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Jaguar Mk2 Wide Bodied 2 Door Custom

Jaguar Mk2 Wide Bodied 2 Door Custom

This is the story of Jack. Jack is an ordinary guy like you and I but he has a dark secret. Jack is building the Mother of all Mk2 Jaguars.

Let’s get this out of the way right at the start. If you are a purist and think Jack should not do this to his car then you should have bought it yourself! Classic Cars are to be driven and if this is how Jack see’s his Classic Car then that’s absolutely fine with us. In fact it is more than fine and we cannot wait to see the end result.

This car has gone from a standard old Mk2 Jaguar into a wide bodied, 2 door custom beast and it looks amazing. Yes this is a huge project and is well in the league of a Discovery TV program but as budding restorers we can all learn something from this build.

If you read our chat with Jack below you will understand that he is not someone who “Gives Up”. Trials and tribulations have beset him and he is still on the path.

This is a quality we all need sometimes when it comes to our cars. Strangely  enough I was watching Batman last night and there was a very pertinent line. Wayne Snr to Wayne Jnr “Why do we fall Bruce? So we can learn to get back up”.

I personally have had many car task’s not go as planned (maybe too many!) and always walk away, have a cup of tea and when I return all is ok again. Restoring and working on classic cars is just like that sometimes.

So we can be certain that Jack will get this car completed.

Have a read about the car below from the man himself, check out the pictures and watch Jack’s videos. Any questions then simply leave a comment at the bottom.

 

What led me to want to build a modified car
So a bit of history, my father has always been into cars in a big way, he had a couple of garages when I was young but through one thing or another they never fully worked out.
 
Being the eldest of his children I was imbued with what he was doing and as I grew up my life has been around cars and commercial vehicles plus when I have been unemployed I used to do a bit of work for a friend in his garage welding up triumph spitfires and bay window vw campers plus other bits and pieces.
 
My working career has been in the fabricator fitter, welder field building road tankers, fire engines and commercial body repairs.
 
So when I got married 8 years ago my mother in law gave me a stack of money to start a business restoring classic cars and modifying them, this was just before the recession kicked in, so a year or so later I had lost all the The original Black Mk2money and I was at a loose end wondering what to do.
 
I had a friend who had a garage and he let me put a 61 MGA coupe there that I was nearly finished with and when I was not doing that car I was doing some part time work building heat exchange units for marine engines.
 
My brother who I had gone into business previously with asked if I wanted to get an industrial unit with him so he could do his painting and I could put the finished mga there and a black mk2 Jag I had also been working on when I had our business, plus I had a hammered  mk2 jag I had purchased for some parts to do the black mk2.
 
So I said yes and that is where I am today, I sold the mga and started on my black Jag then my brother asked if I fancied doing a project together to try and get the business going again.  
 
I discussed it with the wife and after a short period we bought a series 2 2+2 E type jag to build (it was going cheap) and whilst we were on with that we also discussed doing something with the wreck of a mk2 I had bought for parts, not much longer my brother passed away, so I was left to finish the E type and then once again I was at a bit of a loose end.
 
I had the black mk2 to finish but I was somewhat confidant that I could try and put myself back on my feet if I were to build this modified mk2 jag and if nothing else I would have a nice car and an asset to boot.
 
 
What made me choose a mk2 jaguar as the project car?
Years ago I worked in a garage stroke scrapyard, one day my boss went and picked up a mk2 Jaguar from a company called “Bancroft jaguar” (if memory serves me correct) I had never seen a mk2 Jaguar before, or at least one had never registered to me when I might have seen one in a magazine, anyway I fell in love with that car and managed to get the rolling shell and at the time was determined to make it like new but fate had other plans for that car and it was stolen, that is another story though.
 
So when I got married I decided to get another mk2 Jag for me and the wife to drive around in (once rebuilt) my wife is Taiwanese and she thought I had wasted a lot of money on a piece of scrap (it did have a tree growing through the boot:O)

Check Out The Videos Of Jack’s Build

[srizonytalbum id=1]

 
Do I have a finished car in my head and did I do any drawings before I started the project?
Yes, I am a firm believer that you should always plan out a project before entering the game, so I discussed some ideas with my brother and he put some forth as well and I then went away and made some crude drawings of what I wanted to see in the body (these were drawn to scale from some scale drawings I copied off the internet) as for the interior I have some ideas for that as well and I will draw them up to get a rough idea of what I want to see.
 
Have I ever built a custom car before like this?
Yes and no, I have done bits and pieces like engine swaps, brake and steering upgrades, things like that and a bit of body moulding like body kits, but as for building new panels from steel with the English wheel, that I hadn’t done before, though I had read a lot of literature about that sort of thing, plus you tube and the like is very valuable as well, so this build has been a real learning curve for me especially putting all I know together in one place.
 
 
What advice would I give to those who want to do something like this?
I think firstly, be honest with yourself, recognise your short falls because when we get to this point, that is the point at which you can look at your weaknesses and build them up, so when you actually get to build your project you will be able to work through problems which will occur and there will be less likelihood of you quitting your project.
 
As I have said earlier on, plan the car out, go get advice where you can if you need it.
 
If the car is going to be a classic which you will be modifying, restore the thing first and be methodical about it, it should not be like the bull in a china shop syndrome, I have seen and heard of so many cars that have had the guts cut out of them then when they have been welded back together nothing mates up and that is the end of that.
 
Also I see cars with all the paint stripped off the shell because of eager feet, these jobs can take years to build especially if time is limited and the last thing you want to be doing is dealing with heavy rusting on the body, just leave it until you are ready for the body prep.
 
The other obvious fact is cost of the build, try and get a ball park figure of the build. This can bring us to our senses; let’s not waste time or money.
 
Another thing one sees now and again is people cutting corners, you are going to be driving this thing down the road, and the last thing we want is something nasty happening to you or others!!! Be sensible.
 
Knowing what I know now would I build another?
Too right!!! I have a number of ideas brewing already for another build and if I pull that one off I think it will be special.
 
When I have built a car whether it is just a restoration or like the one I am doing now, it’s great to see the feedback, it makes one feel really good and others get pleasure from them as well.
 
 
What engine and drive train is going into the car?
Well one of the things I wanted to do was try keep it all jaguar, it’s engine had to be a lot lighter, it was to have a modern manual box and the rear axle had to be independent, the brake also on the front were to be bigger and it had to have a modern rack and pinion steering.
 
So parts, well the Jaguar xjs 3.6 manual is perfect for the engine and box + prop, the front brakes come from a XJS V12 as does the rear axle and the rack and pinion steering comes from a XJ308 (which I modified) although I am looking at doing something a little different with the rack and pinion setup (I wish to try and cut down even further on bump steer) to make a more stable handling car.
 
Some might ask why the use of theAJ6 3.6 instead of the 4 litre, well the engine was designed as a 3.6 and so that makes it a better balanced engine, just as the XK 3.4 engine is the sweetest revving unit of that design.
 
The other reason for this engine is it is a very strong all aluminium unit, and it has a 4 valve head set up.
 

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