Lead loading v "pongo"

Just watched “building a supercar” ( XK SS ) on UK tv. Observing that a modicum of
polyester is applied to " finesse" the body I / we surely can now sleep easy. I think I
heard that cellulose finish is employed, nice ! At the end of last summer I sprayed
my 120 cellulose over 2 pack primer, just hung up some sheet poly, swept the floor
swiched on the extractor fan at the end of the workshop and sprayed away. One or two
flies landed but they will compound out. Cost was unbelievable I do not know how I afforded
it, approx 600 sterling and breathing probs for a couple of days.
Oh well I s`pose you get what you pay for .
Peter B

Yes, I just watched that too. Most interesting - I wonder why they have blocks specially cast when there is no real shortage of suitable original 3.4 blocks, comparatively speaking price-wise? I wonder what gearbox is used?
I can’t get my head around paying a million quid for a car you can never drive on the road (in the UK, anyway). There is no way on earth that car could pass an IVA test, and as it contains no components at all that are more than a few months old (according to Jaguar Classic) it cannot be registered as a 1950s car. I could go on - if you want real accuracy, and certainly a million quid’s worth of accuracy, wouldn’t you rather have it made in the traditional way by blokes with hammers than by modern CAD?

Perhaps a way to justify the price is to regard these recreations as solely works of art
just “gracing their space”. Do I remember Fred Dibner remarking whilst looking at his
steam engine, “aye it beats anything hanging on a wall”, certainly my setiment.
As for the new blocks, at least they are a known quantity, gearboxes I presume are
“D”. Nice that the involvement of specialist companies is acknowledged, something lacking
in the lightweight E program I feel.
Peter B

I was looking at the XKSS here in NZ last week and it was pop intel out that the gear lever is actually an old item where you can see patina on the shaft, also some of the switches appear to be old Bakelite ones.
I believe it is currently going through the certification stages to be allowed to drive on the roads here :slight_smile:

Wow. I thought NZ was particularly tough - someone in the ACOC had a real struggle with a Cobra recreation, but that was a personal import. All sorts of engineers etc. were involved with drawings required etc. etc. Emissions were a particular challenge, as I remember it.
If so, you’re lucky. In the UK, I doubt one single item in a ‘D’-type cockpit would get through an IVA test - and if they’re only making nine I doubt it can go through the usual manufacturer’s crash testing!

Not sure if it’s going to get through but thats what I heard.
As far as emissions go our cars do not go through testing, however I had the opportunity to run my old XJ40 through a test and even with all the cats removed it would have sailed through the requirements. And this was at 200,000+ Klms

I saw a similar program some years ago where they knocked up one of these expensive recreations. (It might have been an E type).
Lord March said it all when he pointed out it wouldn’t be eligible for any of his Goodwood jaunts.

Do the recreation/continuation XKSS also replicate the D-Type dry sump, the 8 degree from vertical engine lean and the disc brake hydraulic servo driven from the gearbox? If so, I believe those blocks are very different, incorporating a cross shaft to drive the dry sump scavenge and pressure pumps, and the reworked bellhousing mount that accommodates the engine tilt while keeping the gearbox upright?

Robin, one of the problems this car would have in the UK is that it is clearly a new car - the guy even said he wanted every component new - which means it most definitely would have to comply with emissions, unlike a historic car. It doesn’t get passed as ‘historic’ just because it’s made to a historic design. It will have to have a brand new VIN, something D-types never had, and will have to comply with exactly the same rules and regs as a brand new Merc or BMW saloon.
And yes, they did a similar programme about the lightweight E-type replicas a couple of years ago. That clip really made me smile - they asked Lord March if it would be eligible to race at Goodwood. He paused for a second, then said that they didn’t accept replicas at Goodwood. He was standing in front of a row of Cobras, most of which were made within the last 10 years in Poland…

You have the advantage of me there, XK-block-knowledge-wise! However, they were using a 3.4 block cut in half as a pattern, so who knows? It’s also worth bearing in mind that this was a TV show, not an accurate representation of what Jaguar Classic are doing. Two very different things.

Thumbs up on lead loading and a skim of polyester glaze for paint prep. Time consuming, and you need to take extraordinary health and environmental precautions, but it forces you to get the metal-only bodywork really straight.

Pongo = bondo? never heard that before.

There are three types of body panel restoration guys out there. Those that use little if any filler and produce wavy cars, haven’t seen this in decades, those that lie about how much filler was actually used in the restoration and then finally those that admit using a lot of it including spray bondo to get those arrow straight bodies. Nothing wrong with filler if properly applied and aged, it should last the life of the paint job. Don’t kid yourself, top restoration shops use plenty of it with little concern for overall film build. It’s just the way things are done these days to get those straight body panels.

Absolutely true. Many would be astonished at how much filler is used by top restoration shops - and why not? The modern customer demands a much higher standard of fit and finish than Jaguar were ever capable of producing when these cars were new. A timewarp car, straight off the production line and entered into a concours d’etat contest would barely register a score, but by rights should be a champion of champions.

*Please - not a concours d’elegance - that’s something completely different

I’m sure lots of people have seen something like this but for the ones that haven’t here is a (out of focus) shot of the nose of my ‘65 ‘S’ that step is about 5-6mm of lead and no it’s not a one off as my ‘66 has roughly the same, I checked :slight_smile:

Yes Robin it is one area that I do lead, the front bonnet / grille area on MK1/2 and of course
S type. But when it comes to the flanks of XK front wings it`s polyester.
When I walk alonside my now painted 120 and catch the front wings in a unflatering light
I feel a bit queasy, but never mind ! I just keep a sic bag handy.
Peter B

That’s one of the reasons I shall be going with a lighter colour for my 140 body…

It depends on what you fellows consider “a lot” of filler and what kind of filler you’re talking about. Polyester glaze is not the same as body filler. Glaze is applied to a maximum thickness of 1/10", or about 2.5 mm. My target is +0"/-1/16", including the flank sides of the front wings and across the doors

shut edges will have zero polyester glaze, body solder only. Granted, it’s still possible to abuse body solder by laying it on too heavily, but it’s easier to get the steel work straight and applying a thin skim of the stuff, though never on a big, flat surface like in the picture above.

Bodymen who say it’s okay to use lots of body filler don’t want to take the time and effort to minimise its use, or don’t know how.


There’s a fourth kind. Those who use little filler and produce straight cars.

Nick, thats a lovely straight panel, I hate to think how long it took to attain it.

I kinda feel the same. It took a long, long time. First attempt, years ago, was to straighten the convex original panel but it was work hardened beyond shrinking. After leaving the car alone for a decade or so I cut it out and fabbed and welded in a complete quarter panel. Three times. Could not for the life of me get it right but figured out what I was doing wrong the third attempt. Consumed an entire winter, and a couple of bottles of scotch. It also helped a great deal to take the body off the frame and mount it onto a rotisserie. The opposite side was a slam dunk. I employ Wray Schelin’s technique of slapping up low spots and shrinking high spots with a disc after block sanding a guide coat of black ink applied with a wide marker. Shrinking the steel and aluminum is the key and for that you can’t beat a shrinking disc.

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…which is where the difference lies! That is a beautifully straight panel and is a credit to the amount of time and skill that has been spent on it.
They never came out of the factory like that… you pays your money and you takes your choice! We all ask different things of our restorations.