Behind the garage door: XJS Jag restoration

12 December, 2018

When an ‘oops’ needs serious attention

Not all Behind The Garage Door projects are major, body-off-type restorations. Sometimes a small accident is just as annoying as something major. If your classic car has already undergone a major restoration or has never needed one because it is already in pristine condition, a minor-damage accident is not something to be taken in a minor way.

Ace Panel and Paint in Whitianga has just such a situation to deal with now. The pictured XJS has only done 22,000km, and, recently, the owner managed to run into the back of another XJS on an outing. A touch embarrassing to say the least.

The car has needed bonnet, headlight, and other front-end repairs. Repairing that and getting everything to align again is not a job for someone who doesn’t understand the concept of repairing rather than just replacing parts. Getting everything back into line and making the repaired car look as good as a new car takes time, often more time than a small and specialist panel shop can charge for.

Bruce Hayes, of Ace Panel and Paint, says that, on a job like this, when an insurance company would be looking to, “just bolt the parts on”, he would rather take the time to sit down and do it carefully, using the correct parts. He enjoys doing it and enjoys the challenge of repairing rather than replacing, and says that frequently he’ll have spent more time than he can charge for, simply because he wants the repair to be faultless. Fortunate the owner of this XJS then.

Travelling companion

It’s easy to see why the Morris Minor Traveller was one of the best-loved variants of the Morris Minor. Introduced in 1953, it was equipped with the same independent torsion bar front suspension, drum brakes, and rack and pinion steering as its saloon sibling but, with their foldable rear seat increasing versatility, many Travellers were used as trade vehicles, says Derek Goddard. Derek and Gail Goddard, the owners of this superbly restored example, have run Morris Minors since before they were married in 1974.
“Our honeymoon vehicle was a blue Morris Minor van — it was a rust bucket,” says Derek.

Super Leicht Gullwing

It’s fair to say that nothing much in the classic Mercedes world gets past Mercedes-Benz Club stalwart Garry Boyce so it wasn’t surprising to learn that around 15 years ago he had sniffed out an extremely rare 300SL lightweight Gullwing as well as a 1958 300SL Roadster hiding away in the Waikato. The cars were not for sale but Garry eventually managed to persuade the owner to allow him and his restoration team to take a look at the Roadster. They discovered a very distressed but largely unmolested car. The car was so original that the body had never been off the chassis, meaning most of the parts and fittings were still present and correct, as they had been fitted by the factory.