Leaping Jaguar


The Borg Warner automatic gearbox suited quite well the nature of this engine, for what was initially intended by Jaguar; smooth ride, minimum effort for the driver. With three speeds available, it was deemed adequate for the immense torque the V12 generates, especially at low range, with a torque converter taking all the fuss away.

Still, having read how in the Seventies you could start an XJ-S, engage fourth gear and pull from standstill to maximum speed in less than a minute, I was gob smacked! I also wanted a manual gearbox on mine, do what Jaguar never produced, a manual XJ12!

After taking to my friend Jim Bolton, he came up trumps with a XJ6 manual overdrive box coupled with an E type SIII V12 bell housing and a XJ6 pedal box. All these items were fitted in a scrap metallic blue XJ12 SI that Jim dismantled; someone had modified this Jaguar in the past along the lines of my project. I got a feeling it might have a been a Guy Salmon's Jaguar. An old chap, Terry Mears, who worked for many years in the industry, informed me that was quite usual for Guy Salmon to modify his cars, adding unusual features and usually painting his projects in metallic blue. If you know better, please do let me know!

The hunt was now for a gearbox tunnel cover, in order to clear the box linkages and lever. Chris Coleman managed to unearth one from all his parts and it only required minimal trimming to the opening in order to clear the lever when engaging reverse. It was promptly sand blasted and powder coated in black. New Jaguar rubber gaiter and knob from an E-type were bought from SNG Barratt.

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