[concours] Jaguars: Authenticity / Mark Roberts

Mark, A most interesting set of comments re authenticity.
First, I must ask for any other details of the XK120 concerned,
671555 - owner? history? etc. Has anyone in Canada or even in your club
prepared a list of known XKs? I would be most interested to add these to
the worldwide register I am compiling, and I have few Canadians on it so
far.
Secondly, generally speaking here in Aus, departures from generally
accepted authenticity standards (yes, I know, that phrase begs a thousand
questions!) put the onus on the car owner to prove that the departure is in
fact original.
So, with the 120 soft top, why was it the way it was? Was it
evidently the actual original soft top the car left the factory with? This
is quite unlikely. So, if it was replaced, where is the evidence that the
replacement is right? Items such as this are frequent mistakes in
restorations, as the owners and restorers do not know what and where to
check. I prefer the theory that, rather than Jaguar having taken some odd
part out of a bin somewhere for a particular car, a modern day restorer is
infinitely more likely to be the culprit, in pulling the first available
part out of a bin or off a shelf of his restoration shop. He might not
even be aware that there were several versions of the soft top. He is more
likely to be making the mistake, and therefore the onus is properly on the
owner/restorer to justify his position. The oft repeated story about
Jaguars being thrown together out of various parts bins is in my experience
greatly exaggerated. I have found far more often that in fact restorers
without the requisite knowledge use the “parts bin” theory as an excuse for
lack of research and knowledge, in fitting non original parts, and bluff to
try to get away with it.
With the E type, it would appear that the owner would be well able
to satisfy you as to the originality of the car, notwithstanding its
discrepancies with the parts books. So he/she would lose no points. With
XKs, we have found many errors in the parts books, and even parts that
simply are not listed at all, but were originally fitted to cars. I
should also add that we have found many errors in the JCNA XK originality
materials as well.
Thirdly, do not apologise for bringing this level of detail to the
list: you might get quite a few on other Jag Lovers lists hitting the
delete button, but this is the CONCOURS list and anyone not interested in
what you had to say, has found him/herself the wrong list.
Regards, John Elmgreen