Knowles-Wilkins Engineering (KWE) Ltd has reached its 15th Anniversary. From being very much new kids on the block back on 2002, we have become well known at home and abroad for our Jaguar XJS restoration and modernisation work. Owners Chris and Theresa Knowles started the company from their home and, perhaps surprisingly, took three major orders in the first two months, appeared on Top Gear twice and turned over around £100,000 before moving the business (and home) to Newbury, Berkshire in 2004. Since then we have restored over 300 cars, most with our admired full suspension/brakes/steering upgrade package.
We currently employ 10 staff and occupy three very busy premises on Greenham Business Park, and are currently recruiting. We would like to thank all of our past and present customers for their continued support and love for the Jaguar.
We have expanded our works to include XK, all XJ saloons, E Types and Aston Martin DB7s. We are continuing to develop, improve and revitalise these astounding classic and future classic cars.
KWE are now offering servicing for Jaguar X300, X308, X-Type, S-Type, XK8/R.
Loyalty from customers has fuelled continued growth, making a move to a new facility necessary.
We are pleased to inform you that our workshop is expanding into larger premises, located on Greenham Business Park, just a stones throw away from our current office/workshop. The building is 5000 sq ft and will become our main restoration workshop.
KWE have recently employed more technicians with specialist skillsets, which now means we have more restorations in progress at any one time, so having the extra floor space for manoeuvring and assembling these classic vehicles is an absolute must.
We have also acquired a third building on the estate which is currently being used for dry storage, mainly housing customer vehicles, soon to become KWE’s in-house paint and body shop.
Our existing workshop where our main office will remain is to be turned into our servicing and general repairs workshop, once the facilities are set up we will begin offering our services to customers with new (more than 3 years old) as well as classic models of Jaguar, Daimler and Aston Martin. We expect this side of the business to be up and running by the end of August 2017.
We look forward to continue servicing new and existing customer vehicles in a dedicated fashion.
Our address and telephone numbers remain unchanged. If you would like to be notified of the official launch and receive more details on KWE’s service offerings, please sign up to our newsletter below.
In December 2011, KWE commissioned MWS Media to produce and direct a professional film to promote the Jaguar XJS and our work with it. The brief was to create a slick, high quality short film, usable in a TV promotion campaign. A professional actor was employed, and the shoot took place in an aircraft hangar in Hampshire.
The car featured is the 5.3 V12 coupé which James May was filmed with on BBC Top Gear in 2004.
A warm article by Jasper Gerard on the Jaguar XJS appeared in the Daily Telegraph, November 2010
Gambit in The New Avengers swanked around in a Jaguar XJS, as did Simon Templar in The Return of The Saint.
When my parents divorced I was sent to boarding school, where the one concession to pleasure was allowing us boys to watch The Saint on Sunday evening following our long return to that joyless establishment.
How I envied the Saint his freedom: the series was based on Leslie Charteris’s thrillers, whose covers carried such heroic slogans as “Simon Templar vs Europe’s Most Ruthless Man!” Most of all I envied the Saint his car and … Click here to read the article.
Top Gear presenter and noted motoring journalist James May explained how KWE rebuild the XJS and improve its handling and performance. The Jaguar XJS is a popular car with the Top Gear team who recognise both its visual appeal and performance as one of the great sports tourers.
The car featured is an Arctic blue 5.3 litre V12 first manufactured by Jaguar in 1989 which has covered only 47000 miles since new. The car is still in the process of being re-engineered by KWE and will serve as the company’s K-S demonstrator.
Rather like the film Sideways, the pair drove around the French wine-making districts in the XJS, sampling and describing the local produce. Two handmade wine racks were fitted in the boot.
It’s quite a project, and one I have been party to. Unfortunately, though, I am unable to tell you the winner because the issue will not come out until several days after this newspaper is printed, and I’ve been expressly forbidden to tell anyone. All I can reveal at this stage is that they’ve got it wrong.