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6'3 - which do I buy?

6'3" - Which XK Do I Buy?

Hello! Ive been lurking as Im going to be buying an XK150 (Im 6'3" so a 120
or 140 is out of the question... ditto the S1 XKE) but I now have a
question for someone else! I was at a Car show today in Mahwah New Jersey
and spent some time talking to a very nice gentleman with a 54 XK120M OTS.
He'[s owned it since '57 (!) and has now restored it to its' former glory.
However, it's got a triple carb intake manifold and, from what I know and
what the owner knows.. it should be a twin carb car, right?  Also, this
manifold appears to be an aluminum rectangular box bolted to the side of
the head with the three carbs attached.  I do know that the PO (1954-1957)
Traded the car in on a 300SL and that he did race the car at Lime Rock
Park, CT and that he lived in Rockland County, New York. Any Ideas?  The
owner isnt internet connected btw... Thanks in advance! - Bill Weismann

Bill,   You mention that being 6'3" rules out the purchase of a 120 or 140
XK. Actually it is a matter of practice makes perfect and your particular
set of circumstances. In my case, at 6'4" and a 120 (S673476) sitting
patiently for the minor areas of brakes, fuel, electrical, cooling and
exhaust to be addressed, (after 32 years of garaged neglect under a tarp),
I figure the least I can do is practice squeezing in and out of the car at
least once a day. Now, instead of planning how to move the seats further
back,  I enjoy adjusting the steering wheel to minimize the pinch points. I
have discovered that a size 14 foot allows all the pedals to be depressed
with one flick of the toe. If the windscreen is obscured, no bother,...
just peer over it and take the wind in the face. Of course, all of this is
easy to do in the safety of the garage, but , eventually , with
practice,... and time, ...the open road will present itself and we will
trumpet the occasion with a fanfare of dual tuned exhaust (at 1600&3200
resonance- thanks Bruce C.) and enjoy a unique driving experience for as
long as .....well,... longer than some others on this list....I hope !! -
Cheers.... Lee Jacobsen

Bill.  We had a discussion about tall people in XKs a while back, and maybe
it is in the archives?  Anyway, I'm 6'2" and can just cope with a 120 OTS
(I recall that a FHC or DHC are harder). You can take the hood (soft top)
out, and get the seat back the max, also file new grooves in the pedals to
put them closer to the firewall. But at 6-3 it will never be really easy,
and the 150 will be definitely more comfortable. I have a 150 S as well.
It's just that some of us HAVE to own a 120 at all times. - Regards, John

I agree with John's comment: "It's just that some of us HAVE to own a 120
at all times." The 140 has the engine and front of the cockpit moved 3"
foreward which  makes a big difference for long legs and arms. I'm 6'3" so
the 120 is a little cramped but if one prefers the 120, that's just the way
it is. I also have modified the pedals so I can operate the clutch with the
steering wheel in the full forward position. The seat back does incline
more with the hood up or removed but I do occasionally have to raise the
hood to come home in a heavy rain. (The hood stays down in a light rain.)
So I just sit more upright and slouch a bit to see below the top of the
windscreen. So the answer to "Which to buy?" depends on the relative values
to you of comfort and model preference. For me, comfort had nothing to do
with the choice. Come to think of it, there just was no choice. The 120 was
my first love in cars so there was no rational process involved. - Bruce

Bruce,  I'm with you on this tall business: modifying the car so you can
operate the clutch with the steering wheel saves a lot of leg room hassles
and is just the way to go ...  Rgds, John Elmgreen

I agree with John and Bruce.... some just have to own a 120.... or does the
120 own you?   Appreciate the suggestion regarding the clutch pedal and
grinding to allow more travel.... Perhaps an attachment to the pedal to
allow clutch action farther to the left and back.   It could be removable
just in case Pebble Beach or Meadowbrook  come into the picture...(One must
be optimistic!)   Ever notice that in a light, or even moderate rain, that
a speed of around 35mph and above seems to create a bubble of air that
keeps you
dry?..  or am I all wet.? - Regards,  Lee Jacobsen

Must be the result of extensive wind tunnel testing... - Scott Allard

Bruce, I'm 6'4" tall and have an XK140FHC with no problems with comfort or
controls. - Gene Burda

Being in the taller catagory I find that even my 150 is a tight fit.  I
read with interest that pedals could be adjusted to be closer to the
firewall by filing grooves in them.  What is actually entailed in this
process? -  Roger Herrick

The shafts for the clutch and brake pedals are clamped to the levers in
front of the firewall using pinch bolts that go in a groove in the shaft.
The groove must be lined up with the pinch bolt hole before the bolt is
inserted to secure the shaft in the lever. If you want your pedal closer to
the firewall, you have to file or gring a new groove in the shaft closer to
the pedal to accomodate the pinch bolt.  An alternative is to buy a new
pair of pedals with shorter shafts from Bill Bassett. He guarantees that
you will be delighted with them or you can return them for a full refund. I
put them on mine and I like them.  You also have an adjustment bolt at the
base of the clutch pedal arm that sets the rest position. For some leg
lengths, this adjustment might be enough. - Bruce Cunningham

You're not all wet and the heavier it rains, the faster you have to go.
Last year I was on the interstate and drove into a thunderstorm at 65 - got
just a few drops on the bill of my cap in a heavy downpour. I was fortunate
to drive out the other side of the storm just before my exit. There was not
a drop of rain on the passenger seat. Got a lot of strange looks from
others on the highway. - Bruce Cunningham

Re the pedals and adjustment, on the 120, the pedals are on a long stem
that has grooves in it, fixing the operative length of the stem (a bolt
holds the stem at the groove). Taking care to take into account your needed
pedal travel to operate the brakes and clutch OK, you may be able to allow
the pedal to sit closer to the firewall by using a different (or making a
new) groove, thereby decreasing the distance you need to bring your leg
back to operate the pedal. Someone else on this list also said he had done
this. - Regards, John Elmgreen

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