The true standard of East Bilney Coachworks workmanship on this car is revealed.

The Zeemax rear quarterpanels do not need cutting, (picture below shows the rear quarter panel before it was cut) there is a 4 inch bonding area, which in this case was cut off by East Bilney Coachworks that's why they used so much filler when it was not necessary. In the sun the car bubbled and rippled where the filler had been used, thus the investigation, as seen below. Foam was used to fill gaps. Inner wheel arches were supplied but never fitted. These pictures reflect East Bilney Coachworks expertise in Composite & Cosmetic bodywork. The car started to bubble and ripple within weeks of being finished by East Bilney Coachworks. The complete rear quarter panels of the car were left in bare steel.

The Zeemax rear quarter panel before East Bilney Coachworkscut off the 4 inch bonding area

The Zeemax panels before being worked on by East Bilney Coachworks

This is not the way to fit a Zeemax wide body conversion

One lady said "Looks like "No More Nails" has been used. Fair Comment I suppose

East Bilney Coachworks put their limited knowledge to its fullest possible use

Elvis lives!

Full post Post Mortem begins revealing complete rear quarter panels left in bare steel

Filler up to 1.5 inches thick

Filler up to 1.5 inches thick in places


These two screws were used by East Bilney Coachworks to fix the front bumper lower under splitter.




We still have all the parts taken of this car.

Black Jaguar Sequence of Events:

September 2006
Car went to East Bilney Coachworks to have the Zeemax wide body conversion fitted.

For the avoidance of any confusion :

This was never a joint enterprise between Zeemax
& East Bilney Coachworks. 

At all times East Bilney Coachworks held itself out as a specialist bodyshop able to fit Zeemax conversions as they had done for the previous 2 years or so.

The wide body kit that was fitted by East Bilney Coachworks was the first in the production and never a prototype. Several other Jaguars have had the same kit fitted with no problems.

A non BSi or overtly badged bodyshop took 18 days to fit and paint this conversion to a convertible car as shown on the Zeemax website to a show car finish as displayed at Pistonheads 2007.

December 28 2006
Racing Green Cars Ltd (Jaguar Specialist) Open Day
Both Standard & Wide Body Conversion Cars made their first public appearance.

December 28 2006
First order taken for wide body conversion to a Green XK8. Not bad for being on show for only a matter of 3 hours!

January 28 2007
Photo shoot

February 5 2007
Max Power Photo shoot

March 17 2007
XK8/XKR Owners Club first meet of the year at Brooklands Race Track in Surrey. A nice sunny day. Took an order for a wide body conversion before noon. Just as well, because, in the midday sun, the panels of the demonstrator Black car started to blister all over with the heat. Even the doors, which are Jaguar steel, the paint rippled in the Sun. And this was only March. We made some excuses and left.

Told East Bilney Coachworks of the problem with the car who immediately went into denial and blamed the manufacturer saying that it was due to product failure. And the Jaguar steel doors?

Our manufacturer has been making our panels for several years, and the panels get shipped all over the world, in all climates, and we have never received any complaints.

Received East Bilney Coachworks invoice number 25611 for £537.21 to repair crack in the rear bumper that had appeared due to being stressed when fitted. The crack reappeared 2 days later.

At this stage what we did not know was that East Bilney Coachworks:

1. Had flatted through the gel coat of the panels and put filler onto porous fibre glass, thus causing the blistering and rippling of the panels.

2. Had cut most of the bonding area on the rear quarter panels off, thereby instead of 4/4.5 inches of bonding area, there was very little. The rest they made up with filler. Also, the bonding agents used by East Bilney Coachworks were incorrect, they used large blobs of chopped fibreglass under the panels which expanded when car was in the sun, hence the panels moving & blistering.

3. Instead of using the under wheel arch liners provided, they used expanding foam to fill the gap between the original steel panel and the new Zeemax panel.

4. We also did not know at this stage that instead of removing only a 4 inch band of original paintwork from the rear quarter panels, which is all that is needed to bond, East Bilney Coachworks had completely stripped the entire rear quarter panels of paint and the galvanising, and had left them entirely untreated in bright steel.

5. We also did not know at this stage that the car has gone wrong several times before we collected it from East Bilney Coachworks in December 2007. As with closer inspection we could clearly see blow-ins in the paintwork on top of the C panels going into the roof area. Note, this car has a colour change from Phoenix Red to Black. Mark Colin Baldwin claims that 5 coats of lacquer have been put on the car. Begs the question.......Why?

East Bilney Coachworks pointed the finger of blame to the manufacturer of the Zeemax panels. The manufacturer knew this claim was totally unfounded, but in order to be sure and get confirmation of this he contacted his insurers who arranged for an inspection, which subsequently exonerated him entirely. (See April 24 2007) This account is neither selective nor inaccurate, but is an account of true events and can be duly witnessed.

There are some obvious defects which can be placed at East Bilney Coachworks door without much fear of contradiction; i.e. the failure to treat bare steel under the kit, the use of foam in the arches, the failure to align the kit, the failure to re-fit seals so as to prevent water ingress, soft paint, Du Pont or Glasurit?

April 3 2007 @ 11:09hrs
Mark Colin Baldwin asked for the manufacturers insurance details so that he could do estimates for the repair of the Zeemax Black Car and the Green XK8, which can be seen on this website which was the subject of a Norwich Union claim of around £12,000.00.

