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Why I Would Advise Against Broomstick Cars

As you will have read, Mike Moore of Broomstick cars agreed to take the both my XK 140, which was almost completely dismantled and the E Type which was complete, to his workshop. Initially, I was very grateful because my domestic situation had meant that I was having to move house and therefore I would loose the garage that I had built to house the cars.

He collected the E Type and the XK body which was on a frame and took them to his premises. What was left was a mass of individual parts, many new or already refurbished. A friend and I laid all these parts out and photographed them and then we packed them into five or six very large boxes which were labelled to correspond to the photographs. My friend and I then delivered the boxes to Broomstick's workshop.

I was not sure whether it would be worth restoring the E Type as I knew while it was still complete it was saleable. So I asked for an estimate to repair it enough to obtain an MoT. At this stage it was agreed that Broomstick would simply store the XK and its parts.

The first estimate for the E Type was for between 5,000 and 6,000 depending on whether the engine would run.

Well, if you've read the story you will know that the engine didn't run and had to be rebuilt. I obtained a new set of pistons and took away the cylinder head which I overhauled myself. Gradually, things got out of control. Mike suggested painting the engine bay while everything was out. Then he said that it wouldn't cost a lot more to do the whole car and so it went on. There was never really a time when Broomstick ever came close to meeting the original brief except at the very end when I was pressing them really hard.

I kept a very accurate account of all the costs and entered every item I bought and what I paid Broomstick. The original 5,000 turned out at over 30,000 to which has to be added the many parts I bought which was a considerable amount on top of this.

Turning now to the work they did on the XK, the brief I gave them was to make it mobile. No more than that although they exceeded that brief by a country mile. It was never, ever my intention that they should spend their time and my money doing things like fitting the wiring harness, lamps etc. I just asked them to make the car mobile but I wouldn't have minded so much if they had done the other jobs well but I have had to re-do almost everything. I struggle to come up with any explanation other than they were short of work and my car was there and I must have looked like a first class mug.

There is another aspect that makes me even more disappointed with Broomstick and that is the mysterious disappearance of quite a number of parts that I have photographs of before they were packed into the boxes. Some of these were expensive, hard to find original items. Here is a list of what I found to be missing so far.

XK 140 Parts

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Lower steering column - cost to replace 400 although I did get a 50% contribution to this in the end.

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Cubby box drawer runner set - cost to replace 125

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Complete set of original dash knobs and bezels - irreplaceable

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Dash harness with special bulbholder for fuel gauge warning light - irreplaceable so far

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Pair of original door handles with locks matching ignition and petrol filler

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Original equipment grease gun. Correct for 140 is very hard to find

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Box of six New Old Stock correct AC 7 Remac thermostats - bellows type with sleeve.

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New Old Stock oil vent pipe

E Type parts

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Pair of original horns - showing in photographs of the car taken on Broomstick premises

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Radiator header tank

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Pair of re-plated under-riders

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Correct coil mounting bracket

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Set of re-plated headlamp chromes - replaced with reproduction ones that don't fit

I'm not saying that these items were all stolen all though I'm sure some of them found their way onto other cars being worked on at the time. Generally speaking though, the whole place was so chaotic that I think the majority of them just got lost. Nevertheless a lot of time and money is involved in replacing them.

Perhaps the single most annoying aspect of this whole affair is that I wrote, twice, to Mike Moore asking him to look for for just one of the items in this list, the original knobs & bezels, and I never received even the courtesy of a reply.

These are just my personal experiences. Others may have had better ones but I think the foregoing speaks for itself.

 

 

XK140 restoration