XJS & XJ from KWE Cars
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Classic car customisation: embrace or avoid?

You want to ensure your recently purchased classic car lives up to your high expectations. In order to get it up to scratch, you might be considering customisation or restoration work. You may be sceptical, however, as some in the classic car community frown upon such customisation, branding it sacrilegious to a car’s original philosophy.

So, should customisation be considered as part of a restoration plan at all? Or should you bite the bullet and accept the car for what it is, even if it doesn’t meet your requirements? This post examines whether customisation should be embraced or avoided altogether.

When things go wrong

There’s always the risk when carrying out a customisation project that the work may not befit the quality of the original vehicle. Shoddy workmanship will depreciate value, and may even cause some major engineering problems in the long term.

A new trend, coined ‘restomodding’, draws from the advancements in automobile technology to enhance the performance, comfort and safety of the classic car. At KWE, we refer to this as ‘re-engineering’. We use modern parts and materials to bring longer life, safety and performance to classic cars. The result is a classic that can be used for daily driving, a holiday adventure or transcontinental blast in comfortable excitement.

This doesn’t mean that all ‘restomods’ fulfil the brief, as many would argue that they have been tastelessly restored, leaving some classic motoring enthusiasts wincing. If you’re not looking for a Pimp My Ride-style abomination, it’s probably best to seek expert advice.

classic car customisation

Classic car customisation: What do you think of this modified Jaguar XJS?

Credible classic car customisation from engineering experts

KWE Cars prides itself on its ability to restore classic Jaguars back to ‘better than new’ quality. With many years’ engineering experience, we are firm believers in restoring with your needs in mind – and we make sure we complete all work to the highest standard.

When it comes to customisation, we believe that it comes part and parcel with classic car ownership; it’s all about making sure the car suits your way of life. We focus on improving performance and making the vehicle more practical and comfortable for modern life – all without ruining that classic car magic that enthusiasts crave.

Through carefully tailored and bespoke solutions, our interior and exterior customisations allow for an enhanced driving experience. Leaving no stone unturned, we can restore all aspects of your classic car, from new leather seats and alloy wheels to reconditioning the engine.

We’ve worked on some interesting cars over the years, taking into account our customers’ varied requirements. We believe this stands testament to our ‘can do’ attitude and expertise.

We recently finished the restoration of a 1988 V12 convertible XJS, complete with a special request from its owner. The client likes to take his dog, a black Labrador named Pops, out with him when he drives his XJS, so needed somewhere flat in the back for him to sit. We removed the convertible luggage box in the cabin and replaced it with a flat floor. Pops now sits in full wool-trimmed luxury!

Pops the Labrador loves his customised XJS!

Pops the Labrador loves his customised XJS!

Other bespoke customisations include personalised leather seats and alloy wheels, state-of-the-art sound systems, and a wine rack in the boot for James May and Oz Clarke’s BBC series.

KWE customers can design and commission their own alloy wheels, select that perfect shade for the paintwork, customise leather interiors, and so on – we do all this with the highest degree of skill, ensuring that the finished result befits your high expectations.

KWE can customise your classic car inside and out

KWE can customise your classic car inside and out

Driving a classic car should be a privilege, and a carefully planned restoration can enhance this experience further. A quality, high finish customisation will embrace and sympathise with the craftsmanship of the era, building upon this to further enhance the pleasure that comes from owning a classic car.

Pay us a visit

If you’d like to see what we could do for your classic Jaguar, please visit the restoration services page on our website or get in touch. Call us on 01635 30030, ‘like’ us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

KWE’s classic car news round up (August-October)

Here are a few news highlights from the classic car industry from the last couple of months…

Top five up-and-coming classic cars to buy now (Yahoo Autos)

Out of only five potential classic cars worth investing in, the Jaguar XJS has made a rather select list. Here’s what Yahoo Autos have to say about the classic:

“The XJS now ranks as one of the most popular cars among members of the Jaguar Club…and it seems like it’s finally emerging from the shadow of the E-Type. More of a grand tourer than a sports car, the styling of the XJS is aging like a fine French red, and it comes both in convertible and coupe form with lots of chrome, wood and leather to compliment what is in actuality an understated design with roots in the late 1960s, the golden era of GTs. XJS also has the cachet of V-12 power (although it was available as a six-cylinder as well).”

Jaguar XJS

Jaguar XJS listed among big names in the classic car market

Big changes for classics market (Classic Cars For Sale)

Pre-war and 1950s cars may be left behind by a new generation of buyers hungry for hot hatches and 1980s models like the Jaguar XJ-S, dealers from across the UK indicate in a special Classic Car Weekly survey.

It discovered that some cars, which were previously under appreciated, are beginning to command values that reflect their condition. This means prices are rising for 1970s and ’80s classics, and it can’t be long before those of the 1990s rise to fill the gap in the marketplace.

Andrew Welham stated: “Cars like the later Jaguar XJS models are moving, but not as much as they will be in two or three years’ time. Bills are the only thing putting people off the more modern classics, but as they get harder to find this will become less of a concern.”

Keeping your classic car safe (Classic Cars For Sale)

You may have worked on your classic car for many hours to restore it to its former glory or perhaps you’ve finally had the opportunity to buy the car you’ve always dreamed of and now it sits in your garage waiting for you to drive it.

Classic cars are in huge demand overseas as the value of vintage vehicles goes up so criminal gangs are ready and willing to grab your car and ship it off to a market abroad. At the same time as vehicle theft overall has fallen to its lowest level in almost 50 years there has been an increase in thefts of classic cars.

