A little Humor! Well, not really, but it is funny now.

I came across this picture on the internet and it gave me a good chuckle. It reminded me of a time a few years ago, where this would have been relevant. I don’t know if any of you remember the Triumph Sports Cars, but the TR7 (and TR8) were the last of the small British sports cars to come to this country. They lasted about a year longer than the MG. The car first came out in 1975 and lasted until October 8th 1981. The wedge styling was very futuristic for the 70’s. As its advertisments boasted, it was “The Shape of Things to Come!”. Its true, cars eventually adopted the rakish wedge type design. But before that became the norm, The TR7 was mocked as the flying door stop, or a wedge of cheese… It also didn’t help that the car was initially unreliable and fell apart as you drove! By 1980, the car had spawned the convertible variant and reliability and quality issues were mostly resolved. It was too late, the car was headed to its grave.

A few years ago, I had an all original one owner low mileage convertible 1980 Triumph TR7 here at the shop. We had maintained this car here since new! The car was 100% perfect in every way. The owner asked us to sell the car for him. We sold it to an out of state buyer via the internet. The buyers informed me that they really didn’t know much about these little British cars but loved the styling and always wanted one. The new owners were coming from the mid-west to pay and pick up the car. They flew in early on a Friday morning and arrived promptly at the shop. I was engaged with another customer when they arrived. They said “take your time we will look around and see all the neat cars you have here”.

While they were waiting, they began to glance through the copy of “THE TRIUMPH BUYERS GUIDE” that we had on our book shelf. There are two sections in that book devoted to the TR7 – the early cars and the late cars. After reading the section about the early cars they put the book down and came to me and said “after reading that book, we changed our mind – we don’t want the car!” They never even saw the car in person, and rushed out the door and left. The early TR7 chapter they read really does say – DONT BUY! The later chapter tells how great the 1980 car became. If only they kept reading.

I was upset about loosing the sale, but looking back, it is a funny story…

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Gone are the Simple days.

First we saw vehicles with no “user friendly” way of checking the transmission fluid – no dipstick – no way for a conscientious car owner to check his fluids on his/her own.  Now we are seeing more and more vehicles without engine oil drain plugs and dipsticks.  This has been the way for Mercedes for many years, but the newer JAGUARS and LAND ROVERS have adopted this method.

A typical oil change is not something that can be completed in a mater of minutes with these newer cars and trucks. It is a more involved process:

Take for example a newer JAGUAR or LAND ROVER with the 5.0 Liter V8 Engine.  First you must run the vehicle to proper operating temperature.  This will help the oil flow smoothly for step two.  With the engine warmed up and turned off, you can access a tube within the oil filler on the top of the engine.  Now you can fit the proper “suction” tool to suck out the oil from the engine.  While the oil is being removed you may change the oil filter on top of the engine.  Once you have completed these steps, proceed to fill the engine with the proper grade oil to Jaguar or Land Rover’s specs for oil and filter change – about 8 quarts.  With the proper JAGUAR/LAND ROVER scan tool, verify that the oil level is within specs.  Now you need to run the engine for a few minutes to warm and circulate the oil.  Turn the engine off and wait approximately 10 minutes.  Use the onboard computer to verify your oil level is correct.  Now use the scan tool to reset the oil service interval settings/warnings.

If you think this is a project, you should see what we have to do in order to perform a transmission fluid/filter service and verify the proper fluid levels – that is a real project.

On a positive note, Thank you to Jaguar and Land Rover!  By sucking the oil from the top of the engine, we don’t have the annoyance of oil dumped or spilled on us from up above!

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The loss of some nice cars

I was viewing the NJ, NY, and PA salvage auction lists and watching the auctions today. It was very sad to see so many classic cars that were damaged and sent for salvage due to Hurricane Sandy. Besides the many classic cars, there were hundreds of newer Jaguars, Land Rovers, and other exotic cars like Ferraris and Masseratis. I saw everything from classic muscle cars to collector sports cars. It was very sad to see salt stains on the leather of someone’s proudly restored MGA. The Atlantic Ocean left sand throughout the interior of several Jaguar XKE coupes. The devastation to the car collector hobby is just plain sickening.

I can’t even imagine how a new car could be repaired after all the water damage, especially salt water damage. Let’s take, for example, one of the many newer 2011 or 2012 JAGUAR XJ sedans. There are countless computer components and electrical wiring connections under the carpets and seats. Most of these cars took on water above the seat bottoms. It would cost tens of thousands of dollars to replace or repair all of these sensitive components. Corrosion problems would be an endless nightmare. Don’t forget the carpets, padding, and interior materials that can harbor mold. Future owners could get sick driving in one of these cars. What is going to happen to all of these cars? Interestingly enough, many of these automobiles were bought by buyers in the Middle East, Africa, Russia, and Latvia. I wonder what plans they have overseas for our flooded Gems?

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Check us out on Facebook

Our Facebook page has been very active lately and we have been posting daily pictures from some of our projects. If your interested, click the FACEBOOK link from the home page of our website and check it out. You can find some weekly specials and discount offers through or page. It’s worth a look!

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Thanks to all of our Loyal Customers!

