1954 Jaguar MKVII

Glowing Jaguar

Dave has installed these original UV lights under the dash of the 1954 Jaguar MK VII. The blue/purple looking lightbulbs are called black lights and

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Jaguar MKVII Update

Our 1954 Jaguar MKVII has had its cylinder head welded to resolve corroded water ways. Ady has also started revuilding the engine after its been

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Jaguar MKVII Update

Tom has been working to wire up the headlights on our 1954 Jaguar MKVII. The Jaguar has been fully painted and is steadily collecting its

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Jaguar MKVII Painted

Our stunning 1954 Jaguar MKVII has been full painted and the panels have been smoothed and flattened. The rest of the body now needs to

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1954 Jaguar MKVII – The Restoration Continues

The restoration of our 1954 Jaguar MKVII has continued recently with quite a bit of work being completed by classic car technician Dave.

After the engine of this beautiful classic car was removed a little while ago, it has now been rebuilt by our friends at Coltec and delivered back to us here at Bridge Classic Cars. Dave has been working on getting the engine back into the car so it can continue on its restoration journey.

Prior to the engine returning to us, we were able to see the pistons being machined so it was great to see the full engine back with us and ready to go back into the car.

Once the engine was back in, Dave was able to get it running and conduct a check of its condition. He was pleased with the temperature levels but did some additional work on other areas of the car.

The 2 fuel pumps were drained, removed, and replaced.

While working on our 1954 Jaguar MKVII, Dave noticed that the fan was broken. A new fan was installed but, as is the case with a lot of the classic cars we work on, the new fan didn’t quite fit into place exactly as it should. Luckily, our classic car technicians are master craftsmen so Dave was able to weld some new lugs onto the car so it would accept the new fan being installed.

To make sure the new lugs blended perfectly with the rest of the car, Dave painted them black and, as you can see from the photos below, they are now in perfect keeping with the rest of this classic car.

Now that the engine is back with the car, work can continue on our 1954 Jaguar MKVII. We are looking forward to seeing things progress over the coming weeks and we are excited to see this impressive classic car back out on the road with its owner.

Machining Jaguar Pistons

The pistons of our 1954 Jaguar MK VII were machined recently.

As the pistons are such a vital component of the engine, it’s important that they are exactly right and, as you can see in the video below, care needs to be taken to make sure everything is perfect.

Engine Removal – 1954 Jaguar MKVII

Dave has spent a lot of time lately working on our 1954 Jaguar MKVII. During one of his inspections of the vehicle, he noticed that there appeared to be some damage to the engine.

As his investigation went deeper, he discovered grit in the oil and some damage to the big end. The result was the engine having to be removed from the car and sent to our partners at Coltec for a rebuild.

Removing the engine from this classic car is a big job but, as an experienced and skilled classic car technician, Dave was able to get the job done and he hopes to receive the rebuilt engine back soon.

Once it’s back with us, work will continue to restore the classic Jaguar.

Out with the Old – New Exhaust and Mirrors on the 1954 Jaguar MkVII

The workshop team at Bridge Classic Cars have been getting the old parts off and out of the 1954 Jaguar MkVII ahead of the new replacement pieces going in.

To start with, Jon removed the old exhaust from the car to clean up the manifolds. Once cleaned, he could them back into the car and begin putting together the exhaust with the new backbox. This included brand new hardware for the mounts to keep the soundtrack as elegant as this classic Jaguar looks.

Finally, with the exhaust all complete, Jon could fit the new replacement mirrors onto the MkVII and give them a quick polish to finish the car off.

Up and Down – Sorting Out the Window of the 1954 Jaguar MkVII

The workshop at Bridge Classic Cars have sorted an issue with the window on the 1954 Jaguar MkVII which is in at our Suffolk HQ.

The classic Jaguar has developed an issue when winding the driver’s window down. The window glass would come off the runner attached to the regulator and then eventually drop to go back into the runner.

Our workshop carefully stripped back the door card and made the necessary adjustments to fix the issue before being put back together for the team to carry on with the other work on the car.

