Countdown to the Jaguar National Rally
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.