GPC 294C
1965 Mk II 3.4

So far I could not be more delighted with the integrity of the metal we have found beneath the paint. This is about as rust free a Mk II as you are ever likely to see.

I have decided to have my friend Saul Chaplin of British Auto Wood in Florida re-veneer all of the interior wood and make me the panels I need in relation to the LHD conversion. He is also making me a special Derrington steering wheel to match my new wood. For those of you unfamiliar with Saul's work, his website is worth a visit at Saul has done a great deal of work for Classic Jaguar and it has always been of flawless quality.

Work completed but not photographed below includes the removal of all glass and rubber seals, all interior wood, all chrome hardware (inside and out). For those of you who keep a tally of such things, we have about 60 hours invested to this stage.

Bootlid could not have been cleaner
Bonnet was also in superb shape
beneath the paint

Zinc primer
Epoxy primer

A two door Mk II
Doors in line to be stripped
First door looks pretty good.....
Except in bottom corner where a
previous repair has been carried out

Restoration underway....

As you can see from the following photographs, we now have the restoration of GPC well and truly underway. We are currently stripping the car out in readiness for the promised bare metal repaint, re-wire, engine rebuild, five speed conversion, Suffolk & Turley interior, LHD conversion, etc, etc, etc.

As this car was supplied new by the legendary John Coombs, it seems only appropriate that I should use Coombs arches and put some louvers in the bonnet - don't you think?

GPC starts to come apart at the seams
Removing all glass and chrome
Spats gone forever
Coombs arches for this car
Carefully removing all the lamps
Shell is solid as a rock
Original Coventry plastic underneath
the door trim
All chrome will be re-plated or replaced
Wood is very sound but will be 
completely re-finished

January 13, 2002

Total restoration.....

Due to something of an emergency reshuffle of the CJ fleet brought upon by problems Andy was having with his E Type, GPC 294C has been pressed into some unexpected commuting action. Having not fired the old thing up for a quite a few weeks, I was delighted to have her purr into life at the merest touch of the starter button. So enthused was I, in fact, that I set off on an impromptu drive around the Texas countryside! Did I mention that life in Texas in January is good? The car performed flawlessly as I took random turns down deserted hill country roads bathed in glorious sunshine.

I had forgotten how much I love this old car. When I pulled back into the CJ parking lot I turned the ignition off and just sat in silence for a while, enjoying the moment.......

That may have been one of the more expensive moments of my life. As I gathered my thoughts, I realised that I had been mapping out GPC's restoration, subconsciously selecting Suffolk & Turley hides and considering the vexed question of light or dark burr walnut veneers. A thousand man hours flashed through my thoughts. Five speeds, climate control, navy blue hides with light blue piping, Minilite versus wire wheels, Coombs rear arches and bonnet venting, etc, etc.

When I eventually went back inside CJ (I needed to get some Suffolk & Turley hide samples to hold against the Opalescent Silver Blue paint) I bumped into Justine. She said, rather pointedly, "Having fun, are we?" Did I mention she is telepathic?

So there we are. The decision has been made. GPC 294C is about to receive the full Team CJ treatment.

Dan Mooney
Team CJ

October 31, 2001

Cool cat with new shoes.....

This week GPC received a long overdue Team CJ radiator and also some rather spiffy wire wheels. The wheels have, to my way of thinking, dramatically improved the car's looks. We decided to retain the UK installed Kenlowe fan when we fitted the Team CJ radiator and the combination is proving extremely effective. At the time of writing, the temp gauge needle has yet to venture beyond 70 degrees.

We had a devil of a time with the right rear hub as the original bolt-on hub was siezed solid. Despite some seriously heavy duty pullers, one of which I purchased specially for the task, we ended up resorting to the dreaded 'blue wrench'. That one wheel took longer to convert than the other three combined! I think the end result justifies all the effort.

I did also receive some good news from the guys in the CJ Workshop. The low oil pressure readings that I had been concerned about ended up being a faulty gauge. The old gauge had been showing approximately half of the true oil pressure.

Sunday July 29, 2001

Hot under the collar...