April 17 2007
Mark Colin Baldwin again asked for the Manufacturers insurance details so that he could fax them the estimates, copies of which we have showing the date sent.

April 17 2007 18:07hrs
Spoke to Mark Colin Baldwin Contents of conversion are fully documented.

April 20 2007
Spoke to Mark Colin Baldwin who said he was far too busy to deal with us and that his father is now dealing with the matter. And since then has refused to take any phone calls from Zeemax, or give us any help in any way. East Bilney Coachworks seemed to be under the impression that they had not done anything wrong.

April 23 2007
Colin Joseph Baldwin and Graham Mockett arrived at Zeemax's premises to look at the Black Jaguar and also the Grey Mini Clubman featured on this website.

Mockett did a leak test on the Black Jaguar on both doors by tipping a bucket of water on the car and agreed that it leaked like a sieve, and that all the rubber trims were damaged and the outer window trims were loose and not fitted correctly, in fact, just like on the Green XK8. They eventually left and promised to get back to us by the end of the week. They did not.

April 24 2007
An inspection by the manufacturers insurers took place on a hot day at the manufacturers premises. The manufacturers Senior Liability Adjuster saw the car panels move and blister before his eyes, especially the puckering in the doors that are Jaguar original equipment. Also noted was the red paint clearly visible on the edges of the bonnet and many other areas of the car. This car was a bare rolling shell when it was painted.

April 27 2007
Car inspected by an automotive constructor based in Dereham who was dismayed at the workmanship. A member of his staff summed it up exactly “it looks like it was in the workshop too long and was slung together in its last week there” That’s about right. Remember the car was with East Bilney Coachworks for 4 months. To do this conversion should take any competent bodyshop approximately 18 days. (Providing they know what they are doing).

April 27 2007
After hearing nothing of the promise from Baldwin & Mockett, Zeemax had no hesitation or alternative but to instruct Solicitors to start acting as at 16:45 on April 27 2007.

May 5 6 2007
XK8/XKR Owners Club Meet at Charlecote Park. Green XK8 won 1st prize for Best Modified Jaguar. Zeemax show car could not attend this show as their car was a total mess.

May 17 2007
East Bilney Coachworks insurers Royal Sun Alliance inspected Zeemax car.

May 18 2007
Du Pont came to test the soft paint on the Zeemax Car.

The car was tested and the depth of the paint on the car, which amounted to 759 microns on the boot area, varying dramatically over the rest of the car.

No official report from Du Pont has ever been received on this inspection.

Strange, Du Pont’s involvement, as Mark Colin Baldwin had previously stated on April 17 2007 that Glasurit paint had been used. Du Pont came at Mark Colin Baldwin’s request.

However, Zeemax spoke to Glasurit and asked them to arrange to inspect the car, but we were told that this was not possible without East Bilney Coachworks authorisation. No Glasurit inspection has ever taken place.

Later, that day, Friday May 18, a representative from Du Pont contacted Zeemax to request a further inspection of the car by another Du Pont person.

May 21 2007
Du Pont's representatives came and did an inspection of the car, and this time we got a report which listed 29 faults.

We must point out that we were never told if there was a problem with the paint, the paint mix, or the application and to what extent, and with who any responsibility lies.

July 5 2007
Aviva, Group Financial Crime, Norwich Union conducts investigation into insurance claim on Green XK8.

July 10 2007
Experts appointed by East Bilney Coachwork's insurers conducted an inspection of the Black Jaguar on behalf of Royal Sun Alliance (East Bilney Coachworks insurers).

Those in attendance: Two Directors of Zeemax, The Manufacturer, Unnamed Composite Specialist, 2 Royal Sun Alliance experts.

The Royal Sun Alliance experts were also shown how to fit the wide body conversion properly by a Specialist which was currently being carried out in his workshop.

SEPTEMBER 2007: (taken from the website of East Bilney Coachworks)
· Partners Colin, Mark, David and Joanne attended the 2007 Bodyshop Magazine Industry Awards in Birmingham where East Bilney Coachworks were finalists for four awards: Bodyshop Training Award, Customer Care Award, Bodyshop Manager of the Year and Independent Bodyshop of the Year. We are pleased to announce that East Bilney Coachworks won the Independent Bodyshop of the Year Award 2007! We are delighted to receive this prestigious award.

January 3 2008
Representatives from Lotus Engineering inspected the car.  Their potential involvement would have been in connection with providing an expert's report.

February 22 2008
An inspection of the Zeemax car done by an expert on behalf of Zeemax.

March 13 2008
An inspection of the Zeemax moulds done by an expert on behalf of Zeemax.

March 29 2008
Post Mortem took place on Zeemax Black Jaguar. The full horror is revealed. See pictures of the “smoking gun”.

It’s hard to say who is at fault. The Manufacturer’s parts have been exonerated. Zeemax neither fitted or painted the car, so whom does it leave?

East Bilney Coachworks settled out of court, it was agreed that Zeemax would be paid substantial damages and costs.

January 6 2009 Costs of nearly £40k were finally paid, the settlement being previously paid.

We make it quite clear that liability was not conceded by East Bilney Coachworks or their insurers. 









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