The trouble ( if you want to call it that) with Jaguar's of that vintage is that they were truly handmade in almost all respects. Pieces and parts for trim and bodywork are not uniform and required quite a bit of handwork to fit. It's not unusual to have the right and left side of the vehicle different lengths. The body panels were hand made and hung by hand, a side at a time. Until Ford purchased Jaguar in 1992 average time to build the body alone was between 250 and 300 manhours. Jaguar was truly a cottage industry until Ford brought them into the 20th century in the late 1990's.
Your best bet is to try and refinish what you have, it will fit much better than anything you can purchase. The difficult part is removing it, there is a variety of fasteners holding it on, nuts and bolts, screws, clips, you never know what you will run across in an old Jag. Once you have removed it, refinish with the finish of your choice. Usually the veneer is quite thick, and sometimes you even have solid wood. The backing is where you have to be careful, sometimes intricate pieces are laid up on a cloth backing and quite flimsy. Having done it a couple of times, it's well worth the trouble when you get finished, but until you get to that point, you'll be scratching your head thinking what have I gotten myself into. It's not something that you can do in a weekend, last one I did was a 62 Mercedes and it took every bit of a year.
I don't think that your idea of an oil seal will work on the interior of an automobile. Usually the original finish is varnish, and you'll want to go back with that or a hard polyurethane. Once you have removed the old finish, you should not have problems matching the veneers to the original. It's unusual to find wood damage usually it just the finish that you have to rework. Depending upon which model you have will dictate the amount of wood that the car has. Vandon Plas was the top model for an XJ that year and would have the most wood trim. Usually the veneers were cut from the same sheet, especially the higher up the food chain you went. Does yours have the seat back tray tables ? That's a pretty sure sign for a Vandon Plas. Trim wise, anything is possible with a Jag, with badges, without badges, you never know, it depends on how the guys in the factory felt that day.
Last edited by Cookn; 06-22-2009 at 07:14 AM.
Reason: more information