It’s true that on any given day we have a wide variety of vehicles here in our shop. Stop in and say hello and take a tour around our little museum of fine automobiles – ranging from classics and exotics to a few rare finds and many current special interest vehicles. We always have something interesting or unusual to peak your interest. You never know what you might find at AUTHORIZED IMPORTED CARS. Everyday seems to bring new and interesting projects to keep us busy. Right now, our workload consists of one car from the 1940’s, several cars from the 1950’s, and many cars & trucks from the 60’s up to 2012. We are very fortunate to have so many wonderful customers that entrust us with the repair and maintenance of their prized possessions. Thank you!
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…
A simple part, like this heater valve from a Jaguar S-Type, can create MAJOR headaches if preventative maintenance is ignored. Note the pink stains from leaking engine coolant/antifreeze. If left unrepaired this valve would have continued to leak. This leak would have shorted out the delicate climate control computers. We have seen this happen often and the repair parts cost over $2000. Replacing the heater valve at the first sign of trouble is your best line of defense against a high repair bill. This $290 part can cause over $2000 in damage if left unrepaired. Fresh antifreeze/coolant will also help prevent corrosion to the delicate engine cooling system components. Car manufacturers recommend flushing your coolant every couple of years to keep corrosion problems from developing. Let us MAINTAIN your car so you don’t have to worry about high repair bills.
The shop has been extremely busy and we have even sold most of our Pre-owned Jaguars and Land Rovers. Don’t worry we always have some interesting cars coming in looking for new homes. As a matter of fact we have a beautiful 2001 Jaguar S-Type that just came in.
A few of our major winter projects have gotten underway and I’m sure we will have enough time to complete them before the spring motoring season. We are in the process of building up several high performance engines, including a Jaguar Super V12 and a Bullet Proof Land Rover 4.6 Liter V8. We even have a very rare Land Rover Diesel Forward Control and a Daimler SP250 Roadster to prepare and get ready for the spring.
We have been replacing a lot of faulty transmissions lately. Even though the new car manufacturers consider their transmissions “sealed for life”, we still believe it is a good idea to change the fluid and filter on these vehicles. Here at Authorized Imported Cars, we have the proper tools, parts, and diagnostic equipment to enable us to properly service these transmissions. It is a computer aided process to service and fill these transmissions to the proper fluid level – there are no dipsticks for checking the level. Servicing the transmission is not something an enthusiastic car owner can do on a weekend with a few tools and and some fluid like in the good old days.
This weekend we will be away at a technical training program focusing on the BMW Mini Coopers. We will gain some fresh hands on knowledge about the new drivetrain diagnostics, coding, and programming. Mid-March we will be traveling to Florida for the National Technicians Training Conference to keep our Jaguar and Land Rover expertise up to date.
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!
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?
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!
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:
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.
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:
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.
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.
3Clip 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.