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The Dr. No "take no prisoners" 007 Jaguar

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     In 2008 I became involved with the  "24 Hours of Lemons" race series.  This is a two-day endurance race for cars of all types.  These events draw over 100 cars and are made up of four driver (minimum) car teams.  That's about 400 drivers.  What makes this event so popular and successful is that the base price for an entered car can not cost more than $500 bucks!  Needless to say, there is quite a variety of vehicles on the track at the same time.  The series organizers makes safety a number one issue.  Don’t be out there thinking this is a game of bumper cars.  Unsafe driving will get you booted out off the race and perhaps the season.  Don’t let the $500 dollar car fool you.  By the time your finished putting the car together to make it acceptable for racing you could easily drop a couple of thousand bucks.  The top finisher in the event picks up a cool 1500 dollars. I mean cool in the fact, it is all paid in nickels.  Also, if the race series owners feels some cars have no chance of lasting any great number of laps due to lack of good sound mechanical history (such as British) and one of these cars does well, they kick in another 1500 bucks to that team.

  I have driven in this event twice in other cars and have decided to build my own to enter in the 2010 Series.

  The car is a 1970 XJ-6 powered by a 409ci (40 over 400) Chevy small block. It will be known as the Dr. No. "take no prisoners" 007 Jaguar.

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Check our site frequently for 007 appearances and monthly shop events

The motor powering my project is a 400ci Chevy I bought from a friend for 150 bucks.  It needed a complete set of valve guides and a rear main seal.  When I pulled the heads the pistons had 40 stamped on them. I was now the proud owner of a 409! I replaced the heads with a rebuilt set, added a 488 lift cam, Pete Jackson gear drive, high rise manifold and a few other things I had laying around the garage, then painted the complete setup mandatory  Chevy orange. A leak down test showed everything tight. One of the other Jags in my collection came with headers and a complete exhaust system.  It would be perfect for the Dr. No "take no prisoners" 007  Jag.

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This is the engine compartment after I cleaned up forty years of dirt and grime and repainted it.  I was going to restore this car for my own use but decided to build it to run in the 24 Hours of Lemons. I'll use the removed parts to enhance my other two Series 1 Jags then sell what ever is left over to keep the car in the required $500.  window.  I paid 300 bucks for it originally!

Current plans are to gut it out completely and try to lose as much weight as possible.  These cars weight out at 3800 pounds. By the time I get finished with it, it will look like a four door hard top, painted in British Racing Green and sitting on yellow painted steel rims wrapped in sticky tires.

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One thing that I have always been impressed with is the imagination folks have building their cars. I raced for years and like most owner/drivers I could have bought a house with what I spend on my first racecar. The basic low-buck car run in these events not only shows how well some guys can do with just plain building a car but what they can also do to set them apart from other entries. True some of them have outlandish themes, but I have seen some very nice custom work that did not cost much more than the persons time and was only limited to their imagination.  There are some really nice looking cars out there.

Putting the 007 Jag together, I have been using some of my own ideas regarding the coachwork.   I also have a 1976 Jag XJ-C in my small collection.  They are very rare two-door hardtops build from 1975-77. Total of these cars produced were about 10,400. There are probably less than 300 running around the states today.  I decided I wanted to give the 007 the same hardtop look. 

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Now minus all the door glass, side windows & pillars.

It seems our 007 Jaguar is considered to be one of the underdogs in this event by most of the readers or writers on Jalopnic.com. This opinion is based on these sad facts.

 

1. No Jaguar has ever finished well.

 

2. The demon electrical system known as “Lucas”.

 

3. The Chevy 400 motors that put out more heat than horsepower.

 

So what are we doing about this?

 

 

1.          Finishing well in these events seems to be a matter of preparation,

drivers ability and just plain luck. Keeping the car going in a straight line, avoiding driver “conflicts” and remembering that, when you are trying to out brake the cars around you, the main focus of this race is to FINISH. The end result of a brain fart could mean disaster to you and your fellow drivers.

 

2.       I have removed all of the electrical from the 007 Jaguar except the brake lights and wiper motor and will rewire the entire car. We will also be running a point type distributor.  It will have some basic performance parts, a high output coil and a good set of ignition wires.  I have found when reliability is needed, the simpler the system, the better. You also will not find an electrical fuel pump in this car.

 

3.          Working with the Chevy 400 means I will have to find ways to keep it cool.  Cracked heads and blown head gaskets are the common result of high-temperature disorder.  This will be the biggest obstacle the 007 Jag needs to overcome.

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You too can do this in 15 hours!

    Removing the wiring harness took more time than I thought.  I guess my main concern was to salvage as much electrical and vacuum components as possible.  I am constantly getting requests for vacuum control switches and the XJ6 is loaded with them.  Makes me feel good knowing the parts I remove will be helping someone else down the road get theirs going down the road. With the old dash and wiring removed, I can start designing a race friendly replacement.
    

  The only thing I left remaining were the wiper motor and wiper assembly, which will be re-wired into the new dash. I will use the original ventilation box to direct cool air into the drivers compartment.  We will be racing this car for two 7-hour periods and believe me, it does get hot inside a drivers suit.  

   

Build-up pg. 2

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