XK120 Restoration

In a world captivated by the swift pace of digital progress and cutting-edge technology that reigns supreme, there exists a realm that preserves the magnificence of a bygone era.

Owen Automotive is proud to announce the restoration of 1952 Jaguar XK120 chassis 679514 from the collection of Micheal Woodward in North Saanich BC Canada. Key partners are Jetstream Custom Auto, Electroshine Metal Finishing and Rightway Heritage Trimming.

679514 is of the first type of XK120 FHC produced at the Foleshill factory in it’s original hue of Opalescent (metallic) bronze with biscuit interior. It retains the matching engine W4520-8, body J1517, gearbox, JL9875, starter, generator and william mills-founded cylinder head.

As a type produced at the Foleshill factory, this iconic XK would have been among the few painted in 8 coats of nitro cellulose lacquer before the shift to deep-base enamel paint that came in late 1952 at the Browns Lane factory. As such, Sean at Jetstream has recreated a pearlescent hue reminiscent of this color that was only offered on the early Foleshill factory xk120s.

A quirk of the restoration was the inside panels which were all painted black at Foleshill to keep production costs down. Also a nickel shortage in 1952 meant that the rear taillight housings were painted bodycolor in lieu of chrome. These details are all reflected in the famous LWK707 Montlhéry record breaking XK120 owned by the Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust in the exact same color scheme.

Building an AC ACE-Bristol!

In this video we do final dry assembly of a 1961 AC ACE-Bristol BEX1169 and a 1952 Jaguar XK120 FHC Chassis 679514. On the Ace we fit the grill, headlight rings, doors, hood, trunk then do a testdrive. XK120 work included rebuilding the Lucas C45PVS Generator then doing a first engine run.

E-Type 885307 Found

Owen Automotive is excited to share the discovery and purchase of 1962 Jaguar E-Type FHC chassis 885307 from a barn in Surrey BC, CANADA. It has not been seen since long-term storage starting in 1976.

This is an important discovery for early E-Type Coupes as this is the the 307th LHD Coupe of only 500 with the early design features such as welded-in hood louvres and a flat floor.

Furthermore this car is fully matching numbers with its original and rebuilt engine, cylinder head and all the date-coded components including the starter, generator, distributor, hydraulic master cylinders, washer motor and wiper motor.

This car was purchased in 1968 from Montreal and subsequently spent its life on the west coast of BC with Guy W. Newman of Newtronics Industries Ltd. audio and video systems. At his time it was fitted with an Eight-Track stereo and likely seen at Honey Bear’s Disco on 571 Seymour St in Vancouver BC.

We have purchased it in a state of disassembly and engine rebuild which began in 1976. That leaves us with the task of continuing the work to reunite engine R2938 with car. At one point the owner stored his engine in the master bedroom which might explain the white paint and chrome hardware.

More to come!

60th Anniversary of the 1961 E-Type Debut

Sir William Lyons wasn’t entirely prepared when he unveiled the Jaguar E-Type to the press and motor trade at the Restaurant du Parc des Eaux Vives before its debut at the Salon de l’Automobile de Genève in March of 1961. At the last minute Lyons rang up test driver Norman Dewis to “drop everything and bring over the open-top E-Type.”

The story is widely told but worth repeating: Jaguar had two Opalescent Gunmetal Coupes at the Restaurant du Parc des Eaux Vives on March 15th, the day before the big show. 885005 sat inside the restaurant for close up impressions while the high speed test car, 885002 better known as ‘9500HP’ was outside for photoshoots where Lofty stood next to it. Later in the day journalists were driven by Bob Barry on a pre-made hillclimb route. The response to the demonstration runs was so overwhelming that Sir William Lyons had Norman Dewis drive a British Racing Green Roadster ’77 RW’ overnight, from England to Geneva, to be at the hillclimb demonstration the next morning. Norman drove from the experimental shop in England at 745pm, caught the 10pm ferry from Dover and ran into dense fog in the night. By the time he got to the Swiss border, the direct route over the alps to Geneva was closed so the longer alternative drive was taken. Norman then arrived just before the 10am deadline in Geneva. He had no time to rest: ’77 RW’ was fitted with new whitewall tires, filled with fuel so Norman could give demonstration rides that day.

In total Jaguar had three cars at Geneva, one placed on a Persian rug as the centerpiece of Jaguar’s display and the two test development cars, essentially straight from the MIRA test track, outside the show for a hillclimb demonstrations.

Chassis 885005. This LHD Fixed Head Coupé was shown to the public at the 1961 Geneva Motor Show sitting on a Persian rug. In May of 1961 it was sold to Mr. Filippinetti of Scuderia Filippinetti and remained in Switzerland almost all its life. It was restored by Dönni Classic Car AG in 2002-2003 where it was found to be “built up on the structure of an already existing convertible body” as the first hand-built experimental coupe body.

Chassis 885002 ‘9600HP’. The second FHC produced refereed to as ‘Hard Top No .02‘. Used as a development car by Norman Dewis and tested at MIRA to 143 mph and later became one of the two Geneva demonstration cars. Was photographed with Sir William Lyons outside the Restaurant du Parc des Eaux Vives in Geneva. Interesting features include a lack of front bumper overriders and no center grill motif bar which was probably to aid the high-speed tests. At some point converted from LHD to RHD. Purchased by author Philip Porter in 1977 and subsequently restored by CMC Classic Motor Cars to a high standard. Philip Porter reports that 885002 still retains its LHD throttle linkage and has a unique aluminum rear hatch panel.

Chassis 850003 ’77RW’. The famous RHD roadster driven by Norman Dewis from the Experimental Department overnight to Switzerland for test drives. This car was initially prepared for MIRA high-speed testing and fitted with the first production E-Type engine R1001-9. Also used as a press car and featured in numerous early articles for The Motor and Autocar who were both able to achieve 150mph.

For the 60th anniversary Jaguar is releasing six matched pairs of restored 3.8 E-types with custom appointments including an engraved centre console by artist King Nerd, commemorative E-type 60th logo on the bonnet badge, fuel cap, chassis plate, a close-ratio 5-speed manual gearbox, Jaguar Classic Infotainment System, alloy radiator and electronic ignition.