Brucie’s Diary: March 2016

Current mileage: 168,042

12th February – British Motor Museum Press Day

The newly re-furbished Heritage Motor Centre at Gaydon in Warwickshire opened its doors to the public, more appropriately re-branded as The British Motor Museum, on 13th February 2016. The day previous to this was the Press Launch of the new museum and the adjoining Collections Centre, to which I and Rob Jenner were both invited.

Rob Jenner and Letitia Mace at the British Motor Museum Press Day 2016 Peter Baker of Retro Speed took this snap of us as we were making our way from the BL Collections Centre to the Jaguar Heritage Collections Centre at the Press Launch.

Launched by Gavin Williamson MP and Bob Dover (Chair of the BMIHT), who spoke of the heritage of the motor industry, the work that had gone into preserving this, and plans for the future, followed by the ribbon cutting whereby the museum was declared officially open!


The museum features an ever changing display of cars from the Heritage Collection. Here are 4 of my favourites from those on show at the Press Day.

NUB120 1950 Jaguar XK120 Open Two Seater

NDU289 1953 Jaguar C-type

OVC501 1954 Jaguar D-type

1988 Jaguar XJR9 Le Mans Winner


Four Favourites from the Collections Centre

Norman Dewis inspects one of the exhibits!

Tony Bagley proudly stands with his 1955 Daimler 3.5 litre Sportsman which is on longterm loan to Jaguar Heritage

Rob Jenner takes the opportunity to sit in the V12 powered prototype XJ40 Coupe – having purchased the last manual X300 XJR from Jaguar Heritage, this is the other car he would like to add to his collection

For me it would be the Prototype XJ40 Estate – I think this is one of the most elegant estate cars ever built, beautifully executed by Jaguar, and far superior to the after-market versions.

Details of the new museum and its official opening can be seen HERE


10th March – N359 VTV bound for Italy!

Craig Lee, Managing Director of Rudgate Brewery and N359VTV

Today we said goodbye to VTV …. but if the new owner keeps to his word, it won’t be a final farewell.

VTV was sold to Craig Lee, Managing Director of Rudgate Brewery, for the purpose of taking part in the 2016 Motoscape Rally journeying across Europe via the Nurburgring and the Stelvio Pass and ending up in Venice!

VTV’s exploits will be recorded by Craig Lee and sent back to me for publication in Xclusively Jaguar News.

I will be looking forward to Craig’s diary, as VTV is an XJ40 Daimler in Gunmetal – very late VIN, and not registered until 1996 (N). A previous owner stripped the car of most of its Daimler identity, adding a Jaguarsport bootlid infill and replacing the majority of the ‘D’ badging with Growlers! Why anyone would want to do that, we have no idea, but the car was obviously well cared for, as the bodyshell and running gear are remarkably sound.

It is intended that VTV will be wrapped before the journey, so I am looking forward to the first pictures of the facelift!

VTV’s owner has already posted the following pictures and comments on Facebook, so watch this space!

XJ40 Daimler for Motoscape Rally


Rudgate Brewery logo


14th to 16th March 2016 – North Wales and South Wales JEC Regions

We set off for North Wales in the morning to do a bit of touring in the X358 2.7 Diesel Sovereign before heading to Mold where Rob had been invited by Keith Hurlock to do an evening talk for the JEC North Wales region.

Rob Jenner talking to North Wales JEC Region Rob raises a glass during his talk to the North Wales Region – in appreciation of the local brew, talking about his life in the beer trade, or just inspecting the clarity? All or any of these could be the topic of his lively talks about a life with Jaguars, Triumphs, Maserati’s, beer, the Coventry motor industry, and the outer isles of Scotland!

The North Wales members contributed to some lively banter during Rob’s talk and sent us away at the end of the evening with a bottle of something special!

Rob’s talk culminated in an auction of Jaguar memorabilia personally donated by us in support of the JEC charity for this year, for which we would like to thank the North Wales members for their generous support!

The following day we continued our tour of Wales, and meandered gently down to Cardiff where Rob had been invited to do a talk for the South Wales Region. The weather had been unseasonably warm and we both agreed that the choice of car should have been sportier, but the X358 2.7 Diesel Sovereign was at least comfortable, economical, and served us well. It had suffered a blow out on a front tyre on the M6 during our last journey south, and as I was driving at the time, I felt that the car had handled remarkably well, allowing me to safely pull over from the middle lane to the hard shoulder, with no real fuss! It followed up this unfortunate episode when a stone hit us and resulted in the inevitable split windscreen – and right across the driver’s line of vision, which if you look carefully you can see in one of the pictures below!

