Case his­to­ries

Classic Sports Car - - Contents -

Year of man­u­fac­ture 1953 Recorded mileage 52,146 Ask­ing price £75,000 Ven­dor Cotswold Col­lec­tors Cars, Bibury, Glos; tel: 01242 821600; www.cotswold­cars.com

WHEN IT WAS NEW Price £998 Max power 160bhp Max torque 195lb ft

0-60mph 9.2 secs Top speed 116mph Mpg 19

This Uk-mar­ket drophead has a lovely ex­ter­nal patina, though it was only painted back in its orig­i­nal colour within the past 15 years. Get­ting the su­per­fi­cial blem­ishes out of the way first, there is some crack­ing and star­ring on the left-front cheek, and a few dim­ples and stars in the doors and boot area, plus one at the back of the bon­net, a few small bub­bles and runs in the paint and some pick­ling on the front bumpers. But all of this just con­trib­utes to a lovely char­ac­ter, which con­trasts nicely with the re­fur­bished in­te­rior. This in­volved new seat leather, plus new car­pets from The Trim Cen­tre, and a new lined mo­hair hood and cover by Mick Tur­ley at a cost of £5000. The tim­ber was re­fin­ished at the same time, but the steer­ing wheel was left un­re­stored, which suits it very well.

Door fit is okay on the driver’s side and near-per­fect on the other, which is nor­mal on an XK. The rear-light plinths are pretty good, just slightly blem­ished and not pit­ted. The rear wheels were new in 2004 and all pass the spoke test, though the fronts sound a lit­tle flat­ter, as you’d ex­pect, all in­clud­ing the spare shod with very pe­riod-look­ing Pirelli Cin­tu­ratos.

Un­der the bon­net the engine re­tains its orig­i­nal air trunk­ing, with mesh fil­ter up front. The ex­haust looks fairly re­cent from the man­i­folds back, the alu­minium fuel tank was new in 2012 and there’s a large alu­minium ra­di­a­tor, plus the grease gun still clipped to the left in­ner wing. The oil is clean and just over min­i­mum, and the coolant is full and green­ish. The V5C now matches the chas­sis plate on the car, where for years the log­book was 10 dig­its out.

It starts easily once the slightly tem­per­a­men­tal starter has caught, and drives re­ally well, in a loose-limbed sort of way. The chas­sis is sup­ple on new rub­bers and rear springs, with no clonks, and it pulls well. The only an­noy­ance in an oth­er­wise silent struc­ture is a slightly squeaky driver’s door, though there’s room for ad­just­ment. Oil pres­sure is 40psi at 3000rpm when warm, and tem­per­a­ture is steady at 75º. It comes with a Her­itage Cer­tifi­cate.

SUM­MARY

EX­TE­RIOR

Paint nicely pati­nated, with only su­per­fi­cial blem­ishes

IN­TE­RIOR

New seat leather, car­pets and mo­hair hood and cover

ME­CHAN­I­CALS

Drives re­ally sweetly and pulls well

VALUE ★★★★★★★★✩✩

For Lovely char­ac­ter

Against Not shiny – but that’s the whole point

SHOULD I BUY IT?

Yes, if you want a lovely old thing that’s very us­able. If you want con­cours, look else­where

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