XJS & XJ from KWE Cars
Classic Spirit Reborn

Classic cars

KWE tech note: V12 cooling system and heater problems

A Jaguar V12 cooling system in good condition is capable of dealing with all conditions, contrary to popular belief, and does not need upgrading or fancy coolants and additives. However, it is relatively complex and more difficult to keep in good condition compared to the I6 engines.

A common problem is that the heater will not blow hot even with the engine up to full temperature. As far as the source of heat is concerned, there are two main likely problems: (more…)

‘Historic’ XJS now tax-free as HMRC cut-off extends to modern classics

If you didn’t think classic car ownership could get any better at the moment, there’s yet more good news for pre-HE Jaguar XJS owners.

Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) rolling cut-off date for historic vehicle tax exemption, means that all cars built before 1st January 1976 will be officially tax-free from April this year.

This means that so-called ‘modern classics’ are now to be described as ‘historic’ in line with the updated rules.

Original launch poster: Pre-HE XJS cars will be tax exempt from April 2016

Original launch poster: Pre-HE XJS cars will be tax exempt from April 2016

“1975 was undoubtedly a stellar year for new car launches, and their new found tax exemption not only feels overdue, but also inherently right”, comments Classic Car Buyer.

The reduced running costs will help to attract even more eager enthusiasts to the growing classic car market, who will help to preserve these wonderful vehicles, ensuring greater variety on the roads amongst a sea of modern vehicles.

As the Jaguar XJS turned 40 last September, it continues to pick up momentum as a desirable classic car, and the newfound tax-free status of the 1975-76 models is more than likely to strengthen its position as an affordable alternative to modern marques.

Although the majority of XJS owners will not benefit right away, here’s hoping that the exemption will roll on, and more classic Jaguar enthusiasts will continue to benefit year on year.

Jaguar XJS: An affordable alternative that exudes individuality

If you’d like to find out more about the Jaguar XJS, or to arrange a test drive, get in touch with one of our engineering experts. Sample the true driving pleasure of a classic car and stand out on the roads.

For more information email info@KWECars.com, follow us on Twitter or ‘like’ our Facebook page.

KWE’s year in review: XJS proves its worth

As another great year draws to a close, we’ve taken a look back at some of our highlights over the last 12-months…

The XJS turns 40

It’s been a big year for the Jaguar XJS, as it celebrated its 40th birthday in September. To commemorate this landmark, we held an event at our Newbury-based workshop. We were delighted to welcome customers old and new who joined in the birthday celebrations, many bringing along their prized XJS cars.

Classic car and Jaguar enthusiasts from across the country were treated to a motoring spectacle, as Greenham Business Park was awash with an array of stunning Jaguar XJS models. You may have also read about the event in the Newbury Weekly News.

View the full Facebook album here.

Expanding team and premises

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 three new recruits. In January we welcomed Andy Banning and in March both Phil Alexander and Bishwa Shah joined the KWE family.

KWE Cars team

The KWE Cars team at our event in September

Earlier this year, we 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.

Highlight projects

We’ve worked on many fantastic cars this year, doing what we love the most – restoring classic cars back to ‘better than new’ quality. Particular highlights from the 60+ projects we’ve completed, include:

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.

Finished 'better-than-new' XJ12

Finished ‘better-than-new’ XJ12

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.

V12 XJS Coupé

The client spotted Theresa’s car and said he wanted one just like it, but with a V12 engine. We repainted the coupé in Jaguar Meteor Red, rebuilt the engine, fitted new KWE suspension, brakes and steering, with new interior trim throughout.

V12 Jaguar XJS in Meteor Red

V12 Jaguar XJS in Meteor Red

V12 convertible with room for Pops

The car we found was actually Solent blue (a mid-metallic blue). It was stripped back and repainted in Jaguar Westminster blue (a gorgeous dark navy). The engine was removed for an intensive KWE overhaul, we also gave the car new suspension, brakes and a steering renewal and upgrade. The interior has been fully refurbished. It now boasts brand new Connolly hide, European walnut woods and dark blue carpet.

Pops the Labrador loves his customised XJS!

