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    CHASING CARS Quentin Willson’s hot tips

    / #Jaguar-XK8 / #Jaguar-XK / #Jaguar-XKR / #Jaguar-XKR-X100 / #Jaguar / #Jaguar-XKR-Convertible-X100 / #Jaguar-XKR-Convertible / #Jaguar-XK8-Convertible-X100
    is gaining a following

    For around £10k Ian Callum’s capable and elegant coupé is looking a great buy

    I see opportunities in the 1998 to 2005 X100 XKRs. The trade has been squeezing prices up over the last couple of years and there are lots of low-milers up at £25k-plus, but last month H&H hammed down two of the supercharged Jags at very reasonable money. A blue ’1999 convertible with 46,000 miles and three owners made £12,365 and a black 2003 coupé with 76k made just £8437. For a get-in-and-go neo classic that you could use every day this is no money at all. And we’ve forgotten just how good the old-shape XKR is. Top end is a limited 155mph, 60mph comes up in less than six seconds and the burble from the V8 is narcotic. I remember driving across Italy in a 4.2 R convertible and slip-streaming a Ferrari 456GT for miles on the autostrada at 140mph without any fuss at all.

    Convertibles are the most desirable with the 2003-on 406bhp 4.2 #V8 the best engine. Early launch-year 1998 4.0 cars are worth watching along with special editions including the Silverstone, XKR 100, 400 and the final edition XKR-S.

    There were issues with the #Nikasil bore liners on the pre-2000 4.0-litre engines but most will have been changed by Jaguar under warranty. Upper timing chain tensioners and water pump impellers were revised after 2001, so make sure these have been done too. The six-speed #ZF autos are better on the 4.2s than the earlier Mercedes ’box but always chose an XKR that has a long history and try for a sub-50,000 miler.

    Prices are wobbling quite seriously and a private seller in Ashington is advertising a ’ #1999 blue convertible with 75k, history and all old MoTs for only £6400. Dip into those online ads and you’ll see cheap XKRs popping up regularly now.

    Think of the XKR as a much faster Mercedes-Benz SL and you’ll understand the appeal. They may feel nose heavy on B-roads but their straight-line heave is remarkable.

    As long as they’ve been serviced properly they’re also refreshingly reliable and rust-resistant. The XKR may not be investment quality quite yet but their performance-for-value index is compelling and those curvy lines are maturing nicely. For less than ten grand this is a rapid classic Jag worth taking seriously.

    ‘We’ve forgotten how good old-shape XKRs are – their straight-line heave is quite remarkable’

    VALUE 2010 £18k
    VALUE NOW £15k
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    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
    Specialism #Jaguar-E-type 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.
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