Count­down to the Jaguar Na­tional Rally

New Zealand Classic Car - - Front Page - Words and pho­tos: Quin­ton Tay­lor

The New Zealand Jaguar Na­tional Rally in In­ver­cargill is set to be­gin on March 30 this year, and it’s a full house of en­tries for the Easter event.

For the past few weeks, it has been just a lit­tle stress­ful for one en­trant and his fam­ily, Jeremy Hatch of East Ta­maki, bet­ter known as the pro­pri­etor of Jaguar Work­shop.

Jeremy is cur­rently re­build­ing a very spe­cial Mk1 Jaguar sa­loon and hopes to have enough days left over to drive down to the rally. We dis­cussed com­pil­ing a blow-by-blow ac­count of the re­build and the jour­ney to the na­tion­als a few weeks ago on a par­tic­u­larly busy day for Jeremy.

The pre­vi­ous few weeks had seen all the car’s run­ning gear strewn over the floor of his work­shop. Jeremy ex­plained that he had “a lot of work to cram in be­tween now and un­til we leave on the trip from the 24th March. I went into this think­ing that we had heaps of time, yet here we are on the count­down.”

The 1958 Mk1 was a fa­mil­iar sight on race­tracks some years ago, driven by Jeremy’s fa­ther. The car was fit­ted with a 3.8-litre en­gine, which has now been re­moved from the car and will be re­placed with a 4.2-litre unit.

Mk1 Jaguars are very rare now, with few still on the road. This one should be quite a po­tent road car.

“Progress has been slow with the short-stud 4.2-litre en­gine that’s re­plac­ing the 3.8-litre, which has been found to have some is­sues, like a few of the con-rod split cot­ter pins have come adrift and gone through the oil pump and bear­ings!” Jeremy told us.

A lim­ited-slip dif­fer­en­tial (LSD), rackand-pin­ion power steer­ing, new dampers, and a MKII fuel tank are just a few in a long line of mod­i­fi­ca­tions to take place as this car pro­gresses.

“I have the con­fi­dence that it can be done, but it will be down to the wire,” he said. “Fin­gers crossed it should be re­li­able, as it has al­ways been through­out the years. Touch wood!”

New Zealand Clas­sic Car writer Quin­ton Tay­lor re­cently bought an over­drive gear­box off Jeremy for his own Jaguar Mk1 project, so we’re very in­ter­ested to see how Jeremy’s mod­i­fi­ca­tions shape up in his ex­am­ple.

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