• Graham Eason

Flooring A XJS

When this red XJS came in to us for a check over it looked shiny and solid. Unfortunately that was before we got it onto the ramp. The owner had just bought it, promised by the seller that it had received significate recent expenditure including a partial respray.

Some of that turned out to be true. But not a lot.

As you can read our Beat The Bodgers series (click here), it quickly became apparent that this car wasn't all it appeared to be. Even the shiny paint wasn't up to much - the bottom of the sills, where they return under the car, hadn't been properly sprayed because the painter couldn't be bothered to turn his gun and the paint didn't reach the corners of the bonnet.

Underneath the car was clagged full of filler. Wherever a XJS typically rots (read our Buyers Guide for the more details), this car was rotten but the rust had been disguised behind inches of filler. In fact, whoever applied the filler deserves some recognition because they'd done it surprisingly well.

What lies beneath... behind the filler the sills were rotten

This car demonstrates how bodging is a misunderstood art. The suggestion that it is all about cutting corners overlooks the fact that to bodge a car like this XJS to this standard actually takes time. Probably more time than doing the job properly.

So why do it? The likely answer is that bodging with filler, no matter how time-consuming, is cheaper and less skillful than welding. Welding well requires experience and skill. Filler doesn't. So it may take longer but it's cheaper to do because you don't need skilled staff to do it.

Anyway, enough about bodging. Back to the XJS. We assessed the car and realised it would need sill work and new floors. The job was quoted and, as we always do, we then work to that agreed figure - our aim is no surprises.

Fitting the floors is a time-consuming job and one that takes experience to do well. In the process we discovered yet more examples of bodgery. The lump of filler below was used to disguise rot on the inner sills. We had to scratch our heads when we saw that because, with the carpets and floors in place, this wouldn't have been visible. Perhaps it's an example of the bodger's pride in the job?

Filler discovered on the inner sill whilst replacing floors...

We've created the Beat The Bodgers series to help you reduce your risk when buying an old car. If you're particularly interested in buying a XJS then our XJS Buyers Guide may be useful. And feel free to call us on 01527 893733 or email info@fixclassiccars.co.uk.

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