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Castings - An alternative in restoration.

I have been involved in the restoration of a MK VIII [8] sedan for approx. 9 years. It was really a good idea at the time but is currently a bit of an albatross in that it has gone forward very slowly. The body has been de-rusted and straightened up but there is no doubt it is still a tough project to take on. Then MK8 is to my knowledge the lowest number of sedans ever produced by Jaguar post WW2. 6202 being quoted by Phillip Porter as the numbers made.

The place where I live is only about 2 Ks from the Petrie Country markets where we have friends involved in the normal retail trade of selling food etc in their business of a Sunday. Please note to Register persons planning an outing that this is not a trash and treasure place. Everything associated with the markets is carefully vetted to ensure local content and standards.

A recent introduction into these markets which are fairly extensive is the Trade Guild Building. This is apparently a group of mostly retired tradesmen who have gone into a co-operative to promote trade training skills and experience and to promote that to then public. I addition they plan to give trade training days for groups who are interested.

I noted that they were doing a very active promotion in regards aluminium castings and I have been chasing a set of taillight housings for the MK 8 since 1990. After establishing my bonafides with Fred Lowin who is the leader of the casting group I gave him a couple of Taillight housings Part nos. Lucas 53340A and 53341A. He then proceeded to thicken the diecast walls with cardboard and beeswax before making a sand based mould.

The final result is a brilliant piece of work. In all honesty I am quite ready to bolt on the aluminium castings which are now polished instead of chromed but I would not wish to worry the concourse judges . Aluminium can be chrome plated via a system of using copper deposit and finally chrome and will last as long as diecast. I will make a decision in the future about how I will tackle this aspect.

The group at Petrie country markets are rightfully concerned at getting involved in trade and patent rights however if a patent holder cannot deliver the goods then their patent is pretty suspect. I have used the “net’ to chase these parts for a couple of years without success. An English firm offered me these taillight housings as reproduction items at 90 English pounds sterling per pair. Roughly Aus 225 dollars + postage.

I believe we can do it a little better by promoting home based reproductions a t better than half the price and keeping the money in Australia. If you do have a too hard part and you believe that it could be done in aluminium Fred Lowin can be contacted on 3269 4505 or just go to the trade Guild workshop, at Petrie country markets on a Sunday morning. Fred who is 82 did his apprenticeship prior to WW2 with Rolls Royce as a metal caster and knows a lot about the trade. They are setting upto do brass castings in the future and would appreciate enquiries in the non ferrous casting area.