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120 Spats (Fender Skirts)

120 Spats (Fender Skirts)

I am in the process of restoring a 1954 XK 120 DHC for use as a driver.
This car has an S prefix on the chassis number and apparently was a special 
edition. When I purchased the car (as a parts car) it had solid disc wheels, 
I suspect that it originally had wire wheels which were replaced with the 
solid wheels and hubs. I have a pair of original fender skirts and would 
like to install them on the car. I have several questions; 
1. The rear fenders on the car appear to have come with brass, lead filled 
beads which have been removed, the lip inside the fender arch looks as if it 
has been bent back so as not to be seen. The flange that is bent back has 
small holes approx. every six to eight inches where a fender bead could have 
been attached. When I attach the fender skirts should I bend the flange back 
downward in order to have a mounting back in the wheel opening arch for the 
skirts to press against? Is there any type of material that should be placed 
between the skirt and the fender flange?
2. The fender skirts I have appear to be undoctered originals. At the bottom 
corners they have a piece of flat steel that has a slot, hook type 
configuration for attaching to the lower inside corners of the fenders.
What goes inside the lower corners of the fender openings? My first thought 
is that it must be some type of steel rod approx 1/4" in diameter. 
Does anyone know what this point of attachment is and what does it look like? 
An L shaped rod welded to the fender? U shape? Something else?
3. Is there some type of slotted bracket for the top of the arch, that the 
latch on the fender skirt (when turned with the key) fits into to secure the 
skirt to the fender? If so is this piece welded to the inside top of the 
fender arch? Any comments or information will be greatly appreciated. 
- Bob Parks, Louisville KY (

Dear Bob, Any numbers on the top lip of the skirts, near the key hole?
Sometimes there are 3 numberrs there. You should have the lip on the rear fender, 
against which the skirt sits. I think the top catch goes against that i.e. 
no special fitting needed. - Regards, John Elmgreen


If I understand you correctly,your rear fender's wheel opening lip was bent 
in at a 90 degree angle to the outer surface of the fender. For some reason 
this practice of entirely eliminating the joggled or stepped in lip(by bending 
it in, and sometimes cutting it off) for the brass finisher, happened a lot. 
The lip on the spatted fender is supposed to look exactly like a wire wheel 
fender except it also has a 3/16"turned up (90 degrees) inner flange, 
which has the function of stiffening the lip ( which measures 1/2" wide)
and also creating a channel to glue a seal into. The rubber seal beds the spat 
on to the fender, eliminating rattles, and also providing a water/dust seal. 
A two inch long, 5/8" wide, 1/8" thick reinforcement is spot welded 
to the inboard side of the lip,at the point that the spat's footmans lock 
engages the fender's lip. The spats are secured on the bottom by two steel  
pegs 5/16" dia.x 2" long. They are welded onto the lower fender's 
edge  reinforcments,the spats lower brackets, engage onto these pegs then 
you turn the footmans lock. 
- Regards, Wray Schelin

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