Summary of Restoration Project
From US-spec Series 3 OTS to the perfect GT car – we tackle a neglected E-Type and give it a new lease of life… and colour!
It was stripped down as soon as we received it and went into the bodyshop for the long process of fixing previous shabby repairs and most importantly rust. As we delved deeper into the car we noticed it would need new floor pans, sills and other sections as these parts had been patched up and covered over multiple times with different metal. The difference with this restoration is that the owner wanted to retain that as much of the original metal and factory markings including seam sealer etc. as possible. Once a plan was hatched, the cutting could begin with crossed fingers to not discover anymore gremlins underneath. New panels and structures were fabricated then welded to the shell in place of the old, once this was complete the car could move into the filler room to be prepared for paint.
Once the lines are smoothed and bonnet, boot, and door shuts are perfected with the filler, primer is applied along with a guide coat which shows up any imperfections in the shape of the panels. These imperfections are eliminated by a repeated process of rubbing and priming until the spots no longer show up with the guide coat. The shell was then sprayed in Opalescent Gun Metal Grey and flatted then polished until the desired finish was acquired.
The mechanical build-up of an E-Type always begins with the front suspension assembly before the fully rebuilt rear end can be fitted and brakes plumbed in with hand-bent copper-nickel lines. The electrical loom is laid through the car from front to back before the interior electrics can be started on.
The owner has specified original spec suspension and steering with the modern usability of fuel injection and beautiful sound and performance of a big bore stainless steel exhaust system with tubular manifolds.
The original, and freshly rebuilt V12 has been fitted along with our 5-speed gearbox to further improve the touring aspect of the car. Many of the original parts of this E-Type have been reused in order to retain its provenance and history. This means the majority of the parts have been refurbished rather than completely restored as to keep the original feel and look whilst ensuring the car performs perfectly.
The fuel system is built up next, beginning with the EFI intake manifolds and injectors. A new loom is also made up and connected to an Emerald ECU fitted in the passenger footwell. Whilst the intake side is custom fitted, the brand-new stainless steel Hayward & Scott big bore exhaust is also built up before we can start the V12 for the first time.
Once it’s running, we can plug the ECU into a computer and set a base map. This is so the V12 can tick over whilst we check for leaks or other issues with the oil, fuel and cooling systems. The car is also put on a set of old wheels and tyres to check that it can now move under its own power correctly. Once all basic checks are complete we can begin to focus on the beautiful exterior of the E-Type.
The rear light clusters are wired up, attached and tested before the newly chromed wrap-around rear bumper is fitted up. Chrome fitting is one of the most tense part of any classic restoration, it needs to line up perfectly using the adjusters behind the metal.
We are currently awaiting the clamshell bonnet back from the body shop before we can finalise the cosmetic side of the car. It will then be sent to the trimmers for a stunning Oxblood red interior!
With the Series 3 now back from the trimmers the restoration has been storming ahead. Now back in the workshop in its new eye-catching Oxblood red interior and black mohair hood which ties the Opalescent Gun Metal Grey paintwork all together, the restoration moves onto installing the bonnet and external chrome fittings.
With the bonnet safely attached, the workshop team spends plenty of time installing the freshly re-chromed fittings as everything needs line up perfectly and look the part. Each piece of chrome needs to be fitted as close as possible without touching but still maintaining even gaps all round that ensures we get that desirable and original 70’s iconic look. The rear bumpers, bonnet beading, headlight chrome, grille and surrounding chrome have now fitted, with the most recent installation being the headlights – you can now really start to see the face of the car coming together.
With the finishing touches added and our shakedown testing period done, this 1971 Series 3 restoration is complete. Finished in a beautiful combination of Opalescent Guntmetal, re-trimmed Oxblood Red interior and black mohair hood, the E-Type truly looks the part. The bodywork that was undertaken has prepared this 70's classic to take on more years of solid motoring.
Converted from left to right, fitted with a rebuilt IRS, 5-speed gearbox, fuel injection, uprated cooling system, Hayward and Scott tubular exhaust system all sitting on a set of beautiful Turrino wire wheels - its safe to say the restoration was a successful transformation.