Pops the Labrador loves his customised XJS!

The client had one more special request – he likes to take his dog out with him when he drives his car, so needed somewhere flat in the back for him to sit. We took out the convertible luggage box in the back of the cabin and replaced it with a flat floor. Thankfully we succeeded and now Pops sits in full wool-trimmed luxury.

XJS proves its worth

It’s been a brilliant year for the classic car market, as it is now worth more than £6bn in the UK, employing thousands across the country as demand increases. This growing market falls in line with the fact that more motorists are turning to classic cars as their vehicle of choice.

The Knight Frank Luxury Investment index recently noted that classic cars have beaten everything from art, watches, gold and coins over the past one, five, and 10 years.

The Jaguar XJS is no exception, as it continues to prove its investment potential as a modern classic. Earlier this year, we compiled a table, using data from Classic Car Buyer, illustrating more clearly the rising values of all XJS models, no matter what the condition (see below).

Screen Shot 2015-12-17 at 14.32.03

On the back of this news, managing director, Chris Knowles wrote an article for Investment Week looking at which classic cars to invest in.

The XJS continues to be featured in the press, with many motoring journalists shortlisting the XJS as one of the top classic cars to invest in right now.

Merry Christmas!

To all our customers old and new – Merry Christmas and a happy New Year from everyone at KWE cars. We look forward to working together in 2016.

If you would like to find out more about our services, please call 01635 30030.

Seven myths about classic cars busted

There are certain myths and stigmas attached to classic car ownership; however, we believe these assumptions are uncalled for, with no real evidence to back them up. In this post, we aim to dispel some of these niggling doubts, and hope to show you what makes classic cars so great – better than modern vehicles in many cases…

1.    “Classic cars are bad for the environment”

Driving a classic car can be perceived negatively – particularly when it comes to the environment. Environmentalists sometimes view classic cars as being gas guzzling planet destroyers, due to their poor fuel efficiency. In reality, salvaging a classic car is in fact an excellent example of recycling – maximising the use of something rather than just disposing of it.

Keeping an old motor running, rather than just replacing it at the nearest opportunity, is sustainable and limits the amount of waste in our scrapheaps.

V12 XJS engine

Re-engineering a motor, such as this V12 XJS engine, saves parts going to the scrapyard

2.    “Regularly driving my classic car will depreciate its value”

Some prospective classic car owners are put off by the thought of their car’s value rapidly depreciating – especially if driven regularly. In some cases this may be true, as with the ‘flashier’ marques, such as Ferraris and Lamborghinis, which don’t fare that well off the racetrack – particularly on uneven road surfaces and when confronted with speed bumps. These cars are more of an investment than a usable vehicle.

This needn’t be the case, however. Vehicles labelled as ‘modern classics’ are more driveable, and can indeed prove excellent vehicles for modern, day-to-day life. Classic cars like the Jaguar XJS are versatile, practical and, best of all, fun to drive. They’re also proving excellent investments, as this article by Yahoo Autos recently pointed out.

Find out more about the XJS and its investment potential.

3.    “Altering the appearance or performance of my classic car will depreciate its value”

In some cases this can most certainly be the case, as shoddy workmanship will no doubt markedly decrease your vehicle’s value. Distasteful or bad quality restoration is likely to be frowned upon by those within the classic car community, who favour in keeping, high quality restoration.

At KWE we have many years’ experience restoring classic Jaguars while keeping the appearance and ride characteristics as factory-new and wholeheartedly believe that high quality re-engineering can actually increase your car’s value. We can also of course make further improvements – both cosmetic and mechanical – to the client’s requirements.

We have worked on a number of bespoke projects: Manual gearbox conversions, power enhancement, modernised engine management, custom sound systems, revised electronics and even wine racks for James May and making room for our client’s dog, Pops!

Pops the Labrador loves his customised XJS!

Pops the Labrador loves his customised XJS!

4.    “All classic cars are prone to rust”

This is one of the biggest fears associated with classic car ownership, and puts doubt in the minds of many potential owners. Rust can indeed cause a lot of damage, and make your vehicle unfit to drive. With some TLC and expert engineering advice, rust can be avoided and kept at bay.