Close Contact – Inspecting the Hoses and Exhaust of the 1954 Jaguar MkVII

The workshop at Bridge Classic Cars have been looking into a couple of issues with the 1954 Jaguar MkVII which is in at our Suffolk HQ.

Firstly, the team have discovered the radiator hose was making very light contact with the lower crank pulley. It has left a few very small witness marks on the hose itself.

After that, the team look into an issue with the exhaust. Upon inspection, they found the exhaust bracket and the inner parts of the silencer had broken apart. These pieces have been put on order for the car.

Finally, the team have adjusted the air vent linkage which didn’t allow the vent in the scuttle panel to seal correctly which now works as it should.

Way out Back – Replacing the Rear Pinion Seal on the 1954 Jaguar MkVII

Dave, one of our most experienced technicians here at Bridge Classic Cars has been working on replacing the rear pinion seal of the 1954 Jaguar MkVII.

We noted the seal was leaking during an inspection and with the newly refurbished gearbox soon to be back in the car, Dave took this opportunity to get the rear pinion seal into the rear end before the gearbox is fitted and the driver shaft installed.

Keep a look out on the Bridge Classic Cars newspage for more updates soon on the 1954 Jaguar MkVII.

Finding the Cause – Leak from the Gearbox of the 1954 Jaguar MkVII

The 1954 Jaguar MkVII that was in with us for restoration is back in the workshop to look into a leak from under the car.

Upon inspection by the Bridge Classic Cars restoration team, it was found to be an issue with a gearbox seal. This has been sent away to a specialist gearbox expert to have the proper rectified in order to the engine and gearbox back in the car as soon as possible.

Keep a look out on the News Page for more updates on the Jaguar MkVII

Glowing Jaguar

Dave has installed these original UV lights under the dash of the 1954 Jaguar MK VII. The blue/purple looking lightbulbs are called black lights and the white numbers and markings on the dials will be painted in a substance such as radium (but we’re not 100% sure on whether it is radium). So then, in the dark with the lights on, the dials will glow. Most cars have backlights, so this is a really lovely feature of the vehicle.

1954 Jaguar Mk VII home-time

She’s been with us in the workshops for sometime now but today we bid farewell to our 1954 Jaguar Mk VII.

Looking beautiful and fresh, the car is now ready to be driven and enjoyed, hopefully to have many many more years out on the country roads.

Source: Lancaster Insurance – the Jaguar Mk VII at 70

Over 70 years ago, Jaguar introduced a large saloon that epitomised the famous slogan ‘Grace, Space, Pace’. Here are some useful facts.