I’d like to take this time to thank all of our new and old customers for their loyalty and for entrusting us, here at Authorized Imported Cars, with all of their service and repair needs.  With all the shops to choose from, we consider it an honor that you have chosen us to provide the care that your vehicle deserves and requires.  Whether you have a Jaguar, Land Rover, Rolls Royce, Mini Cooper, or a Honda – You will always receive the best we have to offer.

After 32 years of business, the support we have received from our customers has enabled us to grow and keep up with modern-day demands.  Thank you for keeping our shop busy day and night, year after year!

Below are some JAGUAR XKE Restoration photos from recent projects:

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Some customers tell us that getting their car repaired is Fun!

I don’t think they are talking about getting the bill after we have repaired or serviced their car or truck. Our customers are referring to our cute little FIAT loaner cars. If you are lucky to get one of the FIATS when your car is in our shop, you are in for a fun time while driving around waiting for your car to be completed. One Land Rover customer told us “it was so fun to drive that tiny car that handled so well after always driving a Land Rover truck…” One of our Jaguar owner’s said “it’s so cute and comfortable to buzz around in…” So, I guess we have a way to make it fun to bring your car to the repair shop.

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Batteries – The life of your vehicle.

As the weather took a turn to the colder side, we have been replacing many batteries every week.  We have been using INTERSTATE Batteries for 30 years here at the shop with great success.  Most batteries are warranteed for approx 5 years, and Interstate seems to be the only battery we see actually lasting that long.

If you dont want to have a problem this winter, stop by and let us check your battery.  We have been finding most batteries to be weak and bellow marginal standards.  If you don’t want to get stuck these batteries should get replaced before its too late.  ANy corossion around ther terminals should also be cleaned and protected.

If you happen to come out one morning and your battery is dead, use these rules as a guide before jump starting your car.  (Copied from EHow.com)  Make sure your key is off and all accessories are turned off:

  • 1

    Pull the car you are using to jump the dead battery in front of the car with the dead battery. The vehicles need to be close enough for the jumper cables to reach, but do not let any parts of the cars touch each other. Turn off the engine of the jumper car.

  • 2

    Lay out the jumper cables on the ground between both cars. Keep the red and black ends of each end of the cables from touching each other.

  • 3
     
    Clip the red or positive end of the jumper cables closest to the dead battery to the positive terminal on the dead battery, firmly. The terminal is marked with a plus (+) sign or it has red around it. Wiggle it a little bit to be sure the connection is good.
     
  • 4

    Attach the red connection on the other end of the cables to the positive terminal on the jumper car’s battery. Make sure the connection is firm with a little wiggle there too.

  • 5

    Clamp the black side of the jumper cable to the negative terminal on the battery on the jumper car following the same procedure as Step 4. The negative terminal is surrounded by black or is marked by a minus (-) sign.

  • 6

    Find a space of unpainted metal in the engine of the car with the dead battery like a bolt or the accessory bracket on the alternator. Clamp the remaining black cable end to it. Make sure the cable will not interfere with any belts or moving parts once the engine is running again. Attaching this negative end to a ground rather than the battery keeps the risk of a hydrogen explosion near the battery low.

  • 7

    Turn the ignition in the jumper car on and allow it to charge the dead battery. Idle it for five minutes and then increase the charge running through the cables by pushing on the accelerator so the RPMs increase by about 1500 for 10 minutes.

  • 8

    Crank the ignition in the car with the dead battery so it turns over and catches. This ensures the alternator in the car with the dead battery charges the battery the rest of the way.

  • 9

    Remove the jumper cable ends in the reverse order from how you applied them: black from the engine with the dead battery, black from the jumper car, red from the jumper car and red from the car with the dead battery. Keep the ends from touching each other to reduce the risk of electrical shock.

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Land Rover Madness!

The shop is full with LAND ROVERS! We may not have a baker’s dozen, but we sure have a dozen Land Rovers in the shop. Everything from a Series Forward Control, Disco I & II, P38 Range Rovers, LR3’s, and new style Range Rovers. We also have an ’89 Classic Range Rover coming in this weekend. However, The newer and classic Jags are still outnumbering the Rovers! We are doing everything from full power train overhauls, timing chain upgrades, to the simple stuff like oil changes and services. With all this work maybe I’ll shed some of the extra weight I gained during the holidays…

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Snow? Use your Land Rover Terrain Response!

We are supposed to be getting anywhere between 2-6″ of cold wet snow tomorrow morning. If you have a LAND ROVER LR3 or newer RANGE ROVER, turn your “Terrain Response” dial on your center console to the “mud snow gravel” setting. This will optimize your Land Rover’s onboard systems to provide you with the safest performance on these snow covered roads. Remember, just because you have the best4x4xfar you need to keep control and drive safely for the road conditions. Stay Safe!

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You can now Subscribe to our blog!

On the right side or bottom of your screen, there is a little widget that will allow you to subscribe to our blog.  After subscribing, you will be able to control how and when you receive notifications for our latest news and postings.  Stay up to date with what is happening at Authorized Imported Cars and get the latest news about Jaguar and Land Rover.  I think a subscription to our blog would make a GREAT Christmas Present!  HAHA!

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