Rusty the XJ40


Words and pictures based on a recent feature by Roger Kemp which appeared in the April 2019 issue of the Jaguar Drivers Club magazine


I first saw Rusty at an meeting at Cosford in 2017, so it was good to see this car on the JDC stand at the Restoration Show, firstly because it challenges most peoples’ view of the JDC and secondly because it is good to see XJ40’s finally being promoted as desirable cars!


About 4 years ago, Kevin Johns was asked if he wanted to save a 1987 XJ40 from being scrapped. Travelling to the south coast to buy it, despite its many faults, he named it ‘Rusty’ …. after its colour, not its condition!

Rusty was used regularly, until the rust bubbles became holes, and it was clear that he was going to require major surgery in order to survive!


So Rusty’s transformation began and the rust was the first thing that had to be dealt with. It was quite significant and new metal was let in wherever it was needed.
The bonnet was beyond repair and was replaced with a second hand one.

Rusty was then completely resprayed.


The 3.6 engine is original and unmodified, however, an uprated cylinder head is waiting to be fitted.

Modifications to date, include, a custom made stainless steel exhaust system and adjustable air-bag suspension.


Interior windows have pleated curtains and the original seats have been replaced with another set of XJ40 seats, but in superior condition and with red piping to match the exterior paintwork. The final touch is a personalized steering wheel.


Work on Rusty is ongoing, as new ideas and opportunities come to his owner, and you can see from the pictures above that he has already undergone many changes since I last saw him!


Jaguar Drivers Club