  1. Jaguar kept the Mk. VII a secret until its debut at Grosvenor House on 16th October 1950.
  2. The sales material claimed the Mk. VII was ‘An entirely new car of unparalleled beauty’ – and it was undoubtedly a star of Earls Court -The Mk. VII replaced the Mk. V; there was no “Jaguar Mk. VI” as the name was registered to Bentley.
  3. The XK120 was intended as the test-bed for the Mk. VII’s 3442cc DOHC straight-six engine.
  4. The initial price was £1,693, which included adjustable steering, a sliding roof, fog lamps, and (naturally) leather upholstery.
  5. The top speed was a shade over 100 mph – an astounding achievement for the period.
  6. On 25th April 1952 Autocar magazine concluded the Mk. VII was an outstanding car. It has extremely good performance, is very comfortable to drive and to ride in, is very completely equipped, has a modern yet dignified appearance and is very good value – indeed, it is in that respect phenomenal.
  7. 1952 saw the Mk.VII became the first Jaguar available with Borg Warner automatic transmission; albeit on export models only.
  8. Laycock de Normanville overdrive became an optional extra in 1954.
  9. Stirling Moss drove a Mk. VII to victory at the 1952 and 1953 International Trophy Production Touring Car race at Silverstone. Ian Appleyard equalled this feat in 1954.
  10. In September 1954 the Mk. VII was facelifted as the Mk. VIIM, featuring externally mounted auxiliary lamps, improved transmission and flashing indicators.
  11. Automatic transmission was now available on the home market, and Autocar of 11th May 1956 descried the Borg Warner-equipped Jaguar as ‘a happy marriage’.
  12. Famous Mk. VII owners included Diana Dors, Jack Hawkins, Peter Sellers and HM The Queen Mother.
  13. Browns Lane fitted their Mk. VII test-car, registration KRW 621, with lightweight magnesium body panels, disc brakes, modified suspension and the D-Type
  14. The Jaguar crewed by Ronnie Adams, Frank Biggar and Derek Johnstone took first place at the 26th Monte Carlo Rally in 1956.
  15. Later that year, the Mk. VIII made its bow at the London Motor Show.
  16. As compared with its predecessor, the latest model sported a single-piece windscreen and a choice of two-tone paint finishes. The 3.4-litre engine now sported a modified “B-Type” cylinder head. Jaguar also enhanced the list of equipment, and the automatic version even boasted a clock for the rear passengers.
  17. In 1958, the Mk. IX featured the famous 3.8-litre engine and – “firsts” for a Jaguar – power-assisted steering and all-disc brakes as standard.
  18. Motor Sport described the Mk. IX as: the business executive’s ideal motor-car, handsome, impressive, able to hurry to the tune of 0-60 mph in under 19 secs and a top speed of over 115 mph when called upon, yet luxuriously and sensibly appointed and equipped.
  19. British films frequently used the Mk. VII family as screen getaway cars into the early 1960s – perhaps most famously in The Fast Lady.
  1. The Mk. X replaced the Mk. IX in October 1961 – by which time the previous generation of “Big Jaguars” had re-defined an entire market sector.

Protecting the Jaguar MK VII.

Chris has recently put a layer of black protective coating on the underneath of the 1954 Jaguar MK VII. This does exactly what it says on the tin, helps protect the underneath of the car from the elements of the road.

Pressure testing the Jaguar Mk VII engine

Ady has taken a trip up the road to Coltec Racing to pressure test the Jaguar Mk VII engine.

During pressure testing all-bar-one of the outlets are blanked off and then compressed air is fed into the open port on the inlet manifold, this way we can find if the cylinder head is leaking.

It is always worth getting a pressure test because if anything is cracked internally, it will not be visible, however by using our methods we can easily check if any cracks within your components, before repairing and putting your vehicle back to its best condition.

New stereo box for the 1954 Jaguar!

Tamas has fabricated and welded together a new stereo box for the white 1954 Jaguar Mk VII. Kath has then covered it in dark red leather, ready to go in the car!

Cleaning the Jaguar Mk VII gearbox

Before marrying up the gearbox to the engine, Ady has done an incredible job of thorough cleaning the internals. It’s not just about the things you see, it’s important to worry about the things you don’t see too!

Jaguar MKVII Shims

We’d sent the carburettors off and found that the they needed new shims so Ady has worked on making up newer thicker shims.

Jaguar MKVII Engine Progress

We’ve taken apart the exhaust port and fitted new valves onto the cylinder head of our 1954 Jaguar MKVII.

Jaguar MKVII Air Flow Alterations

Ady has been working on our 1954 Jaguar MKVII and has recently turned to address the air flow. He has opened up the throat on the inlet side to gain 2mm for more air flow and done the same on the exhaust.

Jaguar MKVII Update

Our 1954 Jaguar MKVII has had its cylinder head welded to resolve corroded water ways.

Ady has also started revuilding the engine after its been re-bored, cleaned and painted.

Jaguar MKVII Update

Tom has been working to wire up the headlights on our 1954 Jaguar MKVII.

The Jaguar has been fully painted and is steadily collecting its chrome pieces.

Paul has been installing the door cards which fit on the inside of the door.

This is the most recent paint and chrome update as it sits outside in the brilliant sunshine:

Jaguar MKVII Out Of Paint And Into Chrome

Our classic 1954 Jaguar MKVII has officially left the paint bay and gone back into the fabrication bay to have the doors re-attached as well as chrome elements such as window frames, door handles and door catches.

