Peter Davey’s Jaguar Mark 2 was featured in the September 2012 edition of Practical Classics magazine.
Q Nice Jaguar, Peter. How much do you know about it?
I’ve got all of the history from new. It was built in June 1961 and dispatched to Henlys London in July but not registered until March the following year. The first owner kept it until 1984 but the next didn’t register it until 1994 – when it was sold. By then the bodywork had mainly been restored but the doors and boot lid were in poor condition. In 1995 a new owner completed the rest of the work, and by 1996 it had been sold on. I saw it featured in a magazine in 1997, and bought it the same year.
Q How much have you done to it?
It’s had a complete mechanical overhaul by Evans Halshaw of Stoke on Trent – the Jaguar dealership where I purchase my modern Jags. It had the cylinder head removed and hardened valve seats fitted to enable the engine to run on unleaded fuel. All the core plugs were replaced, along with the clutch slave cylinder. It’s not the original engine as frost cracked the block in the winter of 1962 and it was replaced under warranty.
Q So apart from that, this Mk2 is pretty original then?
It has had a few modifications since I’ve owned it, the most significant being the replacement of the original ‘crash’ Moss gearbox. I’ve had a synchromesh ‘box from a late 1960s Jaguar fitted so it’s still all Jaguar parts. Likewise I’ve made it more modern by having the power steering from an XJS added, which helps no end with parking. It also has a central locking system and inertia seat belts for added safety and convenience.
Q Was all the effort worth it?
Yes. Since completing the last modification it has run without fault. The car has been fully serviced and greased on an annual basis whether or not it has covered many miles. It is MOT’d in April of each year by Mercury Executive Cars of Brentwood, Essex, who do a good job, and the bodywork has also been kept in pristine condition. All necessary work in that respect has been carried out to the highest standards by M&R Body Works of Hutton, near Brentwood.
Q Do you get out and enjoy it much these days?
I use it on a regular basis but only in dry weather. As Practical Classics knows, these cars really can rust and, in the 14 years that I’ve owned the car, I’ve never been caught in heavy rain. My garage is at a constant temperature of 20 degrees centigrade and the car has a special ‘breathing’ Jaguar cover. I even place a dust cover at the bottom of the door to stop cold air coming in, and the car cover is always placed over the exhaust to avoid condensation creeping up the exhaust into the manifold.
Q Your car seems to lead a cosseted life, Peter
It’s the car I’ve always wanted, so I make no apologies for trying to keep it in good order. I’m a member of the Essex Thameside Jaguar Enthusiasts’ Club. Most members know that if there is any threat of rain my car remains in the garage! I get emails from the club chairman with the most up-to-date weather forecasts. Because of my desire to keep the car out of the rain and muddy fields I only attend local events so I can get home quickly should the heavens open. It’s not everyone’s way of doing things but club members respect me due to the car’s exceptional condition.