Classic Cars For Sale take a look at what can be done to safeguard your classic.

Cars on the rise named (Classic Cars For Sale)

Classic experts from across the globe share market intelligence on the models gaining in value – and highlight the ones that are struggling. Market experts from both sides of the Atlantic say prices for 1980s and 1990s modern classics will continue to rise – and they’re predicting that cars from the early 2000s will become hot investment tips.

Top tips include the Mercedes-Benz R107 SL, particularly late 500SLs, the Aston Martin V8 and Jaguar XJ-S.

Better-than-new restoration

Looking to customise a classic car of your own? We have the ability to restore our customers’ cars to ‘better-than-new’ standard, taking advantage of our many years experience in the field. Arrange a test-drive or visit to our workshop, call us on 01635 30030.

KWE’s quick guide to classic car insurance

Many of our Jaguar XJS customers seek our advice on classic car insurance, and no wonder – it’s a rather different requirement from normal car insurance.

It’s important you consult a reputable broker who specialises in classic car insurance, in order to get the best possible cover for your classic car. We would recommend researching the following insurance companies, but there are, of course, other reputable brokers available:

We would highly recommend going for ‘Replacement Value’ insurance cover, in case of unexpected damage, such as a collision or accident as you drive your freshly-restored classic away from KWE! This helps to overcome issues relating to the ‘book’ value that insurers sometimes offer, which might be a tenth of what you’ve just spent.

The above insurers provide specialist advice, and really know their stuff when it comes to classic cars. While they might offer only a limited mileage policy (typically 6,000 miles per year), they should be fine with insuring the car for a more accurate replacement value. KWE can confirm the value of the works done for Insurers. In the end it is about establishing what it would cost to replace the car with one in similar condition. We take the view that substantial improvements such as an engine rebuild or bare-metal respray, or full suspension renewal would count at their cost value on top of the car’s intrinsic but non-restored market value. Items such as servicing, repairs and rust protection would not add to the replacement value.

Classic car insurance Jaguar

Classic car insurance can be tricky; make sure you speak to a reputable broker

So do inform the broker about the following if applicable:

  • Suspension renewal
  • Engine renewal
  • New interior
  • Add-ons such as stainless steel exhaust systems, HID headlamps, parking sensors, audio system upgrades
  • New wheels
  • Digital Engine Management
  • Power enhancement kits
  • It’s also important to enquire about re-spray value, which will need to be negotiated with the insurer.

The sort of things that would be excluded from your policy are as follows:

  • Maintenance and servicing
  • Rust repairs (on the basis that a replacement car should not have rust)
  • Cleaning and valeting

Classic car engineering experts

If you would like more advice on classic cars, or have a project you’d like us to get to work on, please get in touch. Call us on 01635 30030, ‘like’ us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Jaguar XJS turns 40: Photography from KWE’s celebratory open day

As the Jaguar XJS turned 40 on 10th September this year, we held a celebratory event at our showroom on 12th September. The event was a great success – and saw Jaguar and classic car enthusiasts from across the country coming together to commemorate this car’s great history.

If you’re not on Facebook, you may not have seen the photos taken at the event. If you couldn’t make it to the party, this is your chance to see what you missed. We think you’ll agree, visitors were treated to a true motoring spectacle!

XJS40-17-M

To view the album in full, please click here.

For more information about the open day, please read our recent blog post, or article featured in the Newbury Weekly News

Alternatively, if you want to find out more about the Jaguar XJS, or would like to enlist our expertise, please get in touch. Call us on 01635 30030, follow us on Twitter, or ‘like’ us on Facebook.

KWE completes restoration of stylish Series 3 Saloon

We recently completed work on a 1983 Jaguar XJ12 Series 3 Saloon. Prior to its full-scale makeover, this classic had been sitting in the sidelines at KWE for several years, awaiting a client to commission its restoration.

Jaguar XJ12

Jaguar XJ12 pre-refurbishment

Last year, one of our existing customers enlisted our expertise to restore the model back to its former glory. The customer – a true XJ enthusiast – is already the proud owner of a KWE-restored 1991 XJS, featured on James May and Oz Clark’s BBC series, Oz and James’s Big Wine Adventure.

The body has been completely stripped and repainted in gloss black, with ‘biscuit’ Connolly hide throughout, full interior makeover, and new KWE suspension, making this classic a real head-turner.

Finished 'better-than-new' XJ12

Finished ‘better-than-new’ XJ12

To view the full extent of our work, and for a look inside our workshop, visit our build gallery.

Restore your classic Jaguar to ‘better-than-new’

If you have a restoration project you’d like to enlist our expertise on, please get in touch. Call us on 01635 30030, follow us on Twitter or ‘like’ our Facebook page.

KWE celebrates 40 years of the Jaguar XJS

A big thank you to everyone who visited our workshop this weekend for our open day, celebrating 40 years (in 2015) of the Jaguar XJS. The event was a great success, and we hope you enjoyed it as much as we did.

We were delighted to welcome customers old and new to our showroom to join in the birthday celebrations, many bringing along their prized XJS cars.

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KWE’s classic car news round up (July-August)

Here are a few news highlights from the classic car industry from the last couple of months…

70% of classic cars are underinsured (Classic Cars For Sale)

Classic insurers say owners have unwittingly kept their cars’ agreed values at the same levels for years, despite recent price surges, particularly for 1970s and ’80s models.

(more…)