Interesting parallels

I’m working on two ‘Mark 2s’ at the moment in my workshop - the XK140 (a ‘mark 2’ 120) is the ongoing project, but I’m doing an engine and gearbox rebuild on my Series IIA Land Rover (a ‘mark 2’ Series I), both designs essentially launched at the same time and in the same room - the 1948 Earl’s Court Motor Show. Despite the Jag being a '55 and the Landie a '67, the same engineering ethos can be seen clearly in both. A respectable degree of over-engineering is common ground, as are various design elements such as the clutch release mechanism, seal designs etc. The LR gearbox is a bonkers piece of kit with some very big bits of metal in it, but it would be nice if there had been synchromesh on second gear, let alone first… still, it sharpens up your double-declutching. Pretty similar mix of fasteners - purely BSF on the gearbox, transfer case and 4WD bits, UNF on the body, BA and British Cycle on the instrument and smaller parts. Aluminium in the body to get around the steel rationing etc.
What I would give to have been able to walk around that Earl’s Court show as a 24-yr-old, which my dad would have been in '48 - I asked him about it this morning, but he wasn’t interested back then. His mind was focusing on radios and computers at that age…

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When people ask me if parts are hard to come by I tell them that it’s rare for a car manufacturer to design a car and design a new M/C, brake drums, door latches, wheels, oil seals, etc., too. Some parts found on our cars have never been out of production.

Off-the-shelf engineering. We see the MGA 1500 tail light on at least a dozen cars for good reason.

The Brits are a stout lot, syncros are for sissies.

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Interesting observations. To continue the analogy, I have three currently apart and side by side in the garage: “mark 1” (early XK120 OTS), “mark 2” (1965 Land Rover 109) and a “mark 3” (1995 Land Rover Defender). Not so surprisingly, even the 1995 Defender shares some parts (and most of the design) with the early SIIA. The combination of BSF, UNF, BA and yes, even metric on the Defender, means that the thread pitch gauge is never far away.

Meanwhile, the “real” Mk2 (1963 3.8) is in the other garage and is the daily driver.

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