Butch, John, Steve and I have been holding down the fort during the week, and we have been very, very busy. Patrick has been in every Saturday (and some Sundays) for more than a month putting transmissions together.
This past Saturday he finished up George Arsenault’s Healey Side Shift. George drove down from Bridgton, Maine to supervise the final assembly. Next up there is another 4-synchro E-type TX in his queue.
Wednesday it stopped raining long enough to pack the BJ8 off to Panel Palace to install the hood, grill, trunk lid & bumpers. We’re hopeful, but not confident that we’ll see it again in six to eight weeks so that we can finish running it in and make any necessary adjustments.
That means Butch is now back on the Austin Mini Panel Van which was painstakingly rebuilt by East Coast Collision & Restoration. It’s really going to be a big moment here when it’s back on the road again in a few weeks.
While John has been working thru a log jam of MGB’s with the usual problems, Steve has finished up a steering box conversion in an MG TC. I asked him to road test the car before he started so that he’d have a baseline for comparison, and he reported that it scared him pretty good at speeds above 30mph.
Some readers may already know our rating system for TC’s, which is the terminal velocity (usually anything above 40 mph) where you are truly in doubt of where the car is actually headed. The rare TC will approach 50 mph with its original
steering box in excellent condition, but those cars are few and far between. Steve’s efforts delivered a substantial reward. After he drove it, I drove it, and it was with no small amount of surprise when, glancing at the speedometer as I found myself gaining on a black BMW, I was already well past the magical 50 mph threshold.
Like the MG TC, the Jaguar XK 120 is one of the greatest automotive shapes of all time. It is a clean and stunningly well proportioned and functional design. As much as I prefer the XK 140 on purely mechanical grounds, the XK 120 has it all, and that makes the XK 120 Fixed Head Coupe an even more remarkable piece of machinery, because in my judgment the shape, if anything, is even better. Brakes, which we’ll be getting after next week, will make this Jaguar a complete package.
Another Milestone Car: On a rainy Monday the winter beater GT rolled past 100,000 miles