The E-Type of Your Dreams

The E-Type of Your Dreams

The restoration started for this Fixed Head Coupe as a very gradual process while the car awaited to be snapped up and built into the E-Type of their dreams.

This 1963 E-Type was initially found tucked away in a Kentish barn, a genuine barn-find with relatively solid floors and sills, then treated to rebuilt suspension, brakes, carbs and fuel system and with a sports exhaust added in for good measure, flew through its first MOT. With all work carried out by the experienced E-Type UK restoration technicians. 

Rescued and restored

It was decided this true RHD 1963 example needed a full nut and bolt restoration and E-Type UK would be the professionals to undertake this.

To see what we were working with the E-Type was completely stripped to a bare shell and sent off to the blasters. The fear of every car restorer became apparent: rust had taken over this Series 1 E-Type (the result of being in a barn with no roof for 12 years). Although there was no need to worry as the rust was all removed and the body shop team began the meticulous process of fabricating and fitting new panels in place of where the rust once was. Our Jaguar E-Type restoration team don’t leave any stone unturned and make sure you have the car of your dreams.

It was around this time, in the early stage of the E-Types restoration, the E-Type was purchased as an on-going project, with the client sharing his vision for the 60's classic and E-Type UK tasked to make it a reality.

The Vision

With the client's vision agreed, E-Type UK set out to put in place the plans to turn this Series 1 into a driving classic with highly desirable upgrades including high torque starter, 5-speed gearbox, electric power steering, uprated shocks and aluminium radiator and header tank. But first, the E-Type needed a solid shell and frame to work from. 

The metalwork team continues to work on restoring this Series 1 shell to be a strong and rust-free base. Due to years of exposure to the elements, the Series 1 practically needed a whole new shell. While the team were able to repair and reuse some metalwork such as the original bulkhead, gearbox tunnel, roof panel and inner and outer rear buttresses, a lot of the shell needed to be fabricated around these existing elements. Once completed the restoration progresses into the filler room to restore those perfect lines and gaps.

BETTER THAN FACTORY

Leaving the metalwork area, a strong and rust-free shell, fitted with new rear wings, all new floor sections, inner and outer sills and much more, this fixed-head coupe is guided into the hands of our filler technicians. A lengthily but an incredibly important process that sculpts the shape to a better than factory finish. Today the Jaguar E-type is known for exceptional bodylines and panel gaps, you should be able to look down the length of the car and not see a single break between each panel, however, this wasn’t always the case. Early production examples, at the time, were seen as a cheaper sports car alternative and therefore panel gaps weren’t the highest priority. As the years passed these classic British sports cars became a collector’s item and began to be finished with bodylines better than ever before.

During this process, the team work to return this iconic shape, applying high-quality filler to the shell and actioning a combination 40 and 80 grit flat back technique, using a straight edge ensuring those perfect lines are present along the sills and across the doors and bonnet. Once fully filled, the E-type is double-primed, rubbing back between each application and then sits ready for the all-important first coat.

PAINTING PERFECTION

A true milestone of any restoration process, applying a classic Jaguar colour. Entering our in-house paint booth as a blank canvas, having already been masked up, treated with stone chip, finished inside and underneath, the E-type is given 3 lots of Opalescent Dark Green base coat, allowing to dry between coats. Finally, the car is finished with 3 more coats of clear coat (lacquer).

Before leaving the body shop to start it’s rebuild, the shell and all associated panels are flat and polished using a detailed and precise procedure of 1200, 1500, 2000 blocks and 3000, 6000 trizak. With the fully paint process taking 250 hours from start to finish, the results are outstanding, producing a high-quality show finish.

PERSONALISED SPECIFICATION

Displayed in the workshop finished in an elegant Jaguar Opalescent Dark Green, the E-type starts it rebuild process. It is at this point the real fun begins as the client has full control over how the E-type is set-up, questions are asked from “Do I upgrade to a 5-speed?” “Do I introduce sports performance via uprated cooling, suspension and exhaust?” – the answer to these questions was a hard YES!

The front suspension and fitment of the IRS start the rebuild process making the E-type mobile. The technicians continue by building up the key engine components in preparation to mating the drivetrain to the shell, parts such as brake servo, fuel filter, peddle box, steering rack and brake lines. Time comes to fit the recently rebuilt 3.8 engine, now finished to fast road specification, with high-lift cams, gas flowed head and a balanced and lightened crank, also paired with a new 5-speed gearbox. Fitting the drivetrain is never straight forward and demands constant attention, often resulting in a snug fit. With the engine hooked up to the crane, the technicians get started, allowing plenty of time for small adjustments during the process ensuring a clean fitment without any damage to the freshly finished shell. Having been fitted, assembly resumes by fitting the shiny new stainless-steel tubular sports exhaust to further enhance the new performance soundtrack.

AN ATTRACTIVE AROMA

With the high priority running and interior components fitted, including window glass, all steering auxiliaries and dash wiring, the shell is sent to be trimmed later returning boasting a brand-new interior of Tan leather. The finished combination of Dark Green over Tan is mouth-watering and the freshly installed leather creates an incredible aroma. While the E-type is being treated to several personalised upgrades the clients have decided to retain a number of period correct elements such as an aluminium centre console and dial fascia, put all together, the perfect combination is created.

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