Jaguar XJS Racing
Injury of the month: the repeated hammering of my own hand. A few acetylene burns. Head wounds. Skin loss, spark damage, singed hair. Deafness. Frostbite. Silicosis. Muscle strain. Hurt feelings...
This was once my pride and joy. This is what started it all. Stupid Jaguar. Looks so smart, doesn't she? Deceptive, aren't they, looks? 6 months of bliss, then the lemon revealed its zest...
5 years later, and its useful life is over.
Now it's time to start living for real, the Kutuka way.
It looks a lot more solid than it is.
This does feel a bit odd. I mean, I used to sit here. I once had three girls in this car. The pair in the back were pretty limber, but they did fit. And now I'm killing it....
Yes, that is snow. And yes, I'm working outside. I did put a hat on. And long trousers. Coat? I'm sorry, you've lost me now.
And here's the other culprit, the donor car being valet parked.
Yes, he should really have had his driver's window closed. I mean, what if he'd had a crash?
One careful lady owner, only used on high days and holidays. Some minor car park scuffs, excellent condition for age, FJSH.
When we strip and salvage a car, we take everything. Like the front end. And floors...
A 3.6 on the left, that someone has lifted the shell off.
And on the right the remains of the shell just outside her final resting place...
No, this is the other shell, the stripped V12. Do try to keep up.
Some vandal has already stolen the boot floor...
Well, this is now easy. Take the bits from the left, and out them in the blasted shell on the right.
No. It's about to turn into a horror story, endurance test and general chaos....
STAGE ONE - TWO INTO ONE DOES GO.
you know, because you’re devoted to us now and can’t stop reading of our
antics, we’re building a new car.
a modified class 6 pot intended to race with the JEC series, but without any
significant changes to horsepower, it’s a lightweight road car as far as the
It is a more relaxed
project than the last two, and it is a refreshing way of going about the build,
because for once we’re using and refurbishing stock that we had and building
the car up bolt by bolt, rather than robbing giant chunks out of a crashed car.
The aim is to buy, other than the race parts we need, cable, extinguisher etc,
nothing at all. Zip.
The difference is that
this is a new car, not a reshell of an existing car, so everything must be done
afresh. The shell is my old road car, the cage donor is Philip Comer’s old D
class, but other than the cage we’re using very little of the donor, the
machine we’re building is not the same thing at all.
The goal is a shakedown
run at Snetterton on 7th April 2011. It might be the 8th.
Either way, it’s booked, so this thing has to be there. Unless we change the plan, but it would be good to get it on track early.
We have the shell
already, Andrew’s old V12 auto road car, stripped a full year earlier. Many of
its suspension parts are retained, but few are of much use, as the car was in a
pretty bad state in general.
Usually we prep a shell,
then appear from a dark shed or the still-smoking corpse of a newly-deceased
car with a set of pre-assembled pieces stolen from the wreck, throw them on,
and assemble a car in incredibly-short time.
We like this approach, so
this time round we’ll start with all those pre-assembled pieces that we need
and don’t yet have, then do the shell prep.
At the same time we also
strip the donor car, the crashed Comer machine, for the cage we want out of it.
The welding on the rollcage is less than impressive, looks like a chicken
defecated all over the pieces inserted into the sills. The crash has deformed
the rear wheelarch too, which is something we’d long suspected, the cage is
strong, but the car it attaches to isn’t always the best, which is why we spend
so much time improving it.
Stage one then is to
start with two cars, one ageing, rusty, and retired V12 auto, and one crashed
low-quality 6 pot race car, and strip both to bare shells. One gets weighed in,
the other gets blasted.
The stripped V12 sells
its engine to Ebay. You don’t get much for a 5.3 these days, but it is enough
to pay for the shell to be blasted. We had no use for a V12, we don’t race
them, so it had to go. Glad it found a home, and not just the melting pot.
By the time this exercise
is done, we have reduced two cars to one bodyshell, a cage, a manual gearbox,
pedal box, diff, and windscreen. The crashed car didn’t have a screen. Or a
bonnet. Or wings. Or doors. The V12 had doors, rotten wings, and the wrong
bonnet. Fortunately, as a class E car, the bonnet isn’t steel, and the wings,
well, the wings we can fix, so long as you don’t want to sit on them.
This is, literally, all
we’re using from both donor vehicles though, the suspension etc will all be
built up from bits we have in stock.
A lot of time in the
double strip, but we’re at a point now with a bare, blasted shell, a pile of
bits, and it has cost us nothing but time. Factor in the time and the sums stop
working, so humour us and pretend it was free rather than the £10000 it probably
really cost in man hours. If you put a value on your time for any hobby you’d
never do it.
Ready to begin the
rebuild now then. The fun begins....