WORDS: DANIEL ALLARD | PHOTOGRAPHY: CHARLIE BRENNINKMEIJER
VIDEOGRAPHER: SCOTT PATTENDEN | OWNER: DALE MASTERMAN
When Dale at Meguiars announced his car for 'Tom vs Dale 2' would be a Jaguar S-type R, we knew it would be a tough act to pull off and to get the votes in to win the second instalment of Tom vs Dale. Instead of going down the obvious decked and show car route, Dale focused on Jaguar's extensive racing pedigree, cleaning up the car's original lines and going against the grain.
One of the biggest hurdles, when picking a car that isn't normally in the eye of "our type", is sourcing decent upgraded parts and finding experienced hands. Luckily for Dale, the guys at Swallow's Racing and some of the best brands in the business, were happy to help Dale build the ultimate S-Type R and this is the evidence behind that bold statement.
The most noticeable visual change Dale made, was going from the factory Lunar Grey to British Racing Green, with the nice detail of adding Green Pearl. Then there are the number of smaller touches to make the car less fussy and look more purposeful. The car has been dechromed, debadged, despoilered and what we overlooked until it was pointed out to us on the shoot, the rear door handles have been removed. What a silly mod, ay?. How do Dale's passenger get in the back? Well they don't. There is nowhere for them to sit, due to a rear cage being installed, but if Dale wants to access the rear, he added some very neat little pull handles, fitted on the inside and accessed when the front door is opened.
The most labour intensive yet barely noticeable part of the of the bodywork, was widening the rear arches to fit the 19x10's Image wheels and allowing Dale to run a 'sensible' 275 tyre, after all this car is not just for show, so running a 215 wasn't an option. Being a 4-door, this isn't an easy task to pull off, but Dale and the guys down at The Motor Works have done an amazing job of it. They used a pair of front arches to widen the rears giving it a factory looking finish. A much better alternative compared to the easier and cheaper option of a set of bolt on flares, but let's face it, that would of looked 'quite frankly' a little shite and a total loss of use of the rear doors completely.
Another nice and more noticeable detail is the front grill, the S-Type R comes with a wire mesh grill but a nice thought out detail of 01 has been added on along with the door stickers, tying in nicely with the heritage race theme. Why 01 you ask? believe it or not Meguiars has been going since 1901 so this detail is a nice little nod to the company's heritage.
The wheels will forever make or break a project and to get a modern(ish) car looking like a heritage racer was not going to be easy. Looking back into Jaguar's very long history book, the obvious option would be to fit some centre lock wire wheels but these wouldn't necessary look right on the car, but a set of wide steels like what was used on the lightweight E-Type could work?.
With Image wheels onboard they took on the task, made these custom 19x9 and 19x10's and replicated what was used on the lightweight, including the three spoke centre caps which mimic a centre lock nut thus saving the need to convert the car to centre lock with adapters. Wrapping the Image Wheels are some very meaty and rather fetching Nankang Sportnex AR-1 tyres 265-35zr19 on the fronts and 275-35zr19 on the rears.
A Jaguar's interior is normally a gentleman's club affair, a combination of the finest leathers and wood trimmings but this Jag is on a diet so the leathers are out and a pair of Cobra's finest buckets are in with an addition of a few custom touches. The Meguiar's logo stitched in front and centre is in fact their own motorsport logo, then we have Dale and Barry. We all know why Dale has been stitched onto the driver seat but, who the hell is Barry? Well Dale's co-pilot is Barry Meguiar, Barry pioneered the consumer range and became the figure head and face of the brand, another nice little nod to Meguiar's heritage.
A race car doesn't need rear seats either, so the rear bench and trim was removed. The guys at Caged Laser custom fabricated a neatly fitted roll cage, painted red making it a nice contrast against the British Racing Green and tieing into the Cobra buckets. The last key feature of the interior that doesn't stand out like the others but is icing on the cake for this car is the gear selector, once an auto selector (vomits in mouth) and now a manual gear selector. Using parts from a lesser model you would of thought this car came manual from factory.
When the S-Type R debuted in 2002, it was Jaguar's first "super saloon" and was up against the quite legendary E39 M5. The S-Type R was appreciated by those who dared to be a little different and not opt for the usual German power house. The E39 M5 had one big advantage over the Jag and that was if you were looking for a bit more of a driving experience as the M5 came as a manual. With the S-Type R only coming in an auto, it might of catered well for their initial slightly older audience but wouldn't it have been nice if they offered it as a manual to?
Prior to Dale's decision in getting an S-Type R for 'Dale vs Tom 2' the guys at Swallow's Racing had started to develop a manual swap. The manual swap wasn't initially on the cards for Dale's car but due to Covid putting a stop to Players Classic 2020 (the car's initial deadline) and with a little more spare time, Swallow's Racing took it upon themselves to finish the conversion on Dale's car.
So Covid was good for something right? If you currently own a S-Type R and the auto box is getting tired get in touch with the guys at Swallow's Racing, yer the swap might be costly but it's one hell of an improvement and unlocked another dynamic of the car.
The Thank You's:
Like many of you, we have enjoyed watching Dale's vision materialise and it was great to see the car is not only good in images but awesome in person. With so many cars being built off renders at the moment it was refreshing to see a person's vision unfold on an actual car.
Before we get into the extensive list of companies and people involved with the Jag's build we would like to thank Dale, Tom and the guys at Meguiars for the Tom vs Dale series. It's rare we get to see companies in the UK put together such complete and well finished build's and if it wasn't for them we would of possibly never seen an S-Type build come to light as good as this one is. Hopefully we will catch Tom's Amazon build at some after its debut at Players Classic this year.
We would like to specially thank Tom from Swallow's Racing for allowing us to come down and help out by driving the car on the day. Another awesome family business and highly recommend by us to anyone who needs a Jaguar sourcing or work carried out.
With big builds like this, using multiple companies and especially on platforms that are rarely modified Dale and the team have curated a masterpiece. Below are the businesses involved who made the impossible possible during such a testing time.
Well done to all involved and lets hope we get to see a Tom vs Dale 3.
Syco Graphix @sycographix
The Motor Works @themotorworks
Swallow Racing @swallowsracing
Jaguar Enthusiast Club @jaguarenthusiastsclub
Image Wheels @imagewheelsofficial
Tarox Brakes @tarox_brakes
Forge Motorsport @forgemotorsport
Cobra Seats @cobraseats
Bilstein Suspension @bilsteinuk
Nankang Tyres @nankangtyreuk
Powerflex Bushes @powerflexbushes
Fast Car Magazine @fastcarmagazine
Clifford Alarms @clifford_uk
Caged Laser @cagedlaser
Eibach Springs @EIBACH_SPRINGS_UK
Tunging Shed @tuningshed
Behind The Scene's (bonus content)
We can not forget to thank Scott and Charlie for giving up their Sunday and help to produce such awesome content, we are super excited to have these guys onboard and look forward to more joint ventures soon. Cheddar Gorge was a beautiful spot for the shoot and unexpectedly a hot spot for the local car enthusiast.