Introduction and Initial Analysis
Our client delivered us his 1953 Jaguar XK120 for a Light Restoration Package. The initial goal was to increase the shine & remove some of the light swirls and marring in the paintwork, however as you will see, once we investigated this further he opted for a different package at our recommendation.
The Jaguar XK120 is a vehicle we at OCD have been lucky to have considerable experience with, having had the opportunity to detail three other examples of different years. Being a 1953, this XK has a full steel body rather than aluminum. There have been some 'drive-ability' modifications made by the owner, including a lower driver's seat cushion, plastic overflow reservoir and a proper toolkit. The original wheels are also fitted (rather than the more common and optioned centrelock wire wheels), and hence this example is able to utilize the additional spats over the rear wheels.
Upon initial analysis, the paintwork looks quite dull and faded, and is heavily contaminated. Remnants of overspray and evident on both the paintwork and glass, and light waterspotting is evident on much of the upper surfaces. Swirls & heavy scratches are also covering much of the painted surfaces of the vehicle. The chrome bumpers, light covers & grille are all heavily spotted & marked.
Whilst overall a straight example, this XK120 has quite an obvious dent on the RF fender that will need attention.
Wash & Decontamination
Before any further analysis is undertaken, we washed & decontaminated the paintwork to remove the iron fallout, sap, tar and paint overspray residue. With any Stage 3 or Stage 4 polishing package, this step is crucial to ensure a high quality overall finish for the vehicle. Without decontaminating the paintwork we also risk our machines picking up contamination and further damaging the paint (rather than correcting the damage!).
Paint Depth Report
Before embarking on any full restoration project, it is important we take measurements of all of the painted metal surfaces to check the condition & depth of the paintwork. In this case, we identified much of the vehicle has been resprayed, and the depths fluctuated greatly between panels. Having a minimum of 250 microns to work with allows us a high level of flexibility (it’s not uncommon we measure depths as low as 80 microns on standard paintwork). We also produced a full report for the owner.
Machine Cut & Polish
The next stage following decontamination is the machine cut & polish. Depending on the paintwork condition, depth and hardness we employ different methods to get our desired result. This particular vehicle required quite a heavy cut – which makes it imperative that we measure paint depth prior to commencing this work.
After our first few sets of passes, depth and clarity beings to be restored to the paintwork. Here is a comparison between the bootlid which has been cut, and the left rear fender which is untouched.
Cutting often causes light marks in the paintwork, hence for the best result possible we employ a follow-up polish stage to remove these marks and add more clarity.
Secondary Wash Down
Once the polishing stage is finished, we hand-refine trouble areas then prepare the vehicle for it’s secondary wash-down. We remove the tape and engine covers and prepare for snow foam.
We degreased the Avon tyres once more – these had a fair amount of grease and grime on them which responded well to our techniques.
We then snow foam the vehicle to remove the dust in the panel gaps from cutting & polishing. A simple air-dry is often not sufficient, so to ensure the best result possible we employ this secondary wash down as standard.
The snow foam is water blasted off, leaving clean and polished paintwork. We then move the vehicle back into the OCD Studio to air-dry and prepare for finals.
Wax application and finals
At this stage if the owner had chosen to have a ceramic coating applied we would commence this process. As a standard for Stage 4 Full Restoration Process, we apply a synthetic sealant and high-gloss wax to the painted surfaces.
Carnauba wax is applied by hand to the paintwork.
A before/after of the tyre degrease & detail. This includes a hand-polish of the chrome wheel centre.
As well as glass, and vacuum, we detailed all leather surfaces in the vehicle, including the seats, door cards, dashboard, rear tray and floormat inserts.
We’re lucky to have a fantastic photoshoot area just behind the OCD Studio, allowing us a natural backdrop in the heart of Penrose.