Jaguar X358 2.7 Diesel Sovereign in WalesRob wanted to revisit the place where he spent many happy family holidays, while I wished to revisit a cottage I viewed 30 years ago, over-looking Llyn Brianne, with a view to buying it – but got cold feet when I realised it was 11 miles from the nearest settlement!  Jaguar X358 2.7 Diesel Sovereign by Llyn Brianne, Wales   Jaguar X358 2.7 Diesel Sovereign by Llyn Brianne, Wales

Colin Manconi and Andy Webber have a well supported group running in South Wales, who meet up at the BBC Club in Cardiff. The members benefit from a high quality, well produced regional magazine, printed by Colin’s son and funded by local advertising. Compact, topical, with technical and historical content and relevant to local members – coupled with well supported, lively meetings, Jaguar owners in South Wales are truly blessed!

JEC South Wales Jaguar magazines

Rob’s talk was again followed by an auction of Jaguar memorabilia personally donated by us in support of the JEC charity for this year, for which we would like to thank the South Wales members for their generous support!

 Rob Jenner talking to South Wales JEC Region  Rob Jenner talking to South Wales JEC Region

On behalf of their members, Colin and Andy sent us away with a beautiful framed print of our Jaguar X300 XJR manual winning the Edinburgh Jaguar concours!



19th March 2016 – ‘Classic Car Auctions’ Spring Sale

When we set off for Wales on the morning of 14th March I thought that my reports on the 2 meetings we were to attend in Wales, and Jaguar Spares Day would complete Brucie’s Diary for this month. How wrong I was, for the day preceding Spares Day we went to a Classic Car Auction, primarily to assess and bid on a Maserati, but at the far end of the auction hall, tucked away in a corner, was a 1988 3.6 XJ40 Sovereign. Condition looked OK, but keys were not available to do a proper inspection, and history was incomplete. Apparently the car had failed to meet its reserve  in the auction at the NEC Restoration Show the previous week, which didn’t bode well, and being a late entry was last to go under the hammer and not listed in the printed catalogue. Most people seemed uninterested and had thankfully left by the time bidding began, so maybe it was meant to be, but Rob Jenner’s deft bidding on my behalf made me the truly ecstatic owner of this early example of an XJ40!

Ten years ago I owned a 3.6 XJ40 and absolutely adored her, but was persuaded to trade her for a 1996 SWB 4 litre X300 Sovereign – not Brucie, I hasten to add! In all those years,I wanted a good 3.6 more than I wanted any other XJ40 model, even more than an Insignia, and possibly more than the prototype estate!

I never thought I would own another 3.6, so was prepared to pay any price for this one, and just hope it would prove to be the right decision! As it transpired, when we finally got the keys, one turn and she burst melodiously into life, and on opening the bonnet we were in awe of the condition of her engine bay – she is a worthy candidate for any concours d’elegance! The V5 then revealed that she was a one owner car, and the wad of MoT certificates confirmed that the 39,200 miles were genuine!

She is truly stunning, and I feel confident that I now own one of the very best 3.6 XJ40’s still in existance!

The pictures below show her as she was on arrival in Scotland, after a long journey from Warwickshire, and before she had been washed!



All bodywork is sound, there is no evidence of rust and paintwork is near perfect. To the experienced eye there is evidence of past rectification, however, this has obviously been well-done and stood the test of time, as there are accompanying receipts from the mid 1990’s which date the repairs, and suggest that the car was maintained as required regardless of expense.

Wheels and Engine Bay

No signs of rust in any of the usual places, and everything is spotless, apart from a light coating of dust from the long journey home! Wheels are the original metrics, as they should be. Ouch – that’ll hurt when she needs new tyres! The original Dunlops are nolonger available, but Avons in the correct metric size can be purchased from  Longstone Classic Tyres



All veneer is unmarked and unfaded, driver’s seat bolster is unworn, roof lining is exactly where it should be and all electrics are working! Early XJ40 toolbox – correct and complete, and all the keys!



Cooling pack cradle (always first to go on these cars) shows only surface bubbling; original stamped Jaguar exhausts; all pipework, sub-frames and floorpan are perfect!

As yet un-named, she will be joining Brucie and the rest of the Jenner Collection, with more pictures to follow next month!

Many thanks to Scott Brown for allowing us to put the XJ40 on a ramp for a full inspection and photographic record, from all angles. Scott looks after a number of Jaguars in the South East of Scotland and Northumberland and is proficient in their care. As the records showed that the car was due for a service on 8th April 2016, this was performed by Scott on her arrival with us.

Scott Brown Cars


20th March 2016 – International Jaguar Spares Day

We rounded off the month of March with our usual visit to Jaguar Spares Day, the report for which can be seen HERE