MkV Drop Head Coupe

I’m a potential buyer.

I’ve owned a MkIV 2.5 & 2 MkV 3.5’s in the past so I’m comfortable with the the benign mechanical nature of these . I’m also suffering from PTSD after 8 years of dealing with the mechanics of old French cars.

I’m more than comfortable with metal repairs i.e. cutting & shutting.

DHC’s however are timber framed from the windscreen back & that causes me to lose sleep. I’ve been told that timber frame re-builds involve weird techniques like steaming & bending and I suspect practitioners of such have long since gone to God.

Can anyone provide insight on how to spot serious defects in the timber frames of DHC’s?

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You may be misinformed. Mark V DHCs have wood framing in the doors, and I believe there is some wood around the back seat for attaching the top, but the rest of the body is steel, pretty much the same construction methods as the saloon.
Here are some shots of various cars.




As they say in the UK: ”Bollocks!” :smiley:

Originally SS Cars and Jaguar used beech. Ash could be better, oak is not reccomended as it’s more acidic.

I am a so-called purist so I like to use the same materials and methods and quality as Jaguar did and not try to ”improve” anything.

On the old J-L website in my photo albums and on Georg Dönni GB Cars Switzerland website there are good photos of DHC door frame rebuild process.

You will need a bandsaw, a planer, some chisels, wood drill bits etc but nothing fancy

The frames can be assembled on a flat surface, like a table, and then mounted on the car and adjusted to fit.

The only ”cheats” I did, was to use some angle irons in the corners and to creste the largest pieces of beech by glueing together two perfectly dried and planed pieces of wood with Titebond III Ultimate wood glue. Some wooden boat builders and instrument (guitar) builders told me it’s one of the best ways to make sure the wood will not twist and bend with moisture and temperature changes.

I have been very happy with my self-made door frames for 7-8 years now.

And it’s a bit exaggerated, only the door frames, A-pillar trims (mahogany) and hood (convertible top) frames and the top of the rear quater panels are made of wood. The trunk (boot) and the sills, wings etc. are all steel just like the Saloons.


Pekka T, (#647194)



I’ll reinforce what Pekka said - the woodwork is pretty strait forward. I’m also more comfortable with metal work, but I successfully restored a 1948 DHC many years ago, and I’m currently doing the body work on my 1938 SS100. It seems to me that all the wood is cut to shape, and not steamed/bent. I have also had good results with the glues that boat builders use to impregnate joints and soft areas - it really tightens up any wood that you re-use. Dave

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Gentlemen! I thank you sincerely for improving my sleep patterns!

You’re right. I have been mis-informed.

DaveXK, thanks for the reminder that glue technology has advanced tremendously. I remember seeing a doco on Morgans that stated they used glue to even attach metal to metal now.