To ensure that you aren’t leaving the rusting of your classic car to chance, why not speak to the experts? KWE are experienced in preventing and remedying rust, and have developed techniques which make our cars last a lot longer than average. We know where to look for rust, and offer both cavity wax injection for box sections, and full under body sealant renewal.

We recommend repeating this inspection and proofing process every second year. This regime vastly reduces the chance of further rusting. If the customer specifies a bare metal re-spray it is then possible to inspect any previous topside problems and rectify them if necessary.

Read our post on rust prevention for more information.

5.    “The rarer the classic car, the more it will be worth”

Perceived rarity isn’t everything when it comes to classic cars. It’s not all about initial value, but rate of growth. The XJS is growing in esteem and sales value in leaps and bounds – more in percentage terms than Italian exotics. Cars dubbed ‘modern classics’ are reaching new heights, and proving affordable investments for those looking not only to achieve excellent returns, but also to enjoy their investment in real-life situations.

Highly desirable cars are not necessarily rare. The Jaguar XJS is a fine example of this, and as it becomes increasingly popular, its investment potential is growing also. Now’s the time to invest before prices sky rocket!

6.    “It’s best to buy a classic car with fewer miles on the clock”

If well maintained, higher mileage classic cars are more likely to be reliable, simply because they are driven more regularly. Parts that may have been faulty have long since been replaced with new ones. Cars that have lower-mileage, on the other hand, may look good on paper, but in reality can be riddled with issues that haven’t been resolved.

A driven car is a car that has been known and understood by someone.

7.    “You can’t drive a classic car in the winter”

Winter can be a difficult time for any car owner, as the cold weather and icy conditions put an extra strain on the vehicle. And this links to the earlier point about rust, as salty roads speed up the dreaded rusting process. Again, this needn’t be the case, as with appropriate care and attention, your classic car can be just as comfortable in the winter months as any other modern vehicle. Check out our top tips for running your classic car in the winter.

Classic cars winter

Classic cars shouldn’t be hidden away over Winter!

Speak to the classic car engineering experts

If you have any other myths you’d like us to dispel, feel free to give us a call on +44 1635 30030 or visit our showroom at Greenham Business Park in Newbury.

Five crucial measures to prevent classic car rust

One of the biggest potential dangers to your classic car’s wellbeing is rust. Rust can cause the structure of any car to become weakened and unstable, making it unsafe to drive and liable to fail MoT testing. This build up of corrosion usually progresses from invisible areas until it becomes visible through the paintwork or is spotted during an underside inspection – by which time remedial action can be very expensive.

Rust  100414-2

Rust forms when moisture and air come into contact with unprotected steel. This process is hastened by the presence of sulphur dioxide from the atmosphere and ionic compounds such as road salt. Read these tips on how to ensure that your classic car doesn’t turn into a rust bucket.

  1. Keep your classic car clean, especially on the underside and wheel areas

Rust is often more likely to take hold of your vehicle if it’s dirty and mud is allowed to accumulate underneath. When washing your car pay special attention to the wheel arches and sill ends. When using your vehicle in the winter months, mud combined with road salt can become trapped within crevices around the wheel wells and underbody. Mud tends to retain moisture, therefore contributing greatly to rusting.

The best cleaning method is to use a concentrated spray from a garden hose to dislodge mud from inside the wheel arch lips, and the sill ends. A high pressure washer (e.g. Karcher) is too powerful and can lift off the protective underseal. Ideally, keep an eye out for exposed and rusty steel in these areas, get them thoroughly dry, prime with zinc-rich paint and apply brushing underseal such as Waxoyl underbody sealant.

  1. Inspect your classic car carefully

Make sure you inspect the whole of the vehicle’s structure, both topside and underside. If the surface of the original protective coating has deteriorated over wider areas, it’s best to remove all the old underseal and re-coat the whole surface to provide long-term protection.

IMG_1791

Perhaps you won’t need to go this level… but we do!

