Front Fenders

Jim Warren: 120 front fenders (guards) on a 140? My 120 has 140 front guards! After 40 years, why would it not have 120 guards? They could easily have been replaced. But what are the features that cause your unnamed informant to say that they are 120? I think the easiest check point is the front indicator mountings (I think there is a bracket on the back of the fender, in the wheel area, for these). There are no doubt other giveaways. – John Elmgreen

John, as best I can recall, the suggestion that I had 120 fenders (wings) was based on the sheet metal in the engine bay, size of headlight pods and shape of the openings beneath the bumpers. However, the fenders/wings have raised bases for the indicator lights (lights in front above bumper valence?) and stamped depression for the headlight pods…pure 140 features, as I understand it.

Is this a translation problem? Fender=Wing=Guard? Or by Guard do you mean (US) bumper or bumper overrider? – Jim Warren

As another comment on XK front fenders, I have understood that the foremost portion of the front fenders were common to XK cars except for slight modifications such as the pressing for front flasher lamps, as an example. (Incidentally, In the US, the foreward part of the fender for these cars was commonly referred to as the “nose clip”.)

If one will notice, look in the front wheel well, near center but slightly toward the front, and you may see the original factory weld connecting the foremost part of the fender to the rear. If the undercoating and other debris is removed from this area, the very neat weld can be seen. On a fender that is stripped of paint and you look carefully, you can see where the metal is joined. On the cars that I have noticed this, the butt weld has been so perfect that the fender appears as a single pressing and not as two pieces welded together.

As students of the Jaguar marque, we have read that Sir William was quite cost-conscious in his manufacturing process. So, not having to incur retooling costs to make redesigned, complete front fenders was another of his management coups. He simply cut costs by retooling his dies for only a partial fender instead.

Concerning the rear fenders of these cars, one can also observe that the rearmost portion is common to all XK cars, less some cut out material for bumper irons, as an example. Again, there is a perfect butt weld connecting the two pieces of each rear fender. The front part was common to the 120 and 140 with its low, sweeping design. Unlike its forbearers, the front part of the 150 has a much higher line. Sir William only had to pay his diemakers for changing the front portion of the rear fender when he made the model change.

This is all I have to say about that. Would our resident metal expert, Wray, care to add his expertise and/or correct some of my statements? – Bob Oates

I’m sure Wray’s observation of Jim Warren’s car is correct, and as such, if it were my XK140 I would be looking for other evidence of a previous major accident damage repair that resulted in someone either inadvertently fitting probably more available XK120 guards. If these guards appear to have the pressed mounting platforms for the indicator lamps, (the easiest seen XK140 feature) I would thoroughly examine whether that looked to be a panel shop modification or a factory precise pressing and punching of wiring holes. The other easy indicator is the air Intake cavities below the bumper and the plinth panel mounting holes; is the shape a 120 or 140 and are holes drilled or punched. Inner guard treatment is another area to look at but easily upgraded by a panel shop. If you pass all these areas OK then I wouldn’t be overly concerned as the final result would be along the lines of Bob Oates comments above. – Roger Payne

Roger, The indicator light platforms do seem quite precise. The air intakes below the bumper are not as flat as those on a 120 but don’t seem quite 140 either, although I haven’t had a good view of 140 openings (always hidden by bumper in glamour photos!). I’m not knowledgable enough about other sheet metal in the engine compartment to know the diff. between 120 and 140 stuff….but, the JCNA concours is being held 40 miles from here in Stratton VT in August and I intend to burn lots of Kodak… – James Warren

Jim: There is a translation issue here! You call them fenders, the English call them wings, I call them mudguards or guards for short … vive la difference! – John Elmgreen

…now don’t start in with French! – Jim Warren

….the Swedes call them “flygels” which in Danish is means Pianos. Shall we stop here or do we need to know what Nero used on his chariots.? – Klaus Nielsen

On Star Trek, I think they would be “nacels”. – Ken Boetzer