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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
On a hot Friday afternoon, Theresa spotted an XJS on our business park with an RAC van in attendance. Rushing to the rescue, she found that the RAC engineer could only tow it away because there was a big misfire and overheating exhaust. To the owner’s relief, Theresa pointed out that KWE was only a few yards away!
We leapt on the damsel in distress (the car, that is) and found the cause was a big ignition problem, with one bank of the V12 not working at all. In the end, we had to replace a faulty coil, leaking ignition leads and the distributor cap, while the owners basked in the sunshine.
All now being well, the owners went on their way, and we received the following email this morning:
“THERE IS A JAGUAR XJS GOD AFTER ALL… I could not believe my bad luck in breaking down on a lovely hot sunny afternoon, enjoying driving my gorgeous 20 year old Jaguar XJS with the top down…when my wife commented that she could smell a “burning smell”.
I stopped the car and looked underneath and to my horror the exhaust pipe (or so I thought) was glowing bright red. I immediately called the RAC who inspected my Jag and told me that it was misfiring and would need to be towed home, oh the indignity of that!
The RAC man was just organising this when a lady tapped on the window and explained that just around the corner her company, KWE Cars, specialised not only in Jaguar cars, but specifically in the Jaguar XJS.
Within less than 5 minutes my car was being examined by 2 engineers and to cut a long story short my Jag was not only repaired (eroded cables to the distributor) but the car is now actually running better than it has been for a long time!
I cannot thank you enough for not only fixing my dear old car but also being less than 5 minutes away from where I broke down (the first time I have ever broken down in 15 years of owning the car).
So, for sure there must be a Jaguar XJS God and he was certainly looking down on me last week! If your other services are a fraction of what you showed to me, then I would have no hesitation in recommending KWE to other Jaguar owners. Once again, many many thanks for helping me out last week.”
Here are a few news highlights from the classic car industry from the last couple of months…
The Knight Frank Luxury Investment Index notes that classic cars have beaten everything from art, watches and coins over the past 1 year, 5 years and 10 years. This is telling people that classic and vintage cars are a viable investment asset class.
As more and more customers recognise the classic Jaguar XJS as a good investment opportunity, we are pleased to report that business is booming here at KWE. To meet growing demand, we’ve expanded our operations on Greenham Business Park and taken on two new recruits.
We’d like to introduce Andy Branning, our new Production Manager, and new Technician, Phil Alexander. These additions bring our total employee count to seven. Here we all are enjoying the spring sunshine yesterday – see photo below.
We have also acquired an additional plot of land next to the existing premises. The new plot has been designed so that we can park customer cars while restoration work is waiting to be carried out or is in progress – ensuring maximum workshop efficiency.
Stay up to date with our latest news and receive useful tips on classic Jaguar cars by signing up to our newsletter via our website: www.kwecars.com. Alternatively, follow us on Twitter or ‘like’ us on Facebook.
Here at KWE we think that the Jaguar XJ and XJS models are two of the most beautiful luxury and accomplished sports cars ever made. If you are the lucky owner – or would like to be the lucky owner – of one of these stunning cars, then you’ll probably agree with this sentiment. By choosing to purchase and restore one of these models, you are not only bringing new life into a classic car, you are reducing the cumulative environmental impact the production of yet another new car would bring.
Deciding which company to trust to restore your car properly can often be a difficult one. We’ve come up with six very good reasons why KWE should be at the top of your list:
As specialist engineers with years of experience and a passion for classic Jaguar cars, we can re-engineer and modernise your car – in line with your specifications – in all the performance, safety and visual areas to ‘as-new’ or ‘better-than-new’ standard. How can we make it ‘better-than-new’, you ask? Well, we now have access to better modern materials, and we also have the benefit of 30 years hindsight into the limitations of the 1970’s design. We don’t upgrade just for the sake of it, but only where genuine improvements in driver satisfaction are achieved. This is mostly about improving the steering precision, handling stability and controls’ response – and, of course, appearance.
Find out how we turned Jeremy (a tired-looking black convertible Jaguar XJS) into a vision of style and elegance, with the performance and handling to match.
Our ability to understand problems, develop and improve cars comes from processes we’ve evolved over many years. We use this experience to help you design the specification of your ‘new’ car. We listen and, if necessary, tailor our services to meet your exacting needs. We offer sound advice throughout the restoration process, helping you make informed decisions along the way.
We’ve earned an enviable reputation for the quality of our work, and customers come to us from all over the country, and abroad, to enlist our restoration services. We recently undertook a customer satisfaction survey and the result was four times the national average, find out more on our website.
For customers who don’t want to get too bogged down in technical detail, we can provide a complete ‘turnkey’ solution. We’ll ask for the rough specification (colour, body style, engine size etc.) and then we do the rest. However, many of our customers thoroughly enjoy this part of the process and we welcome their involvement and input.
We understand your new classic Jaguar car will be your pride and joy when it’s finished, so while it’s with us you are welcome to review progress at any time. We also have a ‘window into our workshop’ feature on our website that allows you to track the progress online. Once complete, you’ll receive full documentation complete with images supplied on a CD.
We guarantee our workmanship for at least six months, and, in practice, will informally deal with any issues over a much longer period than that. Classic cars by their very nature have, shall we say, some quite mature parts and bodywork so it’s not feasible to guarantee everything, but we have complete confidence in our work and our long-term customer satisfaction supports this.
With the March equinox only a few weeks away, it won’t be long before we can all enjoy the pleasures of spring again and, if the weather permits, what can be more invigorating than a leisurely drive through the great British countryside?
In a poll of 2000 motorists last year, Shell named Britain’s favourite road as the A470 that runs through Snowdonia National Park and the Brecon Beacons in Wales. Snake Pass and the Cat and Fiddle Road in the Peak District were a close second and third. As these roads pass through some of the finest countryside the UK has to offer, it won’t surprise you to learn that in the same survey, the M25 was voted Britain’s least favourite drive!
Over half of the motorists polled said that a sunny day would inspire them to go for a drive on a familiar road, a further 21% said that discovering a new place would also be reason enough. So why not hit the road this spring and enjoy the familiar sights the season has to offer from the comfort and safety of a classic Jaguar XJS?
Where would you go?
We thought it would be an interesting idea to find out our customers’ favourite roads. Tell us the name of the road, and include details of the stretch you find particularly attractive. Don’t let the UK limit your choice; we know that many of our customers enjoy regular trips to the continent, so feel free to include roads in Europe as well.
If you have any photos please also send them through. Email your suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our Facebook or Twitter pages. Once we have a collection of favourite roads, we’ll share a list of the most popular (or unusual!).
Let us prepare your Jaguar XJS for the challenging conditions some country roads can present. For details of our services, visit the KWE website at http://www.kwecars.com