Tuesday, 17 September 2013


Well, it would seem that I'm just about there and would have to say that I've enjoyed the journey and also enjoyed writing this up a couple of times a month.  This started out as a simple solution to store pictures and notes related to the project and really only for my own use.  It finished up as a fully blown blog with in excess of 60K views over the duration of the restoration and regularly hit 4000 views a month which was surprisingly satisfying.
It has also had some interesting side effects.  The Jaguar Drivers Club discovered it and asked me to produce a series of articles to run in parallel with the blog, the final part being in last months JDC magazine.  This led on to the XK Gazette asking if I would do a much longer series, perhaps over 24 months, each with around 10 pictures and 1500 words.  The fourth part of that series will be in the October Gazette.  I suspect to encourage me onto greater things they also suggested that the Gazette series could be the basis of an XK restoration book to be published by Porter Press and sure enough that did appeal to my vanity but I really would expect some proper remuneration for my efforts if that most unlikely of events ever actually occurred. 
The blog was of course written in real time and I only really needed to remember what I did last week or so. The Gazette series is about 20 months displaced and I would have to say that without the blog, it would be an impossible task.
I have also had many interesting email discussion on many aspects of the project.  It was just a shame that the comments part of the blog proved unworkable and had to be turned off due to the continual stream of totally unrelated rubbish received.
The benefits of retirement are very slowly starting to materialise.  For the time being I will hopefully retain my workshop at my old business premises but as the months go by I seem to start later and finish earlier and because today was wet and cold, I decided I would just take the day off.  Disgraceful!

For years I've looked for the ideal receptacle for the tools and spares that really need to be carried when your out and about in a fifty year old car.  I've invariably finished up with some horrid plastic B&Q tool box which has absolutely no place in the boot of an XK or any other respectable classic for that matter.  I was therefore quite pleased to come across an almost ideal old leather bag with all the right bits inside to retain safely and accessibly everything I normally carry.  It needed a bit of work and a few alterations to make it perfect and I lent it and its contents to a stranded C type replica owner at a recent show.  Upon its return he commented that more people asked about the bag than the car!  It goes into production in around a months time and with any luck I might even have the first batch available for Christmas.  So if you see a super posh and brilliantly practical tool bag advertised in the classic car press late this year or early next, you'll know the story behind it.

As I've said before, I will write up the full explanation and outcome of the electric water pump conversion, the totally outrageous but well hidden audio system and any other items of interest that occur during the winter months.  All will eventually, god willing, appear in the XK Gazette and I should think that a fair proportion of you who follow this will also take that publication.

So that it for now.  No more regular fortnightly updates.  Only an occasional post when there really is something worth writing about.