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XK120 Seats with Knee Bolsters

XK120 Seats with Knee Bolsters

Greetings and Salutations, I'm a new subscriber watching the back and fourth over restoration prices. My sister is near the end of a 5-yr. $50,000 deal with a restorer named Fred ?? near Watertown NY. I've spoken to him on the phone a few times and he seems both competent and conscientious (sp?). I'm more the wrench turner type and left JCNA as the close locals seemed to be polishers. I'm looking for the "third tuesday night in somebody's garage turning wrenches" group. I may have found some of you. My baby is XK120 OTS # 670640. Rough but progressing (slowly). I'm keeping a log of thoughts and work done both for putting things back together and maybe helping others later. Has anyone published a restoration chronicle? Also, what's the best source of info finding out what's correct on this early car? Chromed seat frames, painted tail light housings, seat knee bolster projecting 2" above pleated part????? and in 2-tone, stuff like that. Glad to have found you. - Dave Gomes

Dave, Try checking out the library at the XK Lovers website, most of the questions you asked have been answered ,and they are available by clicking on: http://www.jag-lovers.org/xk-lovers/index.html ,if you don't find what your looking for, I'm sure someone will help. - Wray Schelin

Dave, Approximately two years ago, "Jaguar Enthusiast" carried a series of 15-20 istallments, completely covering the restoration of a 120. You might try them to see how many of the original magazines you can get. Xeroxing works ok for black and white photos, but color of which there are many good ones, do not reproduce well at all. The out of print issues can probably be located in this group. If you want an index of the available back issues..send a fax # or mail address. Regards - Klaus Nielsen

Jaguar Enthusiast's Club published the compilation of these articles in a book, _On Jaguar XK120 Restoration_. It is printed by Kelsey Books, and distributed in North America by Motorbooks International in Osceloas, Wi, 54020. ISBN 1 873098 38 1. Kelsey also prints a similar book comprised of a series of articles from Practical Classics and Car Restorer magazine titled _On XK Jaguar Restoration_. ISBN 1 873098 21 9. While you're at it you might check out Kelsey's compilation of Jaguar World articles entitled "Jaguar 6 cylinder Engine Overhaul (1948-1986) Including IRS and S.U. Carburettors". ISBN 1 873098 32 4. Motorbooks also distributes this one. Now that I have all the books, I need to find the time to actually work on the cars! - Mike Eck, '51 XK120 OTS, '62 3.8 MKII

Thanks so much to Wray, Klaus, and Leslie (or is it Mike?) for resto info sources. I was excited to hear about the articles and even more so to discover I already had the compilation book! You're right, it's good and probably bears re-reading. After reviewing some of the fine articles Wray has placed in the XK Lovers library I can only conclude he's a great philanthropist, taking the time to share his skills and experience with "the great unwashed". Thanks again for helping with inspiration, the perspiration is up to me. One thing left is info on oddball things I find on my car, these unusual seats (I've never seen the raised knee bolsters on another car but the leather seems original, and is 2-tone) really get me. Maybe some kind of tracking of previous owners could help. JCNA's history seemed kind of lame, are any other services available? - Dave Gomes

To Dave & Cheryl Gomes: re your mention of the bolster on the seats of your XK120, I am not sure what you mean exactly, but your description sounds a bit like an unusual feature on some early 120s, which was a kind of extra fillet in the seat cushion, at the outside edges, and part of the front panel of the cushion. The best reference I know of is the picture in the XK120 Handbook at page 24. Is this what you have? What are the numbers of your car? I believe this was a feature not of the very earliest 120s (e.g. alloy) but of slightly later but still early cars, say 1950-51. Anyone else have this feature? By the way, to add to Dick's comments re the straight port (XK150 S) heads, they were also used on later 60s models with just 2 x 2 inch carbs - e.g. I think 420s, and XJ6. Never on the Mk II so far as I know. Also re the recent response to my msge re large number of US imports down under and cost of shipping: I don't think it is all that expensive. When I moved back to Aus from UK in 1981 I brought back 4 cars, XK120 OTS, XJC 5.3 (1975), Alfa Spyder (and from San Francisco, a RHD XK120 FHC). When you are moving house, they just stick them all in the same container. But are you guys over there in US getting nervous that we are acquiring all your cars? Don't! I would think you got 70% of XKs new = about 22,000 cars. You do not have now enough guys there to look after them all, so you can afford to lose a few hundred "basket cases"! My experience is that almost all XKs that come here from the USA are wrecks, and bought because of the apparently low prices (I would think almost all would be well under USD 10,000). I say "apparently" because most of us now know that the cheapest XK is likely to cost you the most in the long run. Refer to the recent discussion on restoration costs! There has been a steady stream of XKs leaving the USA the last 10 years, not just for "down under" but also for Europe and the UK. The UK got relatively few 120s new for example. I would guess that at least 200 cars have come to Aus and NZ the last 10 years, and maybe even more than that went East. Still leaves the US with at least 20,000 + cars I would guess. - Regards, John Elmgreen

Yes, the early 120's had the bolstered seats which make the drive with the flat floor much more comfortable. The seat backs and bottoms were given the extra padding with rolled rags or a cotton looking material. My original seats were done this way and were much more comfortable than the added foam rubber that is now used. - Larry J., 51 OTS, 660636

If you have any questions or comments send e-mail to: ted@jag-lovers.org
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