Delivery, inspection and dismantling

1965 Daimler V8 250 (AKA Jaguar MK2) Restoration

I’ve loved the Jaguar Mk2’s since they were popularised in the TV detective series ‘Inspector Morse’ way back in the late 80’s and early 90’s.  In good condition they command a very strong price, so realistically the only way I will ever own one is if I restore a non-runner.  I’m finally getting around to this after more than 30 years and purchased this one which was the best I could find for my modest budget.  Externally, the Daimler shares almost every detail with the Jaguar, except a different grille and bonnet mascot.  Also different is that the Daimler utilises the V8 engine instead of the straight six engines of the Jaguars. The interior trim was also more luxurious on the Daimler, but as most of mine is missing anyway, I guess that’s irrelevant.  My aim is to produce a robust and reliable car, and one which I intend to use on a very regular basis.  Many of these cars are restored to original (or, better than original in some cases!) condition, which can cost tens of thousands in parts alone.  These are then kept in heated garages and only brought out to take to shows and events.  That’s not what I want at all. I want a car to enjoy.  The car was delivered via trailer because it’s been many years since it last ran.  The bodywork does appear to be quite sound, although the underside is in a pretty bad state.  Also in a bad state is the interior (or what remains of it!).  At least the interior can be easily replaced, however the chassis/floor/sills and general underside body will require hard work to repair.  I intend to refurbish what can be refurbished, fabricate what I’m able to, and purchase second hand parts for the rest.  I intend to tackle the restoration in two phases.  Initially, I will restore the chassis, underside, running gear (brakes, suspension, drivetrain) and the engine.  Then, once the car is drivable I intend to use it before starting phase two, which will be a ‘Rolling Restoration’, where I’ll work on the upper body, interior and paint. 

The hostname is a reference to the fact that back-in-the-day, these cars were supposedly favoured by bank robbers as a getaway car, because they had a massive boot (for their haul) and were very fast for the time, certainly faster than anything the Police had.  It didn’t take the Police to cotton on to that fact however, and soon the force also started using them in a bid to keep up.



This is where she’ll spend the foreseeable future.






Not a great deal has happened since taking ownership of the car a couple of months ago due to other commitments, but I have managed to remove what remained of the interior and also some external bits.  The bonnet was taken off in preparation for the engine to come out.  The engine turns freely and smoothly which makes me hopeful that not too much work will be required.  I’d like to think that removing both cylinder heads and a recondition of the top ends will suffice to get it running again.  These engines are quite bullet-proof if reasonably well maintained.   I’ll refurbish the carburettors with a newly acquired ultrasonic cleaner and replace all of the ignition components too. 



Engine bay stripped in readiness to remove the engine.




OK, out she comes.  It’s a big heavy lump being an aged V8 Auto, but having an engine hoist helps and after just an hour or so, I managed to remove it single handed.



Yes, those are holes in the floor.



Next to come off was the front subframe assembly, which holds the steering, brakes and suspension components.  It doesn’t look much, but this weighs an enormous amount and required two trolley jacks to safely lower it from the car.  The only way to be able to move it now is on a pair of dollys. Not sure how good the braking was previously, but the O/S calliper is missing.

A quick check has revealed that both rear callipers are also missing.  The shopping list is growing daily! 


I obviously need to get the structure sound initially, so I’m starting with the chassis and working from front to back.  My first order (of many, no doubt) from Martin Robey’s catalogue arrived with a new cross-member, braces, crow’s feet and some reinforcing gussets.  These are some of the (many?) common components to rust on these cars, and I knew that they needed replacing, but it still comes as a shock when you first look under the car and see all of these parts completely rotted through!