C type XK 120 engine (helping a friend who was being fleeced!)

Mathew, I helped the owner out as he was really under pressure from two people trying to get the engine and chassis parts for nothing and he was in a hole financially, that’s all. I have no knowledge of it’s worth and joined this forum to ask where best to advertise it, ideally for an enthusiast, rather than a dealer. The engine is in the UK with the gentleman who carried out the rebuild, the owner lives in France and that is about all I know. I would just put it on Ebay, but I wouldn’t burden the rebuilder with the hassle of the endless stream of “tyre kickers” and dreamers enquiries that arise in many instances, I also live in France, so can’t deal with Ebay enquiries either.

I’d appreciate any guidance/advice regarding selling the engine, as I am not a “Jaguar” enthusiast with knowledge of engine values or where to start to sell it for him.

Kind regards, Derek Brock

The only real solution is to get the engine shipped back and sell it as a job lot project with plenty of photos on a classic car selling web site. Havings bits here and there is the surest way to get the lowest price possible.

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The engine weighs about 500 lbs/220kgs. Now work out the cost of crating it and transporting it from the UK to France. You’ve probably lost money when you’ve sold it, and that depends on the condition. Now if the chassis no longer exists (where did that go?) and no parts for a build-up ever existed, then all we are left with was an engine. I just can’t understand why on earth Mr Spender even contemplated starting the whole thing if he hadn’t the means to buy and build (or have built) a C-type which, once completed, could never ever get registered (UK excepted) in France or for that matter in the whole of Europe, South Africa, Australia or New Zealand just for starters. This whole story just doesn’t stack up. Just take a look here to see what sellers are asking for various cars on the market in Europe.

Most of these are either scammers or more likely dreamers. Prices have crashed in the last two years

. By the way,my XKSS met the requirements for French registration because it passed the 30 years of age test - and I had t0 prove that in writing. Most of these just can’t have a hope in hell of getting registered.

. If the non-existent chassis was, like mine, a real chassis he’d paid dearly for it. Then it needs another £25,000 for the alloy shell, and then we come to the correct suspension and - the list goes on. I sold my car with FIA papers, ready to race, for £175,000 some years back and it would cost not far short of that today just to build a race-ready car. Think at least £25,000 just for the engine.

I’ve left a message for John to ring me (I think he must be on holiday) and we’ll see if we can raise £50 or whatever.

This is a very succinct summary of the entire thread.


Well, the truth will out as they say. Apparently Mr Spender had the drawings for a C-type chassis but never got around to building it, so that clears up the history of the “missing” chassis. A few spars were made and no more. He had had built for himself a big garage at the end of his land but then ran out of money. He had financial problems and was bailed out by his builder, and if I am correctly informed was it you, Mr Brock, who is now the owner of the engine (which was in pieces) and was was it you got John Burton to rebuild it? John is it bit vague on who was who all these years later. By the way whoever it was paid John £1,000 for the engine rebuild, which, by the way is from a MK VII if you want to know. John is quite happy to give it away since he doesn’t want it and it is just blocking up space and has been for some years. John retired about ten years back and plays with his own cars which are now pre-war Sunbeams.

So here are a few conundrums to answer.

  1. To whom does Mr Spender owe the £2,000
  2. Who sent the heavies to recover the debt?
  3. To whom does the engine actually belong and went to see John about getting it back to France?

For the rest we can forget it. There never was a chassis or body or parts to build up. Mr Spender lost all interest some years back.


hmmm. I think I’ll just wait for the movie…


Good morning Tony, it seems this matter has somewhat detracted from my original thread regarding where to sell this engine, which appears not to be what I was told, you say it is a MK VII, which means nothing to me as a layman, so I’m still in the dark. I relayed what I had been told by Nick Spender, he told me there were parts for three chassis, so news to me there is not, however, as I am not involved in the sale of these, this is (thankfully) not my problem.

To clarify my part in this, I am not a nor his builder, we lent money to tide them over against the sale of the engine, so if I am “the owner” that is some surprise too. I was told by Nick it was a “C” type engine, which now seems to be not the case, neither was it myself who engaged John to rebuild the engine, but Mr Spender, I’m surprised John did not state that to be the case directly. For the record, when I visited John, there were two “C” types in the workshop, along with an Alvis, very nice cars… but no Sunbeams, maybe these are elsewhere or perhaps a new direction fo him.

