Working Our Magic

Hi All!

Firstly, let’s just start off with an apology! It’s been far too long since we last shared anything with you, but we’ve found ourselves with a little more time to focus on getting something down on paper, so to speak. As you may know, we have shut up shop and it’s just us here pottering around on the farm and working on the cars as much as we can without our work force.

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Remember the 2.5 litre SS100 purchased by a customer of ours from the RM Sotherby’s auction in Monaco? (Pictured above – click here to read our previous article ‘Finding The Treasure’ to find out more). Well, after checking over every element of the vehicle, working our Davenport Cars magic and then rebuilding it, the car is finally ready to leave us. We have added a few extra touches, like fitting LED lights to the original head lamps, giving a much stronger beam but using a fraction of the power. We always keep things as close to the genuine article as possible but small changes like this allow the car and it’s owner to drive happily on our modern roads. In addition to the lights, the new owner asked if we would adjust the driving position, as he is quite tall – the average height must have been a lot shorter back in the 1930’s – but it fits like a glove now! This beautiful slice of British heritage will reside at Wappenbury Hall, previously the home of Sir William Lyons or ‘Mr Jaguar’ as he was famously known.

 


 

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Whilst the previously mentioned SS100 was a few months of heavy tweaking, the next project we’re about to talk about is just that, a project! We have a full restoration challenge on our hands with this one. It came to us in a sorry state but we are making headway and every nut and bolt will be taken care of. (Pictured above – click here to read our previous article ‘Finding The Treasure’ to find out more) This 1937 2.5 litre SS100 is currently in our workshop, stripped right back to the bare bones. (Pictured below)
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FMT 984 Ash Frame

The ash frame the car arrived with was not in good enough shape to use, so a new frame was fitted, (Pictured above and left) the same goes too for the aluminium panelling which were all formed and fitted by Lee Olden, our Workshop Manager – A very clever chap indeed, I think you’ll all agree! (Pictured below)

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If you’re anything like us, you can already see the beauty in the craftsmanship even at this stage.

As well as working on the chassis and frame, the engine (pictured below) has also been rebuilt and Dynamometer tested as original SS factory practice.  A new radiator and grill are to be fitted and new set of wings and bonnets have been made by one of our suppliers and are ready to be collected. These will all be assembled and lined up, then removed again. The chassis will be shot blasted and powder coated before all components are checked and re-conditioned as needed. The chassis will be rebuilt along with the axles and brakes, etc. The body will also be fitted to our jig, prepared and painted and ready to be re-fitted to the chassis.

FMT 984 ENGINE

Our trimmer, Ryan (pictured below left) has started stripping the seats, in the photograph below on the right, you can the original leather he found under a layer of the more recent upholstery. It’s always so fascinating to uncover little parts of history. Each car we work on has it’s own story to tell, we’re just another chapter of it’s life, helping them to be enjoyed for generations to come. We will be sure to share the future stages of this restoration with you.

 


 

Moving on from the SS100 to the SS90 we discovered in Jersey all that time ago.  (Pictured below – if you missed our previous blog post about our trip to Jersey, click here)  This car has now left our grasp and has moved on to it’s new owner in Holland. Whilst it was with us, we managed to drive it extensively and fully enjoyed it. We were pleasantly surprised, it’s a very powerful motor and drives and handles very well indeed with no issues at all. These cars were the sports version of the SS1, they’re much lighter due to the aluminium body and ash frame and perform very well. We made a few period improvements and sent it on it’s way to a new home.

This will certainly be a car we will miss.

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We come across some sights in this line of work, recently we had a call from a Jaguar MK4 1.5 litre owner who described their vehicle as ‘poor starting and lacking in power’. We wondered how it ever managed to run at all, as when we took a closer look at it to find the problem, we discovered this! See below.

Head Gasket

Another phone call from a 1.5 Litre of 1936/37 side valve SS owner who told us the car was ‘very smokey and keeps oiling the plug up on the number one cylinder.’  What we found was actually something we’ve seen a number of times before. A common mistake we see by people who have rebuilt SS, MK4 and MK5 engines, is when it comes to reassembly,  they don’t realise that the cam follower blocks are held on by two bolts but two are longer than the others as they hold the oil pump driveshaft bridge bracket. As you can see in the picture below, the result of this is that one of the longer bolts has protruded through the cylinder wall, hitting the piston and taken a chunk out of the side. Ooops!

Piston

 

And last but not least, we thought we’d share a few of our recent additions that we’ve added to our list of parts you are able to purchase from us. If you are interested, please get in touch!

  • New 2.5 Litre Crankshafts
  • New 2.5 Litre Steel Connecting Rods
  • SS1 New Cylinder Heads 20HP
  • SS1 New Inlet Manifolds for S.U Solex or RAG Carburettors
  • 2.5/3.5 Litre Camshafts and Rocker Shafts
  • New SS Wheel Spinners – (See picture below)

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Thank you for spending a while with us here reading about what we’ve been up to.  We will try and bring you more to keep you occupied if you’re too, finding you have a little more time on your hands. Stay safe and well – from our family to yours!

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