Building Something Special
Building something Special
In 1971, Jaguar changed their focus from racing to touring and to the US-market, the Series 3 was born. Ensuring the US appeal (Jaguar’s biggest buyer) remained the same, the E-Type was lengthened and given a wider track, power steering was added as well as Jaguar’s brand new V12 engine. Quickly known as Jaguar’s grand tourer, the S3 offered a powerful and comfortable drive. Like many Series 3s, this V12 was originally exported to the states in its factory finish of White paired with bold red interior. Throughout the years the E-Type slowly made its way to Germany, retaining its original colour scheme, it was at this time E-Type UK purchased the vehicle and imported the 70's classic back to the UK.
Following this purchase, we were approached by an overseas buyer looking to start his very own E-Type story. With the intention to build something truly special, the client bought the Series 3 to use as a base for his vision. With the plan set the restoration got underway.
The classic car restorer will know that spending endless sums of money returning your pride and joy to its former glory, only to find a rusting shell is the stuff of nightmares, however, luckily this wasn't the case with this well-travelled E-Type. Once the Series 3 had been fully stripped leaving just the shell, the body shop team were able to get an understanding of what was in store. But if your looking for the honest truth of the state of your classic sports car then there is only one route you should take and that's Sandblasting. A fast and efficient method of stripping away paintwork and existing rust resulting in a bare metal shell. The process can be tricky when applied to a shell as improper use of the process can warp or damage the metal. Once stripped the E-Type shell is loaded up along with all its panels and any other necessary parts and was sent to be blasted, later returning as a blank canvas perfect for any starting restoration.
A strong base
Having returned from the blasters, the E-Type shell is inspected by our Metalwork team made up of award-winning Concours coachbuilders who discovered, that while the shell presented the typical areas of rust and rot, the E-Type's shells was actually a strong base to work from, pleasing not only the customer but also the restoration technicians. The team began by removing and cutting away all rusted areas which included the nearside floor and inner sill. Another upside to treating your E-Type to a full nut and bolt restoration is the option to fit additional sill strengtheners, improving the overall integrity of the S3. Along with this addition, other metalwork was corrected, such as:
- Left and right outer sills and braces.
- Repaired bonnet belly pan.
- Repaired boot floor.
- New rear suspension mounts.
- Repaired door bottoms and new lower skins.
- New footwell boards.
It was also decided at this time to convert the US grand tourer to UK specification, this included the removal of the side lights and American style impact bumpers, helping to restore that classic Jaguar look. With the shell now rebuilt and all metalwork issue sorted, the Series 3 now presents a prime opportunity to be finished to the client's exact specification... the fun bit. Once the customer had explained their ideal car it was clear to the team what the client was looking for was an E-Type UK 'reborn' V12. Using 'Project Zero', our 2018 completed repackaged Series 3 as a starting point, the team set out to create the customer's dream car.
It starts here
Having decided to create something one-of-a-kind, taking our repackaged V12 example and bringing it to the next level, the E-Type UK team kick off the customers bespoke E-type story.
With the E-type just out of metalwork, the Series 3 remains in the ideal position for bespoke adjustments without affecting any recently completed areas. Following similar steps to our 'Project Zero' example, the team are tasked with creating bespoke extended welded bonnet louvres, which aids to the engines overall performance. Using the cars existing bonnet, the louvres are cut out and the extra space required to fit the extension is measured and removed in preparation. The new section is fabricated, aligned and spot welded into place creating a lap joint look that resembles an early series 1 bonnet louvre finish, however, the visible spot welds will be later hidden once the E-type enters the filler process.
Another bespoke option that is fitted during the metalwork stage is custom replacement floor plan cross members. This adjustment allows the existing floor plan to accommodate new lower bespoke seating. Our lowered seating restoration option offers the driver much better access to the peddles, thus improving the original factory design for the best driving experience possible. With the test seat frames mock fitted and everything working as expected, the cabin is now finished and ready for the filler process.
The Series 3 currently resides in our professional body shop filler room where the team focus on returning that all-important iconic E-type curves, lines and gaps.
Outside the box
Following our strict restoration schedule, this Special Edition V12 is put through filler and primer. The shell is reassembled and each and every panel is filled together, thus creating those desired body lines and panel gaps that make the E-type an icon. Once filled the car goes through several rounds of primer and rub down building a perfect surface for our Concours winning paint shop team to work with.
The final coat of primer is left to harden before paint preparation can commence. During this waiting period, the workshop development team step in and lay the groundworks for what makes our Special Edition models so popular - the outside the box innovation. At E-Type UK we are constantly looking to push our Special Edition models that one step further and always welcome a challenge.
This particular Special Edition is set to be modernised with a single-piece rear bumper, remote boot lid release and electric windows to name a few features. Loving a challenge, our E-type specialists make a start on the development, tasked to introduce these modern features to the 70's icon offering a highly functional yet discreet and stylish finish.
*UPDATE* - Progress so far has been hugely successful with final stages of development in progress.
A mirror-like finish
Having spent a minimum of two weeks sitting in primer, creating the ideal surface for paint, the Bodyshop team prep the shell and mix up the elegant Jaguar Black ready for application. Once masked back up and placed in our specialist booth, the E-type is given its first round of paint.
Building up each layer with even coverage and finishing off the process with a final coat of high-quality lacquer, the E-type leaves the booth is a mouth-watering Jaguar Black, completing it's White to Black transformation. Now ready to be flat and polished to produce a mirror-like finish, the whole paint process is repeated for each additional panel.