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.
Here are a few highlights from the classic car industry from the last few months….
Classic car experts have warned that chrome plating will disappear as a decorative feature from 2019 if new EU regulations come into force. The EU seeks to prevent the use of hexavalent chromium, which it views as a carcinogen and is on its list of banned substances.
The proposed substitute, trivalent chromium, has caused concern for plating companies as it’s not viewed as tough enough to withstand the rigours of everyday driving. Unlike hexavalent, trivalent does not self-repair – if the surface is scratched the part is likely to corrode.
As classic car parts are often no longer in manufacture, the ability to re-chrome existing parts is important for restorers. Unless an exclusion to the ban is sought and granted, this option will no longer be available to us in Europe.
Reaction to a proposal from the Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs (FBHVC) to shift the cut-off for historic vehicle status to 30 years is revealed in an article by www.classiccarsforsale.co.uk.
The proposed shift will see 30-year old cars become eligible for vehicle exercise duty (VED) exemption. Currently only cars over 40 years old qualify for this status. The article reports mixed opinions on how this will affect the industry.
Jaguar Land Rover’s manufacturing success continues
The UK motoring industry is in a buoyant mood after news that Jaguar Land Rover is to create a further 1300 jobs at its manufacturing site in Solihull. The company recently announced it was adding a new model to its Jaguar portfolio, which will follow the Jaguar XE into production at new facilities within the world-renowned plant.
Collectively the size of 22 football pitches, the new state-of-the-art facilities bring the Jaguar brand to Solihull for the first time. The investment in the facility is the largest in its 70-year history and testament to the company’s aim of accelerating its industry-leading expertise in aluminium and lightweight technologies.
At a London press launch in September 1975, Jaguar unveiled its new sports tourer model – the XJS. Later this year, as we approach its 40th birthday, we’ll mark the occasion with a fitting celebration. Watch this space!
For more information on the history of this model, visit our website.
For this month’s ‘car of the month’, we’re rather proud to show you this beautiful 5.3 V12 Jaguar Coupe in the much-favoured part facelift body. It’s been in our workshop undergoing a full rebuild and is now ready to go to its new (and very excited) owner.
Its story began when our client saw a similar looking car on our website and asked us: “Can you build me one like that, but with a V12 engine?” A challenge we relish here at KWE! The result? A top class XJS, which we think you’ll agree really looks the part.
Here’s how we did it:
We sourced a good quality donor car in Solent Blue, stripped it back and resprayed it Meteor Red and fully rebuilt the engine, complete with new cooling system and renewed engine bay. We also fitted stainless steel exhausts with low-loss catalytic converters.
The interior was fully retrimmed with new magnolia leather, bird’s eye maple wood and cream carpet. We fitted a top-of-the-range audio system with flip out screen, satnav, Bluetooth and DAB, and high-end speakers.
The full list of work includes:
Whether it’s rebuilding, repairing or upgrading, we can help you design the specification for your classic Jaguar XJS car. For more information on our specialist services, call 01635 30030 or visit www.kwecars.com
As this year’s festivities begin to roll out once more, it’s time to get that Christmas shopping done and dusted. If you’ve got a motor enthusiast in your family passionate about classic Jaguar cars, then look no further. Here’s our pick of gift ideas to get your Christmas shopping on the right track.
Price: £42-£110. Available from: Dents.co.uk
For him or for her, treat a loved one to a luxurious pair of driving gloves from Dents. Perfect for those frosty winter mornings, driving gloves ensure total control behind the wheel, whilst making sure you are still the epitome of style in your prized possession.
This beautifully designed book charts the history of Jaguar since its inception in 1922 and contains plenty of previously unseen material to warrant the attention of diehard Jaguar enthusiasts.
Show off your love for Jaguar each time you make a brew with this stylish bone china mug from SNG Barratt. It celebrates the history of Jaguar cars in true retro style – perfect for your tea on Christmas morning!
Who wouldn’t want this key ring to go with their beautiful car? The perfect accessory for any Jaguar car owner, this circular key ring will have their heart jumping for joy.
Price: Varies. Available from: DVLA
Make a loved one’s prized possession even more individual – buy a personalised number plate for their car. Not only is this a unique, one of a kind gift, it also looks great when you’re out on the roads. Cost is dependent on which letter-number combination you choose.
Price: £49.50 (family ticket). Available from: Beaulieu.co.uk
Beaulieu is the perfect destination for any true classic car enthusiast. With the world famous National Motor Museum, home to a stunning collection of classic and modern cars, Palace House, and historic Beaulieu Abbey, Beaulieu is a guaranteed great day out for the whole family.
Price: Varies. Available from: Various experience day sites.
Fancy yourself as a budding racing driver, or know someone who does? Why not put their driving skills to the test with a track day experience? From super cars to classic motors, you are sure to find something to excite any motoring enthusiast. Track days vary in price depending on which cars are available, and for how long you choose to drive.
The ultimate gift! Our elves will be only too happy to assist your loved one with the restoration of a classic Jaguar car. Whether it’s rebuilding, repairing or upgrading, we’ll help design it to your personal specification. For more information about our services call 01635 30030 or visit www.kwecars.com
Merry Christmas from all at KWE Cars
This 1989 convertible XJS exudes sophistication with its sleek chrome and tan leather interior. Travelling thousands of miles from Malta, this fine specimen, fondly known as Jeremy, has made quite a journey, and is a far cry from the tired looking car we started work on earlier this year.
On arrival at KWE, it quickly became apparent that the bodywork was in much worse condition than was originally suspected. We found out that the car had been involved in a frontal collision, large amounts of rust were present, and much of it had been disguised with filler and newspaper!
As you know, one of the biggest potential dangers to your classic car’s wellbeing is rust. Rust can quickly take hold of a vehicle, particularly in the winter months, making your prized possession unsafe to drive.
Hot on the heels of our blog post all about rust last month, this video shows you how we were able to transform and restore this XJS Convertible back to its former glory. After rebuilding the rust decayed doors, repairing all the holes and straightening the panels, we applied our specialist rust treatment procedure to all the hidden structural box sections. We hope you enjoy the results!
Let KWE cars ensure your classic Jaguar doesn’t rust away this winter. For more information visit our website or call us on +44 (0) 1635 30030.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.