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.
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 professional preparation, you often see clouding in the finish before the clear coat is applied.
the Heart of the beast
Having returned to the workshop and finished in its brand new stunning Opalescent Silver Blue, the Series 1 is ready for the re-assembly stage. Safely put onto the ramp the team begin building back up the 1960's icon starting with fitting its uprated IRS, now featuring uprated callipers and green stuff brake pads, also fitted is the front suspension creating a rolling shell, making the car much easier to work with in a busy workshop such as E-Type UK.
One of the most attractive factors of any restoration is control of your own E-type story, the opportunity to make your mark on one of the world most desirable cars. In this case, the customer dreams of a classic looking Jaguar finished in original colours with the added ability to cope in modern day traffic while offering a reliable but sporty drive. Dedicated to creating a machine that meets the client's vision, the E-Type Uk team set out the perfect upgrade build and get started.
Ahead of fitting the fully rebuilt and uprated drivetrain, the restoration technicians focus on preparing the engine bay. Starting with fitting key components such as brake lines, braking system, steering, heating transfer pipes and bespoke engine wiring looms. With the engine bay built up with the necessary components and the interior wiring also starting to come together, the team fit the new 5-speed gearbox, offering more direct shift and lower revs on motorways, with the rebuilt 3.8 6 cylinder Jaguar engine. As early Series 1's left the factory with a 4-speed gearbox the shell requires minor modification to accommodate for the new gearbox and ensure a secure fit.
With the heart of the beast fitted the remaining engine bay build up is completed and the Series 1 is ready to be started and driven for the first time in 40 years.
A new lease on life
Having completed several short journeys around our Kent based facility, the team are pleased with the running since it’s rebuild, therefore signalling it is ready for the E-type interiors to be given a new lease of life. The car is sent to the trimmers and returns boasting a brand-new interior of Oxblood Red leather. With a fabulous new interior, the teamwork on adding the final touches to the exterior which also includes the client nod towards the lightweight E-type by fitting a red vinyl bonnet mouth also known as ‘lipstick’. Now wearing its ‘lipstick’ and all remaining chrome and headlight surrounds fitted the E-type has completed its restoration.
A LONG WAY FROM THE BARN
Since rolling out those barn doors from it had sat since 1979, this 1964 3.8 coupe example has come along way to be turned into an exceptional classic sports car, hosting an array of modern upgrades. The “barn-find” is now presented in better than factory condition and follows the client's very own E-type story featuring numerous personal touches that make this stunning Series 1 stand out from the rest.
While the car may have been left and forgotten in a barn, the E-type benefited from the luxuries of four walls and a roof, offering a level of coverage from the British weather elements. This resulted in a reduced metalwork process to return the E-type to a strong and safe shell, with the largest job being removing and replacing the floor sections and inner and outer sills.
Having been through all our specialist restoration services; metalwork, filler, paint, rebuild/upgrade and trim, this 1964 example is now completed in an eye-catching combination of Opalescent Silver Blue and Oxblood Red leather. Benefiting from several engine upgrades that include an upgraded to fast road specification 3.8 engine with gas flowed head, high lift cams, balanced and lightened crank with lipseal conversion. Also fitted is a new 5-speed gearbox, full stainless-steel sports exhaust and aluminium radiator and header tank for enhanced cooling.
Making a mark on this E-type, the client has also commissioned a number of personal touches one of which includes a nod to the limited number produced ‘lightweight’ E-type. Produced between 1963 and 1964, Jaguar had planned to create 18 of this race-bred E-types, however only 12 were ever produced, being an avid E-type road and track fan the owner of this recently completed Series 1 had fitted a Red vinyl bonnet mouth or more commonly called ‘lipstick’.
While we enter an age of electric cars, the E-type begins another long life of classic motoring with high hopes of inspiring countless generations of automotive petrol heads.