Moisture tends to accumulate within enclosed sections around the vehicle such as doors, sills, chassis sections and strengthening areas, eventually resulting in rusting from within. Due to access problems, it can be near-impossible to apply protective paint within such cavities, but rust-resisting wax or oil-based fluids can be introduced, via drilled and plugged holes, ideally under high pressure from a special spray gun. This can be tricky, so it is recommended that you contact a reputable rust protection specialist such as KWE who will be able to do this for you.

  1. Give your classic car a run in the winter

Some people believe that you shouldn’t use your classic car in the winter because of the unfavourable weather conditions and salt on the roads. In reality, leaving your vehicle unused in the winter can do more harm than good. Ideally, you should aim to start your car at least once a month, taking it for a short drive in dry conditions to bring the engine up to full operating temperature have the aircon on and using the brakes frequently This will ensure that the brake discs remain rust-free, and moving parts remain freed-up. It is important to get the engine thoroughly warm so as to evaporate the harmful acidic moisture that can build up in under-used engines. We advise keeping the aircon on all year round to reduce leakage from the pressure seals.

  1. Store your classic car correctly

Storage of your classic car is very important, particularly in the winter. The best place to store your vehicle is within a dry and airy barn, garage or large carport on a concrete or other dry base. Wood or brick garages are preferable to pre-cast concrete units, which tend to ‘sweat’ in very cold conditions. The objective is to keep air flowing around the car, but not let rain fall on it. There should be no damp coming up from the ground, so parking the car on grass or earth is not advised. One way to avoid the damp problem associated with storage is to use an inflatable plastic tent, with fans to keep air moving inside, or a portable frame garage tent. Disconnect the battery (see also our battery care article) and, if the car is under cover, open the windows a little to keep the inside aired.

We do not recommend full body covers outdoors for long term storage outside because the paint is likely to be damaged by wind-induced abrasion and can create micro-blistering in the paint. Any damp under the car will be trapped and start causing rust and mould to grow. However, especially with convertibles, we recommend use of a cap or roof cover which just covers the roof. If the car is stored indoors then a lightweight indoor cover is recommended to keep the dust off. Be aware of rodent damage – mice frequently chew through cables and hoses on undisturbed cars. We recommend placing several (pet-safe) mousetraps around the car.

  1. Consult a classic car specialist

To ensure that you aren’t leaving the rusting of your classic car to chance, why not speak to the experts? KWE are very experienced in preventing and remedying rust, and have developed techniques which make our cars last a lot longer than average. We know where to look for rust, and offer both cavity wax injection for box sections, and full underbody sealant renewal.

We recommend repeating this inspection and proofing process every second year. This regime vastly reduces the chance of further rusting. If the customer specifies a bare metal re-spray it is then possible to inspect any previous topside problems and rectify them if necessary.

IMG_0890  IMG_1557

respray  IMG_2063

We’ll ensure that your classic car doesn’t rust away. Download our pdf article on the subject: CavityWaxInjection for more information on our cavity wax rust protection, service or call us on +44 (0) 1635 30030.

KWE launches email newsletters for regular customer updates

The results from our recent customer survey helped us to realise that many of you desired a more regular newsletter.

As a result, we’re going to increase the frequency of our newsletters, and concentrate on email distribution to ensure that everyone receives our regular monthly updates straight to their inbox.

This appears to fulfil what most of our customers and contacts want, but we do apologise to those who appreciated the former printed versions.

We hope you will find these electronic newsletters to be a much faster, easier way to keep up to date with our activities and related classic car news.

Chris Knowles, KWE Cars

Customer survey leads to improvements

Earlier this year we asked you to take part in a customer opinion survey to find out how we could improve the services we offer here at KWE Cars. 157 of you took the time to tell us how we are doing and what we could improve. It was an amazing response and we are genuinely very grateful for all the feedback.

We’ve used the information from the survey to develop a strategy to help grow the business and improve our marketing. Those of you who are regular visitors to our website will see that we’ve already made a start. Our new website went live a few weeks ago and, as a direct result of the feedback, we’ve started to offer a few Jaguar XJS cars for sale. As well as selling classic cars we’ve worked on, we’ll also be highlighting good examples that catch our eye from other online sources – all good excuses to keep coming back to the website!

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