With regards to visiting “heavies” that has never been the case, there were a father and son outfit trying to uplift the engine without paying forwards and constantly badgering and pressuring him to allow it.

I visited John after the loan was placed with a view to getting a decent set of photo’s and the specifications of the rebuild, I was not able to take reasonable photos as the engine was surrounded by other items and components, also a list of components and works has never materialised, hence I made the enquiry on the forum.

To answer your questions:

1: There are monies owed to myself against the sale of the engine

2: Where the “heavies” became part of this I don’t know, but to clarify a point, there never were any “heavies” as explained above.

3: the engine is still Mr Spenders property, I am trying to get it sold on his behalf to recover the loaned monies, he hasn’t been much help at all.

So, I hope that clarifies things, for my part I am regretful of getting involved, as it would seem there was an amount of misinformation passed to me regarding the engine, whether this was Mr Spender passing on what he was told when buying the engine, or embroidery, who knows?

However the fact remains, I would like to sell the engine and recover the loan monies, whatever extra cash (if anything) is Mr Spender’s, so if you can advise on what my next steps should be, what in fact the engine is and how best it should be advertised, I would be very grateful, as you can see I am just a bystander with an outstanding loan.

Kind regards, Derek

You could advertise it here in the classifieds section. The engine goes anywhere from 500 to 5000 euros depending on the state of it. The fact the mechanic wants to give it away does not bode well. I am not sure the mechanic would be very happy about people coming around to kick tyres and waste his time though.

Well, at least we are getting somewhere the air is clearer. If this had been a C-type engine it would normally be offered for sale to the owner of the chassis numbered for that motor. Each classic car has a certificate showing the chassis number, the engine and cylinder head number. For example, my E-type has what are known as “matching numbers”, and this increases the
value of the car. In my case the engine and head have the numbers R1798, the same as are shown on the certificate. If this was the original engine from a C-type, instead of a few pounds (not a chance of getting your £2,000 back I’m afraid) it would probably be about £100,000 at least. Anyway, if Spender owes you money, the engine is your property in my book. I am awaiting a call from someone who may be interested in it, but that depends on certain details about the motor.

Frankly it seems to me that this Mr Spender is something of a rogue, of which I have known a number in my many years in the Jaguar world. I suggest that you put pressure on Mr Spender to get your £2,000 back.It wouldn’t surprise me if he had sold the other parts for cash and said nothing.

For me, this is the end of the affair. There is no chassis, no parts, no body, and mostly no money. You seem to have been stung I’m afraid.

For the rest,


Good morning Tony, thanks for the update, it seems I have been somewhat misinformed about the engine along the way, I have previously asked John and Nick to provide the build list of materials and requested any physical receipts for parts, unfortunately I still have very little information to date. This has obviously restricted my ability to advertise the engine appropriately, with the correct information regards the rebuild, hence the whole thing faltered and I tried to garner any interest and iformation through the forum.

I will contact John again and see if I can collate a factual list and will forwards it on to yourself so you will at least know all the information I can provide, should the interested party continue to engage in a possible purchase. I really had hoped this would have progressed swiftly as I really did not want to leave the engine at john’s for too long, nor have to move it elsewhere and travel back and forth when any interest arose.

Thank you once again for your assistance and perhaps you would be able to assist further with confirming my listing is adequate, prior to me listing it for sale on the forum.

Kind regards, Derek

To sell a rebuilt MK7 engine

It would require the following answers, provided by a contiguous receipt from the mechanic that rebuilt it

serial numbers on head and block, what was done in the way of new components such as pistons and bearings, and whether the engine was machined and head rebuilt

If the engine was fully rebuilt, with receipts (depends on how long ago, and still turns over), in my opinion, it would be worth about $A2000, maybe a little more

If there is no proof, but it still seems good, 1000-1500

If it needs to be completely taken apart, whatever the buyer is prepared to pay

Halve those amounts for GBP

Definitely saleable. There are many MK7 engines in XKs

Good mormning Tony, thank you you for the update, I have contacted John Burton and will forwards the list to him and hope this is the beginning of the end of the issue, kind regards, Derek