The Beautiful Barn-Find

The Beautiful Barn-Find

This 1964 Series 1 3.8 FHC blue on blue example was found in the previous owner's unused garage in South-East England, where it had sat since 1979. Luckily the garage had fully functioning walls and a roof, which is a nice change from the other abandoned E-Types we have discovered, hence the surprisingly rot-free bodywork.

Once a sand-blasting slot is found, strip down commences and we can finally view the underside of this “barn-find” UK-supplied car. All seems to be in relatively good order with only two holes in the passenger side floor. Corroded bolts everywhere mean the strip-down of this E-Type is a more difficult job than it should be. This time it’s a 3-day, 2-man task, we have decided to film the whole process using time-lapse and the video will be posted on our YouTube and Facebook as soon as it’s done.

The owner of this E-Type has specified for it to be reverted to its original colours of Opalescent Silver Blue with Dark Blue interior, a very good choice in our eyes! We now await the results of sand-blasting, fingers crossed!

ASSESSING THE DAMAGE

With the shell back from the blasters, the extent of damage caused by 40 years of neglect becomes apparent. Coupled with previous cheap repairs, the typical British dampness has not been kind to this Jaguar. The number of welded patches increases every time you look at the shell, and there are holes in places you would not expect. Nothing comes as a surprise to our body shop team though, who begin to figure out how exactly to transform this car into a work of art once again, as soon as the shell comes through the door. The front upper and rear bulkhead are in good order, the restoration of the bodywork will centre around these and the roof which is also rust-free.

More information on how we tackle bodywork restoration like this can be found in the project titled “Coventry – New York – Nice – Kent” where the process is explained. Exactly how we turn this car into perfection will be outlined as it progresses.

CUT OUT THE RUST

With a rusty FHC E-Type, the floors and sills are the first parts to be cut out once strengthening bars have been welded in place of the doors. Once the larger components are out of the way, more detailed slicing can begin and every suspect piece of metal is eliminated. During this process, a new floor section is made up to fit the car and it is then raised up to the main shell and attached. Next, the structural rigidity of the car will be reintroduced by completing the floor sections and adding both inner and outer sills. Then will come the outer panels before paint preparation begins. This job is definitely easier said than done!

If you are interested in our services and have an E-Type that you want to get restored then our team is more than happy to help. Get in touch with us today to see how we can help you get your restoration completed.

Restoring the perfect line

Now the metal work is complete and the FHC shell is rust free the E-Type is introduced to our filler room, the specialist bodywork technicians set out to restore those seamless 60's lines. The entire car is cleaned and skimmed with Polyester filler, then block sanded to obtain the perfect straightness and contours. The team spend hours fine-tuning the perfect gaps and apertures.

Boasting perfect gaps and lines the E-Type enters our high-performance spray booth to begin one of many primer coats, providing a perfect base for the paint team to work from.

Preparation Matters

With it decided the Series 1 would be finished in an original Jaguar colour combo, Opalescent Silver Blue, the one thing is the utmost importance, preparation. While this step is important to any paint job, providing a perfect Opalescent Silver Blue finish can be difficult when rushed. Due to the silver pigments in the paint, any imperfections are highlighted in preparation, making achieving a flat and even finish challenging. Without careful and a professional preparation, you often see clouding in the finish before the clear coat is applied.