Roarin’ in with a ’53 Jag Mark VII

 Hey everyone! another week has come and past at our shop, which means its time for our weekly article.  This week I’m going to be talking to you guys about our most recent DSC_0104restoration project, a 1953 Jaguar Mark VII. The Jaguar Mark VII is one piece of fine European engineering.  We are very lucky to be fortunate enough to have one to restore and make beautiful again.
        The 1953 Jaguar Mark VII was an exceptional feat in European vehicle engineering at the time. With a top speed of 101 MPH and an acceleration of 0-60 in 13.7 seconds it also achieved 17.6 miles per gallon. The chassis Is much like its predecessor the Mark V with a more streamline and updated body. It also traded in the push-rod engine for a XK engine (first introduced in the 1948 Jaguar XK120).
         Jaguar is brand that almost everyone is familiar with. the name is a staple of the automotive industry.  Jaguar’s business was founded as the Swallow Sidecar Company in 1922, They originally made motor cycle sidecars. The company’s name was changed from S. S. Cars to Jaguar Cars in 1945. A merger with the British Motor Corporation followed in 1966. They are now currently owned by Tata Motors.
     We’re currently in the midst of restoring our Jaguar as we speak.  It is a beautiful forest green with all original chrome. The physical shape of the car is great. Our Jag has virtually no rust and DSC_0010a solid frame. Gary originally worked on this car 25 years ago.  The owner had contacted him to sell it and Gary took the opportunity to buy it himself. With 60,000 miles on the engine it was necessary to do a cleaned up. The original 4 speed moss-box transmission will stay. The Interior is receiving a full overhaul, and will be replaced with all original and era-courteous materials; Burl Walnut, Weston wool and of course genuine leather.  I will be following up on in “This week in the Shop” frequently while working on this amazing car.
     As we were busy working on it we found this interesting artifact; A leather key fob from Marley Motors. Gary put it in leather conditioner and upon being able to read it we learnedDSC_0822 Marley Motors was a dealer in British cars from Hillsgrove Rhode Island. Here’s the real kicker the key fob is so old that the phone number is 1-2350  I contacted a gentleman who specializes in classic Studebaker dealerships like Marley Motors. He couldn’t give me much information other than a marleymotorswarwickri1965afew ads.  We found that Marley Motors was apparently alive in 1950, but they didn’t advertise what cars they sold.   The 1951 sales year was important for Studebaker and many new dealers were acquired then.  It’s possible Marley decided on a franchise then. After 1965, many dealers decided to drop Studebaker as by then the future of Studebaker was obvious. This could be  why it was so hard to research Marley Motors.
         I’d also like to notify and or remind you that “The Austin Healey Club of New England” is going to be celebrating its 20th anniversary annual Summit” event at the beautiful Berkshire Mountains located in Western Massachusetts. SUMMIT 2017 Promo Original (1)-1 Sports Car Services will be returning as an official sponsor and the event will be located at the “the Jiminy Peak Resort”.  The Roll Back in Time Sock Hop and Dinner with guest DJ Wolfman Steve will be your entertainment and rooms are $125 a night excluding taxes. You’ll be staying at the Country Inn with a one-bedroom suite with double occupancy and breakfast included. Two bedroom condos for $169 and Three bedroom condos for $229, including breakfast, are also available. All Austin Healey club members are encouraged to participate in this annual event. Call 413-738-5500 to make your reservations and mention the “Austin Healey Summit 2017” to get the special rates.


BSA Victor Special Featured on BaT


If you are a hopeless petrol-sniffer like most of us are here at Sportscar-Services, chances are you’ve already seen the 1970 BSA 441 Victor Special which was posted on last weeks Bring-a-Trailer daily finds–if not, here’s a link to the incredible bike which we helped its original and sole owner move from his basement after a nearly 40 year slumber.

Extracted from it’s original military lieutenant’s basement last week, it has been in dry storage since the early/mid 1970’s and is perhaps one of the most original and best documented examples left on the planet.  This bike is factory original down to its tires and brakes, and sale includes every part, tool and document ever associated with its delivery/importation, ownership and service (including original bill of lading, shipping container placard, original quote inquiry and military correspondences surrounding the on-base motorcycle ban)–over 100 documents in total. Include with the bike is a hand-built wooden service and storage stand.

Imported new to a military base in Iceland by its current owner, this BSA was shelved upon assembly after a base-wide motorcycle ban was implemented by the location commander. Once it’s purchaser returned state-side, the bike was ridden for a short while in Massachusetts before it was again placed in storage, where it remained until late last week. This motorcycle retains its original 1974 Massachusetts plate, and the sale includes a clean title of the same period.

A true museum piece with a captivating story, there exists a certain intangibility to this motorcycle when viewed in the context of its story and completeness–a truly special and one-of-a-kind machine.

Alastair Dowst

DSC_0807 DSC_0705 DSC_0811 DSC_0756


Sportscar-Services Moves Across the River


If you’ve been a long time reader of David Clark’s  “This Week in the Shop”, or have been a regular customer of Westminster Vermont’s own Sportscar-Services, you might have already discovered that your favorite British Car specialty shop has undergone some changes for Spring of 2015!

After nearly 30 years of providing the English car community with exceptional restoration and repair services, owner David Clark of Vermont’s Sports Car Services has chosen to pursue a new chapter in his lifetime of automotive pursuit and has passed the Sportscar Services gauntlet to long-time colleague Gary Gammans, and his staff at G&R Autoworks in Keene, NH.

While David will be retiring from daily duties in the shop, the staff and projects will continue largely unchanged with Butch Howe (David’s highly skilled and knowledgeable English car technician of 12 years) and George Rowbottom (now the active SCS main contact) staying aboard to continue the Sportscar-Services legacy and provide familiar faces to the outfit’s many long-time customers. While we will all miss seeing David each day, the merger of Gary’s and David’s staff allows Sports Car Services to boast nearly 200 years worth of combined experience in servicing and restoring vintage automobiles–allowing Sportscar-Services to be better prepared than ever to tackle any maintenance or restoration job, no matter the size.

We are all quite enthusiastic about being a part of this new chapter of the perhaps the East-Coast’s best British car resource, and look forward to sharing the shop’s daily activities as well as long-term projects through regular updates to this blog!

Sportscar-Services is now located on 55 Victoria Street in Keene, New Hampshire and can be reached by phone at (603) 352-4540, or by email at

Happy Motoring from your new “This Week in the Shop” scribe,

Alastair Dowst


Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: