875014, and Other Miracles

Xke sn 875014

14th E-type

The end of the year is almost upon us again, and although we have two cars in the complete restoration queue and one for major renovation, it’s not like it is in June when the floodgates  really swing open  and we’re completely awash in tune ups, breakdowns, brake jobs, and sundry titivations too numerous to mention, or even remember.

One which I do remember is pictured here:  It’s the 14th left hand drive open two seat E-type off the Jaguar assembly line in 1961, and after a hiatus of many years the owner summoned the gumption, and cracked his checkbook open just enough for us to get it in running order again.

Morgan +4

Morgan on a Vermont road

We shall have more to say about it in another week or two.  In the meantime you can have a look at the January cover story in Hemmings Sports & Exotic Cars.

Although we had a heavy snowfall the day before Thanksgiving which is still on the ground here, the late fall and opening days of winter have really been quite mild overall, and this image of the Morgan plus 4 was taken within 48 hours of that storm.  We have been graced with an abundance of interesting and  rewarding work this year, running the gamut from #875014, pictured above (and about half a dozen of its series 1 breathern) thru a lowly Spitfire shipped up from Houston, Texas, another car coming back from a Rip Van Winkle-like slumber.  You can see its abbreviated roadtest at the bottom of the page.


an XKE V12 engine

Jaguar 5.3 litre V12

Of course these first two pictures represent the culmination of an event.  The next two are about getting there.

Strictly as an exercise in proving a theory, Patrick took on an unusual spare time project and converted his series 3 E-type 2+2 from an automatic to a four speed manual.  Unlike mine or yours, however, he has a reasonable chance of actually seeing the 160 mph register on his speedometer because his car has a little something extra, a ‘compact’ “A” series Laycock deNormanville overdrive.  Here’s the seat of the pants math:

MG TD XPAG engine

Warner sets cam timing on an XPAG engine

On the installed 3.54 rear axle, direct drive 4th should be good for about 130 mph at 6000 rpm.  Add in the 20% overdrive reduction and the terminal velocity comes up to around 155 mph, exclusive of factors such as increased rolling diameter of the tires at high speeds and the fact the torque curve goes flat after about 5750 rpm.  We’ll let you know when we find out.

Looking back through the photo archives I see we overhauled at least four engines over the course of last winter, mostly MG’s but Jaguar as well.

Spitfire in snow

A Texan out of its element

The picture above  is a fairly typical snapshot of an MG TD going together. Warner can be sen here establishing the cam timing on a 255 degree Cam Techniques camshaft.  In my experience of these engines this was a much better bump up cam than the Crane cam available from Moss Motors, which has always seemed like much Fuss and very little Bother.  Alas, Cam Techniques is no more, so if you’re gonna bother, the standard grind Crane (part # 342-0002) is a much better cam.

Back to an earlier topic, I’m attaching a pictorial explanation of the short road test cycle of the Texas Spitfire.  We had just enough time to run it out of the shop and up the road into the barn before the salt spreader came thru minutes later.

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