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XK Trim Kits

XK Trim Kits

From L J Haithcock, 1996, XK150 OTS:

Some thoughts on XK interior kits. First I am only personally familiar with the June 1958 production XK150 S OTS cars. I know this may seem limiting however some of the insights I have gained over the last year may help others. I do not believe kits come with instructions (mine did not). The catalogues have diagrams and the materials are bagged with control numbers the correspond to the diagrams, but that is all.

I have determined the main consideration is communications between the car owner and the kit supplier. Due to the specialized nature of the XKs I do not believe a kit will fit without modifications. I believe all suppliers use patterns to develop specifications for their kits. In the case of my supplier the pattern car was a 1960 production. The kit differed in the kick panel (A post), the underdash heater panel, the boot lid panel, the boot side panels and the hood cover. I am sure everyone was acting in good faith but this has resulted in two additional shipments and I have sent my original panels to be reproduced. If you are not dealing with a service oriented supplier you are in trouble. The XK150 had two different A post panels, two different heater setups and three different boot prop configurations! Most suppliers use Robins tops. These are very well made, but are cut close (no room for error).

Another area of concern is materials. Some of the original materials are no longer available. It is very important to explain what materials and colors you have in order to ensure you get the correct items. Finally, complete is not complete. Door pockets, glove box and cubby liners (green flocked), weather-stripping and top finishers are not included. Overall I am very pleased with the customer service orientation of the supplier I chose. A word to the wise, COMMUNICATE your specifications to your supplier, otherwise you are going to waste a lot of both time and money.

1996, from John Elmgreen:

I thought you might appreciate the following extract from an advertisement by Classic Auto Restorations (Sydney, Australia) in Australian Jaguar Driver,

Jan 1996:

"Do trim kits really fit? If you own an SS, an XK or a Mk IV through to a Mk IX, then forget it. During this perod the factory made so many changes whiles developing its production that very few cars of the same period are identical in their trim.

"Now what about Mk IIs we hear you ask? Obviously cars with auto transmission are different from those with a manual gearbox, but ... ... ... Why? Is an August 1960 carpet pattern useless for a car made in December 1960? And why should a car made in March 1964 have a different carpet pattern from one made 60 days earlier? Why are all these earlier carpet patterns different from a 1966 model pattern? Answer: Because there is no such thing as a standard Mark II, and there's no such thing as a standard carpet kit, and that's why it won't fit."

He does however make an exception for the XJ! They were standardised enough for a kit to fit.

23 Jan 1997, from Brian Pel:

My (very experienced) upholsterer's view is that the BAS INTERIORS interior trim package is superior to that offered by most other suppliers. BAS usually advertises in Hemmings. There is also an affiliated company in the UK.

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