45 Years of Waiting - Jaguar V12 Broadspeed

Published on 9 July 2024 at 09:41

I was just 8 years old the first time my mind was blown by a car. I remember it well, my parents had a Cortina 1300 deluxe at the time and my Brother turned up with a 4.2 litre Jag XJ6 straight out of the factory. I had never seen so many switches or smelt so much leather, the power and smoothness of the straight six left a long lasting impression, so much so that 45 years on I still remember the registration number - JPL444K. I knew right there and then that I was a Jag man, I have had 7 since then.

Rewind back to the young, easily impressionable Dave and one of my favourite TV programmes was The New Avengers, I didn't care much for the story lines but Steed had a 5.3 v12 Jag in a sort of sanitised Broadspeed style.

By the time I got my driving license the obsession with Jags had grown and I bought my first one - a Squadron blue 4.2 that was barely holding itself together - probably the worst car I have ever bought. I wanted to turn it in to a Broadspeed replica but it was never going to happen really, the car was just in too bad a shape to do anything with. I drove it the 140 miles o Derby once, the return trip burnt over a gallon of oil and it stopped altogether in Slough, some 30 odd miles from home.

All thoughts of ever having a Broadspeed were always ridiculous, I seem to recall they only made 3, even back than I would have had to have sold my parent's house to get one, even a replica was out of reach.

So, jump forward to 2024 and a discussion that somehow got started with Malc and Russ one day in the workshop. We had just finished the Lotus Cortina and the to do list on the rest of the cars was diminishing nicely. I think we had just sorted the gearbox on the Broadspeed Anglia when I said to Malcolm - I think we should do a Broadspeed Jag. It was sort of half joking but he didn't dismiss the idea as quickly as I thought he might. Russ's reaction was just to say thanks Dave, In a sort of I hate you sort of way.

Anyway Malc's interest grew, internet research was done, discussions were had and the next thing I know me and Russ had been instructed to try and find a suitable v12 coupe - not an easy task. As luck would have it I found one in Huddersfield, there is an XJ coupe specialist up there called Miles Classics, they had a car they were going to restore but it had sat for 5 years, had been robbed for bits and needed moving on. I passed on the details to Malc, next thing I know we are on the way up to Huddersfield some 2 1/2 hours away from here.

The car was better in some ways than I had hoped for and worse in others but for what we wanted it was a good foundation. We need to convert it to manual but we can then sell the auto box and get a few quid back. As luck would have it the discussion with Miles, the vendor, turned to Broadspeed and he mentioned he had a set of panels, which could also be made available. I swear I need to get Malc to pick my lottery numbers the luck that man has sometimes is unreal. A deal was done, I think a very reasonable one given the rarity of the cars and the next job will be to pick it up. The deal was for the car, the Broadspeed panels and any parts needed to make the car complete. Having access to Miles is a massive bonus as his knowledge of the coupes is second to none.

The project will take years rather than months, it is a big, complicated car, the bodywork and engine work needed is huge but perfectly doable. Decisions need to be made about a number of things eg what fuel system we go with etc, we need to sort all that before we start. It really is a dream come true, it will be a superb project and the end result will be one hell of a car. We just have to build the m-sport rally Fiesta first.

Update on this, after having slept on it Malc decided not to go for this one, which is very disappointing but I understand his reasons. He had spoken to the seller a couple of weeks back and had been told the engine was complete and that it should fire up. When we got there all the injection system and ignition system components  were removed and the inlet manifolds were in the boot. This meant that we couldn't hear the engine run or get any sort of idea as to what condition it was in. I wasn't too worried as they guy had said he would provide all parts to get it running but of course getting it running and getting it running properly can be two different things. It is a fair bit of cash to throw at what is basically a scrap car at the moment but I was still a bit surprised when he told me of his decision. So maybe another one will come up and maybe it will still happen but at the moment it's looking very doubtful. Oh well, on to the next one.

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