Marston Excelsior radiator tag

The Marston tag on my 120’s radiator went missing many years ago when it was recored. I looked for years for a suitable original replacement with no luck. I found this one from a Mk7, which I knew was not the correct Order No. but it looked like what I was missing and it had great patina. Is this the correct style of tag for 672027? April, 1952 I think is the production date on the heritage certificate.

@Bob_K1 @Terry_McGrath

Thanks Bob, No disappointment the radiator is not original to my 1952 FHC. The car’s original engine and gearbox are long gone and you can see from the photo the radiator has seen better days.

Looks like the correct one to me. Stand to be corrected.

There’s apparently a relatively simple way to make exact replicas of etched brass plates. Since you have an example, it might be worth a shot - then with a little advice from @Bob_K1 you could approximate the order and serial numbers for your car.

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You did well to start a new thread for this subject. Your tag is of course a genuine Marston one and of the correct type for any XK 120, apart from the first (roughly) 1000 produced.
The “obvious” problem is the Order number which is unique for every new design Marston made (not only for Jaguar). The XK 120 had Order number P102 whereas the Mk 7 had P121. And of course the Serial number is incorrect as it would be in line with the total number of XK 120s produced up to that moment. But you have to be an “idiot” like me to note the difference…

Bob K.

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Yes you could but you do have to understand the numbering system. There is one owner of a very early Jaguar XK 120 who went that way, but what he didn’t know was that the first 1000 XK’s made, had a different tag lay-out than all later ones. As far as I know, he now has an absolutely unique Marston tag.

Bob K.

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The minutiae potential of XK120 enthusiasm is amazing.

I made a few etched brass plates for the TC Special. I applied black paint to the brass and then removed the areas to be etched with my laser making the ‘imaging’ part almost painless.

Etching is quite easy, the acid does the work. Aging is done in ammonia fumes, a few hours does it.

Mark V radiators are P101 series.

Very interesting,
Thats where I was guessing your photo of just the plate was showing it located on the back of the radiator same as the early XK140’s

So you have a CNC laser?

Laser engraver. It’s meant for engraving at trophy companies but I use it to add inlays on my furniture. It will cut wood up to 3/8". The veneer designs are about 1/20"

100+ of these went to Disney:


I also used it to cut paint stencils for the V8 emblem on my '34 hot rod.


I’m jealous.

20 …

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Beautiful work, Mitchell!

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And here is a Marston tag image from a June 1950 build date Mark V.

Thanks Roger.
Only 118 radiators between yours and Rob Reilly’s Mk V.
Bob K.

Here are my tags.

  1. Dec 49 Mark V. New Zealand assembled
  2. Spare MkV radiator I have.
  3. My XK120


Thanks for these pics.

Your first tag is an early Marston Mk V radiator, most likely manufactured in 1949 (no matter whether assembled in NZ as all these radiators came from Marston).
The second is a repair tag. Is this positioned instead of the Marston tag? Apparently repaired in Bournemouth, South of England.
Your third tag is a bit of a mystery:

  • You refer to your XK 120 but the first XK 120 batches that Marston produced are coded C 267 and not C 242.
  • This tag has the typical “trimmed” look of Mk V tags and also the (top of the) radiator looks more like a Mk V radiator. Could it be that your original 120 radiator has been replaced? See original 120 version with C 267 tag.

Still I’ve no idea what the C 242 code relates to: also because of the very early serial number 163, was this radiator used at the production start-up of the Mk V in 1948 (just like the production start-up of the XK 120 used radiators stamped C 267)?

Bob K.

Graham’s third pic is of a Mark V tag; I recognize the bonnet edge above it.
Probably an order for 63 or more spare replacements by the factory some time after Mark V was out of production, and after order P101 had been closed out.

Thanks Rob for confirming this is a Mk V radiator. After so many decades it will be difficult to find out what actually was the reason for the C 242 production run. I read serial number 163 on the tag so the batch was a bit larger.
Bob K…