Jaguar MKVII Painted

Our stunning 1954 Jaguar MKVII has been full painted and the panels have been smoothed and flattened. The rest of the body now needs to be flattened and shaped before it goes back into the workshop to have its chrome and trim fitted back in as well as the mechanics.

Jaguar MKVII Gets It’s First Dose Of Paint

Our classic Jaguar MKVII has recieved its first layer of paint. Chris and Matt spent the morning masking the body up in preparation for paint. The body has sat in primer which had been smoothed out ready be painted over in the final cream colour.

Chris started painting the body this afternoon. The doors and outer panels have already been done, meaning that when the body is finished, it will start to resemble the final product all in its original colour. Seen below is the paint process of the body and panels as well as the priming stage.

Jaguar MKVII Update: Paint Prep

Our 1954 Jaguar MKVII has most recently been masked, primed and had a guide coat put over the top to guide Chris and Matt when smoothing the panels. The bonnet has already been painted in the original paint and sets as a good guide for how the rest of the vehicle will look.

The doors were prepared ready for primer. The preparation includes making sure the surfaces are clean and the components are masked up. The primer was the applied by Chris.

Before the MKVII was able to go to the paint bay, James had to add some fabrication to correct some spots of rust and corrosion. The right hand rear quarter panel just behind rear arch was showing some signs of corrosion so James cut out the rust from both the inside and outside layers and then fabricated replacements which he welded in.

Wheels Primed And Painted

Our 1954 Jaguar MKVII has had its wheels painted in Epoxy primer and then painted in its final cream colour. These have been hung up and sprayed in the paint shop and worked on by Chris and Matt.

Jaguar MKVII Shrinking, Shaping and Smoothing

James and James have been working on shrinking and re-shaping the panels for our 1954 Jaguar MKVII however they’ve taken to doing it the traditional way. Using heat, a hammer and cool air, they can effectively reshape anything they need to in a precise and neat manner. By heating up the metal, it balloons and softens the surface, allowing James to hammer it into shape and then use cool air to set it.

James is focusing on making the outside layer of the rear quarter panel, which is made by hand and hammered into place.

After finishing the re-shaping, James could then start with applying the lead primer and then the Tallow Medium and Nealetin, all of which are applied using heat. The tallow medium, traditionally made from goose fat, is heated up and melted so it resembles a spreadable ‘goo’ that can then be worked into shape to provide a flat finish.

We did some filming with James in the workshop where he explained to us what’s going on with the Jaguar in the fabrication bay. Here’s some behind the scenes.

Jaguar MK VII Hides Hidden Time Capsule

Every now and then, these classic cars surprise with hidden treasures. Whether its personalised dashes, objects stashed down the side of seats or a pair of driving gloves in the glove box, its always a pleasant discovery. On this occasion, we found two embedded tool kits in the door cards of our 1954 Jaguar MK VII, containing original and well-used tools, including a grease gun, bulbs and brake fluid. The two hidden tool kits seem like time capsules to 1954. We had worked hard to loosen the bolts and catches to unlock the tool kit and we’re now glad we did!

The job in hand for the two James’ in our fabrication bay was to strip down the doors to bare metal, taking off all the fixtures and sand down the sides. With a lot of rust visible, we’ve applied a filler primer that tackles rust and prevents it from spreading.

The doors first had to come off before they could be dismantled and stripped.

Jaguar MKVII revival

Kath has been working on repairing the seat squabs on our 1954 Jaguar MKVII. She has repaired the rear seat squab as the vinyl had started to come away from the squab. She applied contact adhesive and stuck it back down in place, making sure that the vinyl was sticking neatly around the edges. Kath also had to rip underneath the seat to fit a piece of calico on to the material to stop it from getting any worse.

Ady has also been carrying out a thorough engine service which includes replacing the spark plugs and spark plug leads as well as the oil filter, oil and a new water hose.

Jaguar MKVII Brake Repair

Paul has taken a look at our 1954 Jaguar MKVII and made sure all the brakes are stripped down and ready to be overhauled. The rear brake pipes have been removed and replaced with new components.