Paul Skilleter News – April 2017

Offers from Paul Skilleter and PJ Publishing
April 2017

For further details on all items here please visit our website
Please note that all our listed books are published in English



JAGUAR XK 120 – The remarkable history of JWK 651

This is the works XK 120 that did everything (writes Paul Skilleter) – Le Mans, the Mille Miglia (twice!), the Tourist Trophy race, record-breaking runs at Montlhery (including covering 131.83 miles in one hour), and even a national rally – the RAC.

Because of its amazing competition record, and because it made such a big impression on me when I first encountered it at Peter Butt’s premises in Pindock Mews in the late 1960s (which the book faithfully records), JWK 651 has always been my personal favourite of the six alloy-bodied Jaguar team cars. To such an extent that when in 1971 I race-prepared 670144, the aluminium XK 120 I had bought from Peter Butt in 1968, I modelled it on 651. So I was absolutely delighted when Brooklands driver, author and raconteur A.F. Rivers Fletcher saw me compete just afterwards at Prescott hill climb and exclaimed, “That reminds me of my friend Leslie Johnson’s car!”.

JWK 651 was sold by Johnson in 1952. Perhaps it was because it did virtually no competition work afterwards that JWK 651 survived in essentially original form, and was eventually reunited with its original engine and many other parts which had been removed over the years. Thanks to current owner Derek Hood of JD Classics, JWK 651 is now back to largely authentic Le Mans 1950 form, complete with pressed steel wheels (Leslie never put it on wires).

The book, written by Chas Parker and Philip Porter, is no. 2 in Porter’s  Exceptional Cars series and does a splendid job in  telling the story of JWK 651. It includes many period photographs, a number of which I had not seen before, and moves on from the car’s period racing days to chronical its career in the hands of (relatively few) subsequent owners. It concludes with a beautiful colour photo-study of the car as it is today, in all its Le Mans glory.

Hardback with jacket, landscape format, 128 pages, 28.5 x 24.5mm. GBP30.00 plus Shipping – GBP5.00 P&P, GBP9.85 Europe, GBP14.90 Rest of World

Available via our website

(Letitia Mace: I am looking forward to reading this book in the next few weeks and writing my own review of it.)




In stock and available from us NOW!

It’s been some time coming, but just published is the new book on E-type originality by Dr Thomas Haddock and Dr Michael Mueller. Tom Haddock’s previous books on this topic are well known and highly regarded, with certain early editions now in the collectors’ market and commanding high prices.

But when I learnt from Tom that he was going to produce a new book in collaboration with Michael Mueller, I knew at once it was going to be extra special,. This is because all Tom’s knowledge would be combined with Michael’s, with the further advantage of Michael’s extensive collection of original, unrestored E-types – which have to be a key ingredient for any book on originality. However authentically restored, a restored car is exactly that and can never fully duplicate what actually left Browns Lane. It is inevitably something of an interpretation. Nor is even factory literature always correct or consistent: spare parts catalogues and bulletins have to be assessed and compared with what Jaguar actually put out there… And joy of joys, there’s an index, vital in any reference book and surprisingly lacking in some otherwise good Jaguar books.

The production qualities of Tom’s earlier books were, shall we say, not exactly state-of-the art, but the new book is totally professional in terms of design and production, while the quality of the illustrations (mostly of unrestored E-types and mostly in colour) is really excellent. Due credit therefore to publishers Dalton Watson, and for a more detailed description of the new book I can do no better than quote them direct:-

This book on Jaguar E-type originality is based on research spanning almost five decades, and Drs. Haddock and Mueller include here extensive new information from an exhaustive four-year examination of the Mueller collection of over fifty E-types. As such, the book is archaeological in nature, based more on observations of cars than on factory publications or other literature. The examination of principally un-restored cars, many partly or completely disassembled and still retaining their original configuration, permitted discovery of much detailed information not reported before. The large volume of data used in the compilation of this work permitted statistical analysis of production changes that would be impossible with a smaller data-set. It significantly advances the understanding of the original configuration of these remarkable cars.

A few of the many topics included are:-

  • Variations between early and late E-type Moss transmissions
  • An analysis of engine block and head part numbers and configurations, especially the complex and numerous variations of 4.2-litre engine blocks
  • A review of the myriad of small sheet-metal variations in the tub, bonnet and doors, especially the subtle changes in coupe bodywork in early in 3.8-litre E-type production
  • Hidden markings on instruments
  • Review of the subtle variations in the early cooling fan motors
  • Coupe sun-visor evolution
  • Markings and tags on carburetors
  • Markings on the various tyres originally supplied on E-types

There is naturally a bias towards the (far more numerous) left-hand drive cars, but even so, for those restoring any six-cylinder E-type to original specification, or who simply wish to understand how this great sports car evolved, I would use the time-honoured phrase, “this book is essential reading.”

The book spans an impressive 516 pages (size 304 mm x 219 mm), and is hard bound with jacket. There are no less than 1,568 colour and black and white photographs.

Jaguar E-type Six Cylinder Originality Guide by Haddock and Mueller is available from us at GBP95.00 plus GBP2.95 P&P UK, GBP15.00 Europe, GBP28.00 Rest of World (air).

Available via our website

(Letitia Mace: I am looking forward to reading this book in the next few weeks and writing my own review of it.)



In stock and available from us NOW!

A new title in Haynes Publishing’s series of manuals on exotic cars and planes, this 156 page hardback book covers all D-types from the 1954 ‘all alloy’ works cars through to the long nose cars seen at Le Mans from 1955 to 1960. It also covers some of the major replicas.

Although as a manual it is somewhat tongue-in-cheek, nevertheless the book contains a lot of good, hard technical and workshop information, no little thanks to such experts as John Pearson and Chris Keith-Lucas. The author, Chas Parker, certainly takes particular advantage of CK-L’s  experience and he was able to follow the restoration of one particular car in CKL’s workshops.

The sometimes tricky subject of reconstructed cars is discussed,too, and I find myself quoted at some length in this context. The book recounts the time when John Pearson asked me to accompany him to France to recover the frame and other mortal remains of XKD 543, which John eventually rebuilt so authentically that it is more original than quite a few other D-types having less dramatic histories!

Following a good account of the D-type’s activities in period (augmented by a large number of ‘new’ photographs which were certainly unfamiliar to this writer), the technicalities of the D-type’s unique construction are explained, along with a detailed description of its major component parts – and, as befits a ‘manual’, servicing data. There are occasional little errors as is inevitable with any book by any author, but as a highly informative guide to this magnificent Le Mans winner from Jaguar, it can be recommended with confidence. Especially at the price!

Jaguar D-type Owners’ Workshop Manual by Chas Parker is available from us at only GBP18.95 including P&P UK, GBP3.00 Europe.

Available via our website

For further details on all items listed here and our other books please visit our website

Paul Skilleter
Paul Skilleter Books/ PJ Publishing Ltd
Tel: +44(0)1425 612669