In pursuit of perfection - New Forest Classic Cars. You might have seen the odd #Jaguar-XK
in the light and airy workshops of New Forest Classic Cars on the edge of Lymington, but the focus is firmly on E-types - and Sis at that.
The game here is restoration and the work is a mixture of customer cars, which might have been bought after the stripdown and rebuild began, and the firm’s own vehicles for sale - slotted in as the schedule allows. The earliest car currently in progress is a 1961 fixed-head and the latest is a 1964 roadster that came to the UK 20 years ago. The 1965 drophead with factory hardtop was the demonstrator but is now for sale. It’s POA because this ground-up approach doesn’t come cheap, so think in the £150,000 ballpark. #New-Forest-Classic-Cars
Staff 17 Hourly rate each job is priced individually
restoration (mainly Series 1).
Location Wellworthy Road, Lymington, Hampshire S041 8JY
Tel 01590 610929
Web newforestclassiccars. com
It all escalated when the business, then in small workshops in town, so impressed a customer it was restoring an Jaguar-E-type for that he bought the company and all its stock. Eighteen months later, about three years ago, NFCC moved into its current base, where there’s plenty of room to move seven cars around.
“We’re a bit anal about keeping it tidy!” confesses #Matt-Draysey,
who, as technical advisor, looks after the day-to-day running of the show.
On the ground floor there’s also the showroom, plus bodyshop and paint prep room, with spray booth and blast cell self-contained satel-lites. Upstairs is the engine shop, with “dirty” rooms for dismantling and a clean shop next door, plus the stores and in-house trimming, and a waiting area for customers that doubles as a boardroom. Here you can peruse the ‘books’. Each project - ideally an untouched original vehicle, often sourced from the States - comes with a hard-bound photographic record of the work.
About eight cars go through the process every year, each one taking six months or so to do. “It depends on the condition of the shell,” says Draysey. “It takes longer if all we’re keeping is the bulkhead.” Cars retain proper concours-level details such as spot-welds showing under the rear pans, which are often filled over in a heavy-handed restoration.
Angie Faulkener tidies cockpit of roadster.
Daniel Smith covers rebolstered bucket.
Mark Read checks crank with micrometer.
Sensible modifications are a fact of life for an #Jaguar
E-type that’s going to be used on today’s roads so, as well as an engine overhaul with #Weber
carbs and high-capacity radiators, the menu includes five-speed gear-boxes and brake upgrades, as well as a choice of wheel widths and tyres. The default is to original spec, but with discreet improvements such as extra heat- and sound-proofing under the carpets, plus electronic ignition and a high-torque starter.
‘The difference is in the detail,’ is the motto, and one recent innovation has been to replicate toolkits using original-sized spanners and authentic Thor hammer.
There’s also some high-tech 3D scanning in the air that will help to ensure conformity, so watch this space. #Paul-Hardiman.