Advice applies to restoration and ownership
Matthew Norbury, North Wales Jag Centre
You’ve built a strong reputation for servicing and sales, but how’s the restoration side doing?
It’s doing well, but restoration is a slow process. Customers can’t click their fingers and expect the job to be done like that. I normally expect a job to take between eight and 10 months and you’ve got to take into account the parts supply and the complexity of any Jaguar. It’s a case of not just working on a car, but aiming to do it properly and not cut corners. It’s all the details that count.
Can you give us an example of a car you have restored?
The most recent one was an American-market Series 3 E-type Coupé. It had been prepared and painted but baked too quickly so the paint had cracked and looked like crazy paving. I spent 140 hours on it and there were another 130 hours at the paintshop.
What work did you do?
The seats were trimmed by another company while I tackled the headlining and the trim on the pillars, and the carpets. I also changed every rubber and seal, as well as screws and rivets. Mechanically I converted it to UK-specification, fitting SU carburettors and changing the differential to a UK-market type. The aim was for it to look like a car that’s been properly lookedafter rather than just being restored.
‘It’s a case of not just working on a car, but aiming to do it all properly. Details count’
When it comes to servicing rather than repairs, are you seeing many XJ-Ss and Series/XJ40 XJs?
If we see 10 XJ-Ss in for servicing in a year I’d be surprised. XJ40 saloons are even rarer – the first this year was a couple of weeks ago, from Denmark! On the other hand we do see plenty of XJ8s, XFs and S-Types.
What Jaguars are best value?
All S-Types are great value and they really can’t get any cheaper than they are now. XK8s are definitely great value, too, and I’m often asked for very late first-generation cars.
With an XK8, what should buyers be looking out for?
The floorpans can go on the passenger side, but that’s not catastrophic. The front subframes can go at 70,000 or so miles. If they’re not repaired, further work can cost around £1000. With any XK8, any problems should be nipped in the bud straight away.