Wind Deflector (S1)

I was getting disenchanted with having my hat blown forward over my eyes from the howling gale coming in the back when cruising at 70, so I asked Classic Additions  (www.classicadditions.co.uk,  01938 561717) if they had a Wind Deflector for the Series 1 E-type. No, but they had one for a Series 3.   I thought that I could probably make it fit, so one duly arrived. It turned out to be too big – I had forgotten the increased dimensions of the S3 passenger compartment. 

I then spoke to Adrian and Dean at Classic Additions, who were extremely helpful. I provided the dimensions of what I thought might fit, and they measured all the kits in stock to find one approximately the right size. The best choice was the XK8/XKR kit, which had two pieces, the smallest of which seemed suitable. When this arrived, I offered it up, and it looked worth trying.

One of the reasons for specifying the size is the need to store the item in the boot when not in use. An additional consideration was the shape of the hood cover, which slopes in towards the middle of the car.  As might be expected, the brackets that came with the kit were useless, so some new ones were made up from two pieces of "exhaust strap" - a 60cm length of galvanised mild steel obtained from a local car accessories shop for £1.45p.  It has holes all the way along - very useful.  2 x 34cm lengths were bent into the right configuration, after some initial mishaps. An 8mm bolt in one end provided a perfect location pin for the deflector, fitting into the hole at each end of the framework.

The outfit should be easy to take apart and store, if it should prove necessary to raise the hood. To this end, a small piece of the exhaust strap, about 4cm long, is permanently attached by the front hood pivot bolt.

The bracket is held onto this by an 8mm bolt and wingnut, for easy fixing and removal. The bolt is cut down to size so that nothing protrudes to catch on clothes, seat belt etc. when the deflector is not in use.

The brackets are covered by black shrinkwrap, bought from a local model shop and put on with a hair dryer.  Uncoated areas were blackened with a permanent marker until a final paint coat is applied. The shrinkwrap is smooth and hard, and should minimise abrasion to the hood cover. 

The experimental model (see below) was taken for a test drive, and provided a significant improvement in comfort. However, there was a draft coming under the deflector, where the hood cover had dropped away. 

Gap in the hood cover:

After considering a number of options to connect the hood cover to the deflector, the quickest way was to cut two small slits in the cover and one in the deflector, and pull them together with a black plastic tie, one of the removable design. This worked well, and is not too unsightly or difficult to fit, or to remove if it rains.  An alternative is to get a couple of metal eyelets inserted into the cover to make the holes look better and stop the edges fraying. These are available from your friendly local camping shop or yacht chandlers.

Plastic tie:

“Final” version for the trip to France in May.

Total tool kit: hacksaw, grinding wheel/file to smooth off sharp edges, two pairs of pliers.
Materials: 2 x 60cm exhaust strap, 4 x 8mm bolts & nuts, 2 x wingnuts, black shrinkwrap, black marker

Future improvements:  the other piece in the kit is the same length and overall shape, but 10cm deeper –  this will be tried as an alternative, further forward (closer to the seats) and further down, to see if it does away with the need to attach the hood cover to the deflector.

Additional information