XKs Unlimited specializes in Jaguar and modern classic body and paint work. It’s all we do. With our product familiarity and depth of understanding, we’re one of a small number of shops that can legitimately call themselves experts when it comes to vintage Jaguar rust repair, body restoration and paint.
Consider the Jaguar E-Type. Like any monocoque structure, the E-Type body shell is strong as a unit but is weakened considerably when any structural element is removed. That’s why careful support of the shell is required to maintain correct panel alignment during major rust repair; with our custom jigs, we can replace only a few panels or build an entirely new body shell, re-using only the front bulkhead. Some shops gas weld or braze in new E-Type panels. This can compromise the shell’s strength and is a dead giveaway that the body has been repaired. We use original-type spot welds to ensure the repaired shell is as strong as original and that all seams retain the correct finish.
We also ensure that things like E-Type tail lamp housings, bumpers and head lamp finishers will fit properly once the shell is painted. That’s the advantage of working with a shop that performs all facets of a restoration in-house and knows how one operation can potentially affect another, even if it won’t do so until months later.
The XK-120, XK-140 and XK-150 present their own challenges. For instance, if you don’t remove the headlamp pods, eradicate every last trace of rust and properly re-seal them, your beautiful new paint will begin to bubble at the pod base, sure as death and taxes. During a frame-off restoration, we mount the body to a donor frame to maintain proper panel alignment. We also have a number of custom jigs to ensure specific areas stay put. With an international cadre of suppliers – not to mention our in-house fabrication capabilities and English wheel – there’s virtually no XK (or E-Type, for that matter) body component we can’t source or manufacture ourselves.
Prior to painting, the entire body shell is stripped to bare metal to remove all traces of old paint, primer and body filler. We then paint the prepared body shell to your specifications. Again, everything is done in-house so we can control all the details, like making sure paint goes exactly where it is supposed to go and nowhere else. Nothing against other shops, but unless they have as much experience with Jaguars as we do, they’re bound to get some of these details wrong.