The earliest surviving XJ6, a pre-production Series 1
2018 saw the XJ model celebrate its landmark 50th year since launch – setting the benchmark for luxury saloon cars the world over for many years. Very few XJ’s have the draw of MWK 28G. Built in early June 1968, MWK is the 19th of 20 handbuilt pre production XJ6’s – and the first ever road registered car. It was this very car that carried out the vast amount of road testing through France and Spain, and graced the cover of the majority of motoring press publications of the time, as well as the focus of R&D during 1969 that led to the improvements of 1970 on the range. This cars history is second to none in the XJ world. Along with great history, the car is also one of the most original, unrestored XJ’s. The bodywork has been limited to one sill replacement, and the removal of the wing mirrors that were added in the 70’s, with sympathetic paint blends to these areas. The interior is all original, with the exception of the standard headlining retrim. Both the gearbox and the cylinder head have had an overhaul. Not bad for a lowly 2.8ltr automatic XJ6 that is still in regular use.
With such provenance, MWK 28G was very much in demand through 2018. In private ownership, the car was requested to attend many celebrations, including a return to Salamanca in Spain (where testing and photo shoots took place in 1968), photo shoots at Wappenbury Hall, pride of place and track parades at Brands Hatch ‘XJ50’, heading up the lineup at Wroxall Abbey for the JEC (as selected by Letitia Mace of Xclusively Jaguar!) and features in ‘Classic Cars’, ‘Practical Classics’, and ‘Jaguar World’ magazines.
Disaster struck at the end of the weekend however, with a careless error on the part of the transport company resulting in the truck’s second loading deck crashing down onto the roof of MWK.
The rear screen (very early central located heated rear screen) shattered, the rear of the roof stretched, and the passenger side ‘C’ pillar distorted enough to leave the rear door out of alignment with the body shell.
The damage, whilst not extensive, has robbed the car of its originality, as a full repaint was required.
Works began by meticulously stripping the car of all brightwork and trim, labelling and bagging as we went. So many small detail parts are unique to this hand made pre production car.
With the car stripped to a shell, the paintwork was carefully removed using a dry process. The wonderful Eastwood SCT tool removed all paint, without damaging the metal work underneath.
|The bare metal work was simply stunning. The only recorded repairs to the car have been the replacement of the passenger side outer sill and wheelarch some 10 years ago by XjRestorations.|
The damage to the rear of the roof line and the passenger D post were dressed out and reformed with traditional hammers and dollies; the D post requiring the slightest of ‘pushes’ with a hydraulic ram. The minor imperfections in shape around the repairs were treated with lead loading.
It was important to be sympathetic in the works, as this was never meant to be a restoration. The panel gaps on MWK are very good indeed, but the temptation to make the gaps perfect had to be resisted. The car had to maintain as much of it’s ‘as built’ character as possible.
|With the body work completed, the car received 2 coats of Epoxy sealer, followed by 2 coats of high build primer. A week for the primer to ‘settle’, before blocking down the primer to remove any imperfections.|
|The original shade of Regency Red was then applied in a modern waterbase, before 2 coats of UV resistant clear lacquer were applied.
A careful refit of all trim, and MWK has been returned to as close to original factory build as possible, and put into regular use once more.
|Painting Classic Cars|
Look out for a 6 page feature on MWK 28G in a forthcoming edition of Jaguar Magazine!
To subscribe to Jaguar Magazine, contact Letitia@exclusively-jaguar.co.uk