I finally have to admit that GPC's cooling system just cannot cope with our Austin summers. With outside temperatures constantly at the triple digit mark, the water temperature gauge rarely drops below 100'F. Although the car has not actually boiled over on me, I do not have sufficient confidence to embark upon anything other than occasional short (deliberately traffic free) trips. In the next few days I intend to have the CJ workshop install a shiny new aluminium radiator and a high powered cooling fan. As attached as I have become to this car, I want to drive it...not simply look at it!

Miles at close of this report - 77,636

Friday June 29, 2001

Full Service....

GPC 294C emerges from a full Team CJ service and thorough check over. The only problem encountered was a stripped out oil sump drain plug. I had intended bringing the car home this evening but 100 degree temperatures (with no AC) brought me to my senses. The Dodge Ram truck won out.......

It was good to see the car in the air on the service bay lift. I am delighted to say that it is totally solid and genuinely 100% rust free. The worm's eye view also gave me a chance to check out the SIII XJ6 rack conversion that was apparently done/supplied by M & C  Wilkinson in England. It is an extremely neat and efficient installation. Good job, MCW. We also took the opportunity of installing a spin-on oil filter conversion kit.

Note: Whilst we are handing out awards, a 'black mark' goes to White Post Garage in Newark, England for not noticing/doing something about the stripped out oil sump plug when the last oil change was done to GPC 294C on May 25th, 2000 (miles 77,271). The plug, which was barely finger tight and very obviously stripped out, could have 'popped out' at any high rpm moment. If a job's worth doing, do it right....

Incidentally, I have ordered a new set of splined hubs and will be converting the car to wire wheels next week. Sure, the old solid wheels look stately, but really a Mk II needs wires, don't you think? I am also considering retrimming the seat backs which look a little shabby. This is mainly due to the fact that the previous owner retrimmed the seat bases (March 23rd, 1996) and left the backs unattended. I am currently contemplating the question of when 'patina' becomes....well, shabby. The jury is still out on that one.

Service bill as follows:

Parts - Fuel filter - $3.25
Parts - 3 Quarts 80W90 gear lube - $6.00
Parts - 2 Gallons of anti-freeze - $17.90
Parts - Spin-On oil filter kit - $99.00
Parts - Oil sump drain plug - $5.36
Parts - 7 quarts Castrol GTX 20w50 - $18.55

Labour - 4 hours - $300.00

Total Invoice = $446.64

Miles at close of this report - 77,523

Monday, June 25, 2001

Dave Doonan (Team CJ trim specialist) took a look at the ill fitting driver's door. Ten minutes later fit and function was perfect. I booked the car in for a full service and asked the guys in the CJ workshop to do the following:

  • Oil change
  • Install spin-on oil filter adaptor
  • Flush coolant
  • Drain and refill trans and differential
  • Turn Kenlowe fan to maximum setting
  • Note: I will probably fit a Team CJ alloy radiator soon but want to see how the old rad and Kenlowe cope with 100 degree Austin weather first.
  • Perform mechanical oil pressure test and investigate low oil pressure
  • Note: GPC has an XJ6 power rack installed and I must say my initial impressions are very favourable.

    Mileage at close of this report - 77,523
    Expenditure this report - $20.70 (gas)

    Sunday, June 24, 2001

    Took GPC the 13 miles to Classic Jaguar, stopping off for breakfast en route. Nice to be asked about the car by a number of people who were clearly enthused! The journey to work was uneventful...and an absolute joy.

    Saturday, June 23, 2001

    GPC 294C finally makes it back to Austin after 6 years in England! Looking rather better than than when I sold him to a Nottingham car dealer back in 1994, I was thrilled to see the old car pull into my road - albeit on the back of a flat bed truck. Mileage upon delivery from docks - 77,500.

    GPC fired up on the first crank and ran beautifully. The fuel gauge was showing zero so it was off to the local gas station for 12.182 gallons of premium unleaded gas and then off on a long anticipated maiden cruise. Cruising is a good word to describe the feeling one gets when driving a well sorted Mk II Jaguar. Somehow the world seems to slow down and the whole experience is rather serene.

    On this 10 mile trip the car performed flawlessly. Initial observations: oil pressure reading low (about 20 psi), temp gauge at about 85/90 degrees on this 95 degree Austin day, driver's door poorly adjusted. The engine sounds as sweet as a nut and the overdrive Moss box shifts beautifully.


    Return to Our Cars - The Team CJ Fleet