine. It was running but did hesitate on acceleration so we changed the fuel filter and cleaned out the injectors which improved the performance and allowed the V12 to burble as Jaguar intended. We then noticed a small leak on the front and changed out the radiator and flushed the coolant. This was also a bit of a challenge with some forums suggesting to remove the bonnet for access but after some maneuvering we managed to retain the bonnet in place. We serviced the bonnet struts and checked all the pipes and connections to make sure this Jaguar will be as reliable as possible!
Once the engine was running and brakes working it was time for the exciting first test drive. This is when we noticed that it would not shift from first gear! It had reverse and park but only one forward gear. Although it does do 50 in first we thought it better to investigate. After a lot of head scratching we changed the governor gear (thanks to a great YouTube tip!) and replaced the oil and filter. As if by magic it is now all up and working and drives very well indeed. Whilst under the car we took the opportunity to check for any other rust and it is rock solid. We undersealed the entire car from front to back and repainted the sills so it is good for another good few years before this needs doing again.
Next up was a clay bar and full machine polish followed by a valet. The black paint has really come up very well and the interior is a masterpiece of British engineering. The originality of the interior is a sight to behold and includes the original radio and even the wood trim and dashboard is in excellent order. The black paint has a deep shine and is good order. There are a few blemishes - the worst being a slight dent on the drivers door and the rear wing but we think it still looks a million dollars especially with the roof tops out and the rear dropped down. When the car arrived it was shabby and dull and now you can see your reflection - it really is a head turner.
As with any light restoration there is always something more that could be done to take a car to a mint standard and we think it is nice for a new owner to have room to improve and add value to a car should they wish or enjoy a high quality well sorted example as it is.
We put the Jaguar in for an MOT in May and it passed first time with no issues or advisories so now it is all ready to go. We are very pleased with this XJS - C and it really is one of those 'if we had to space we would keep it' cars. We are sure that in 20 years time, when there are even fewer left, this will be a true survivor. It is a pleasure to cruise the country lanes with the awesome V12 burbling away in the luxury this car - surely as high spec as a Rolls Royce in its day.
If you are in the market for a top quality cabriolet that is the essence of a classic Jaguar then feel free to come and have a look - we even provide a cup of tea!
Chris Barnes - a Classic Car hunter that has bought and sold for twenty years bringing you the inside track and discoveries as they happen
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