Nick Wrote: " I certainly wish there was a way to get Charles’ car together…but as we all know a lot of the satisfaction is in just having it…and in the process, and in knowing the car will long outlast our custody."
I certainly wish there was a way to get my DHC together, as well… There is something to be said for “ownership”, but I CAN guarantee you, there is a helluva LOT more to be said for actually DRIVING the XK120!! (as I did in mine for about eight years) As noted (somewhere), I bought my XK120 DHC in May 1967… it was sitting in front of a “Foreign Car Wrecking Yard” with “RUNS GREAT” scrawled across the windscreens… I took the Jag for a “test drive” on the service road of I-35 North… I had just “wound-up” second gear (to eighty per) when I noticed a stop sign coming in my direction… I laid-in on the brakes, the Jag “veered left” going almost to the Armco Barrier at the outside of the southbound lane… I let off the brakes and the Jag “returned” to the northbound lane… I blew right thru the stop sign!! I said to myself: “Mental Note: Car “pulls” to the left during braking!” I bought the XK120, becoming it’s second owner! I drove the Jag, without making ANY repairs or adjustments for the next 7-odd years… I also used the Jag to tow my motorcycles to the races (I turned “AMA Class C Professional” for the beginning of the 1970 racing season (I’ve also been to 165mph on my “home-built”, 350cc Single Cylinder GP RoadRacer.) I bought a 1970 Datsun 510 Station Wagon to carry all my tools, spares, equipment and to tow my “Two Rail” motorcycle trailer. In 1973 I suffered what was euphemistically called in racing parlance “A Career-Ending Injury”… in my case, a Compacted C-4 and Fractured C-5… in “plane engrish”: a broken neck!! After six months in the hospital, neck braces and basic recovery, I was able to return to my main avocation… “Foreign Car Mechanic”. In 1984 (after eighteen years of marriage), we had our first (only) child!! Wife was considered “Maternally Advanced”! She returned to work and I became “Day-Care Daddy”. I continued working on cars and motorcycles (Harleys) in my shop with “#1 Son” in his “carry rocker” (aka: Bucket) in direct sight of me. Later, I started restoring “Tri-Five Chevys” in a shop where I was the Head Mechanic. I also “restored” several XK120’s… mostly “Mechanical Restorations”, that is, I rebuilt the engines, gear boxes, etc. and made them look and work like new! Around 1999, I “found” the original “Jag-Lovers” website. I saw a lot of posts by folks wanting to restore their Jaguar XK’s, but had not a clue as to how or where to start, there were a few folks offering “advice” to the others via e-mail. At the time, I had a couple of rare items: The “Factory” Service Manual, an XK120 OTS, an XK120 DHC and a MKVII Saloon Spare Parts Catalogues! I joined this “Jag List” and I began offering help to these folks via information on various rebuild processes as well as helping to educate them (warning them of the pitfalls!!) on how to get started (organized) on doing “real” Frame-Off Restorations.
As Mike Balch mentioned, he has been to my house (and shop) several times… as have a number of other XK Owners (all are welcome!) If nothing else, visitors are generally guaranteed a LOT of “Bench Racing” in the form of talking about the mechanical aspects of the XK Engine… not to mention the “Fifty Cent Tour” of my shop…
Charles Ch #677556