The D Type Jaguar
I have had an interest in Jaguars for most of my life, the earliest recollection being in the 60's, when my Cousin and I were walking from his house and into town (Hull - Yorkshire) We passed by a parked Mk2 with opalescent blue paintwork and dark blue leather interior and both stood ogling it for some time, before continuing. We spoke of this for most of the rest of the walk and wondered who on earth could afford such a splendid car. It must be some very import person, we thought - perhaps a member of the Royal Family, or maybe the Lord Mayor - such were our fantasies in those days. They were certainly rare machines to be seen around the streets of Hull.
When I finally got to own my own car (a Triumph Herald) thoughts of Jaguars slowly slid away. Various cars came and went over the next couple of decades, many of which were hand built from damaged cars and new bodyshells, but nothing really fired my imagination until I saw an XJS parked near to where I worked. This episode encouraged me to embark on the building of an XJS Cabriolet.
As an ex Aero engineer, the thrill is in the build, and a Replica D type seemed a great project.
Jim Marland (Proteus Cars) happened to be a member of our local Jag club and he invited me to visit his factory. I was really impressed and so soon after I bought a kit. This was a long nosed with fin type. I couldn't really justify the cost of a full aluminium one so I opted for the aluminium bottom, GRP top and nose type. This accepts XJ6 donor parts - and a great many which I will make myself. It's not meant to be a job of work to me - just a hobby
I obtained a donor 4.2 big valve late XJ6 series 3 car from a number plate dealer, which was ready for breaking, and except for the parts which I needed, most of it has ended up being recycled. The gearbox went to one club member, the interior to another, and the (working) electric aerial to the guy who does my spraying!
I have stripped and rebuilt all of the suspension components, powder coating the main pieces and replacing the bushes and bearings as I went along. The aim is to get the thing on its wheels only when all of those parts are completely finished. At the moment I intend using the big valve 4.2 XK engine mated to a 5 speed Getrag box, which came from an XJS. I have the choice of making a sandwich plate to go between the engine and the XJS bell housing, or making one to fit between a manual XJ6 bell housing and the Getrag gearbox. This would probably be easier for me to make on my machinery at home
These are a few shots of the real thing, to keep me inspired!
The Kit (Kat) arrives home The 'Tub' at Proteus
Many people keep asking me when this kit car is going to be finished - I have no idea - I just keep doing little bits to it in between building motorbikes and other cars. Not to mention the workshop projects, oh! and work takes up all of my spare time too!
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