Building a Functional XJ13 Dashboard
Only one XJ13 was ever built and the dashboard layout was not that functional. The speedometer was all the way on the LHS of the vehicle and there were no gauges behind the steering wheel. As always with replicas there is room for some changes but you have to be careful not to ruin the feel of the original. Dashboards are one of those items that can have some changes but I feel switch gear and other details should be like the originals or the car can loose some of its identity. Below is a photo of the original XJ13 owned by Jaguar.
The client was happy to create a dashboard that had as many original details as possible however he wanted the speedometer and tachometer behind the steering wheel. I agree that this is a change that makes the dash way more functional.
We purchased an array of Lucas flip and push button switches that were close to or identical to the original car. They look great but can be terribly unreliable out of the box so we always have extra on hand! We also sourced a fuse holder and indicator switch that is similar to the original.
The client also supplied a real Russian fighter timer to populate the LHS of the dash where the tachometer was originally. Its a really nice addition to the dashboard.
After designing the layout the dashboard openings were cut out carefully as the dash was supplied in a painted state.
We measured the space behind the dash for the tachometer and speedometer and it was very tight but the new technology gauges would just fit. The speedometer is a GPS unit and the tachometer fully electronic. Maybe this is why the original car did not have gauges here!
Some of the switches required the fiberglass dash to be thinned out carefully to allow the front rings to be tightened.
Aluminium brackets were manufactured to supp port the dashboard in the car.
The Russian timer looks great on the dash and next was to wire it up.