Name: Graham Cutts
The classic: Jaguar XK 150S
‘I’ve had a few challenges in my life, but this rebuild has been the most challenging of all. When it’s finished, I think my favourite thing about owning it will be the sense of achievement and pride I’ll have from completing something that is a real challenge.
When it’s finally on the road and I can see that everything I’ve done has worked, I’ll know that I’ve done a good job. It’s a feeling of self-worth. It’s thinking, ‘I’ve done all that and it actually works!’
Graham Cutts had been looking for a classic car for some time, when he had some money left to him. ‘It seemed an ideal opportunity to put those things together,’ he explains. ‘I’d looked at E-types and, although they’re very nice, they’ve gone up in price enormously.
‘I was once watching an episode of Top Gear where James May was driving an XK120 up to Scotland. It was pouring with rain, but the car was absolutely gorgeous. I thought to myself, ‘that’s the kind of car that you could really have fun with.’ So, I started looking around for XKs.
‘Between the XK 120, XK 140 and XK 150, I chose the XK 150S. While the XK 120 and XK 140 are both lovely models, the XK 150 was as good as it gets in my eyes. Eventually, I found a 1959 XK150S which was in the process of being restored.
‘However, the owner had run out of inspiration or money – or both – and sold it to a company called the Carriage Company in Hertfordshire.’
Graham arranged a viewing, and found that the car was pretty much a shell: the chassis had been completely stripped, as was every panel. The bodywork had been refurbished, and the engine had been rebuilt – ‘other than that,’ laughs Graham, ‘it was a box of bits. And not all the bits were there, either! I negotiated with the dealer, bought the car, got it shipped home and started work on it.’