Little things have changed my XKE over time from an older beautiful car to a wonderful weekend driver that is also driven during the week. The first significant change was replacing the Michelin Red Line tires with Pirelli P 4000’s. These new tires in a slightly larger size, 205 x 70 x 15, with new tubes refined the ride and really increased the cornering ability of the car. A large stone then entered into my life bounding off the wheels of an even larger truck carrying gas cylinders. The stone hit about nose high . Thank goodness for strong safety glass. The windshield was replaced as were the headlamps which were also stoned. GE halogen lamps provide plenty of light out front and halogen stop and turn signal lamps provide safety in the rear.
As you can see, over time I have changed things for my own safety as well as driving pleasure. Years ago, I changed the steering wheel because I became tired of the flex in the original 16 inch wheel. I bought a replica 15 inch which serves my purpose completely. The same with the little battery operated clock. Gone ! A Lucas Sport Coil and 8mm wires provide spark.
Living in the desert in Southern California was not a problem for many years when it came to keeping the car cool. But, gunk builds up over time no matter how often you change the coolant and flush the system. So, when it was time to replace all of the hoses on the car the radiator was rodded out and a Hayden fan was attached with modern heat sensors. A new heater control valve and blower motor, water pump and belts for good measure completed the job.
That’s when the car became known as the Dextron Valdez. The rack and power steering hoses were leaking. I continued to pour good Dextron into the pit with the hope that it would go away like a cold in 7 days or a week at the most. As we all know owning a Jaguar is much stronger that a common cold. The rack was rebuilt. New hoses were obtained along with tie rod ends and rack mounts.
Birthday presents during the past two years included a spin on oil filter. Now I even enjoy changing the Castrol. What a wonderful invention. A spin on filter ! Who would have thought that would be possible ? The exhaust manifolds were treated with Jet-Hot coatings. And the other side of the engine was treated with a pair of K & N pancake air filters just for fun. The brake pads on the front were replaced with fancy Repco pads and new discs. Some day Baer or Wilwood will stop the car. Oh, I almost forgot. Stainless steel brake lines really make the feel of the brakes change for the better.
Finally, or should I say, the last little thing / things added to my XKE were a new heat shield for the brake and clutch bottles and a beautiful red Malloy Unilite distributor. Makes for cool and smooth running.
So, here I am with a car built in 1969 that has 140,000 happy miles on the odometer. I guess I better go wash it and get ready for the next Concours d’Elegance. Yes, on top of being a fun car to drive, it/we collect trophy’s too. See photos of these changes at http://www.geocities.com/agm18/
Enjoy your Jaguars and always drive safely. Allan G. Mandell