I can almost hear the hub bub that I've aroused over my direction with the Mark VII.
|photo source: beverly hills car club|
If my car's interior had looked like this, I wouldn't have bought it!
Real restorers, or a least those that claim to champion that cause, are outraged upon hearing that an owner is merely going to "fix up" their car. When I've posted on the Jaguar forum I've heard from commentators about how expensive it will be to fully restore the car. Others have advised me that if the job can't be done properly, then it shouldn't be started at all! I suppose that these old school, "Old World" cars are mostly of interest to older enthusiasts. Maybe even older richer enthusiasts.
I do agree that with all the acres of fancy wood work and leather upholstery to properly recreate an "as new" example would be prohibitively expensive. I've heard numbers bandied about with 59K as the median amount!
In many car stories a line at the beginning states that " the car was finally delivered to the new owner's house and a decades long restoration process was begun."
Not gonna happen! That's never been my plan.
My plan has been, that if it is at all feasible, the car will be "fixed up" into decent running order and the cosmetics will be improved a likewise amount.
This is actually currently listed on CL. I will vote for non feasible.
What begins the feasibility assessment is the state of the car as it sits. This occurs as the prospective owner considers the car for purchase. Is the car up and running, providing occasional service, and currently registered? How good is the engine and transmission, the bodywork and paint, and the interior? Do the accessories work?
These would be considerations if a usable, driveable, presentable, example were being considered. If a project car is being considered, besides the visible condition, are all the parts present and accounted for?
I've already got the car and have had several years to make my assessment.
The body is straight, carries only a couple of minor dents, with only surface rusting, and one small perforation. All the glass is intact and in place. All exterior bright trim is present, including those impressive rear spats! I located and purchased the missing right headlamp bezel. The interior and trim is all included, The seats had been re-upolstered in blue vinyl by the previous owner. sometime back in the '70s. The headliner is original! Everything is in good shape except for the front seat bottoms.
The wood work is quite poor. It was done by the factory in a paper thin veneer that has peeled off in ribbons, exposing the base wood. But all the pieces of trim are still in place and just need to be redone. To have it done professionally would be very expensive, thousands of dollars. However it can be done by the home restorer, radio restorers do it all the time. I even did some on my 1941 Silvertone floor console radio/phonograph. It will not be done to the original design, but it will look satisfactory in the end.
I've seen many old Jags where the owner merely attempted to stain and finish the base wood. Unfortunately this looks like exactly what it is.
I've made the exterior stabilization situation my first priority, even with our current drought, rain will be starting by the next month. I bought some new tarps to cover the car. It is most important to keep water from running inside the body through the worn out weatherstripping and rubber seals.
My plan is to paint all the upper surfaces in flat black, preserving the current blue sides. The Rustoleum Rust Reformer will be augmented by regular flat black spray can primer on any remaining blue paint left on the top surfaces. There will be an artful curve on the rear flanks. I'm not claiming that my two tone, black primer and old blue paint job is Concourse ready, but it should suffice and make the car less repulsive.
|Obviously the home of Old World Craftsmanship.|
The interior will be cleaned up as well as possible/ I'll replace the carpet, preserving everything that I can.Once the car is up and running, anything and everything else can be dealt with on an extended time basis.
Everything hinges on whether or not the motor can returned to running condition.