My Jaguar E Type Restoration
Love at First Sight
In the mid 80´s I lost my mind and fell in love with the car that I bought. It didn´t look to good because it was badly painted in grey. Someone tried their luck in doing a home garage paint job and save some money. A 1970 Jaguar E Type 4.2L in-line 6 convertible (OTS-open two seater) was the classic that I got with a soft top and a black removable hardtop.
Layers of Dust
The car was stored in a garage for a few years until the owner decided to sell it. With the battery recharged and a light tap on the fuel pump the engine came alive and just the sound of it convinced me to get it.
The engine did spew little smoke at the start but again the engine wasn´t run for a few years. Amazingly the interior, seats, dash and door casings were impeccable but with a few layers of dust.
All dials, gauges and rocker switches working perfectly. No major restoration had to be done in the interior. A Jaguar E Type restoration was just around the corner, I thought!
Jaguar E Type (Jaguar XKE)
Restoration Video Part 1
Restoration Video Part 2
After the deal was done I had it towed to my garage and I just meticulously inspected the car in and out for hours on end. Once and a while I would run the engine, with the garage door open and noticed satisfyingly no smoke emitted at the start.
I noticed later, underneath the gray a yellow layer which I think it was the original color. I decided later on and ended up having it painted in white. The doors did not shut well because the monocoque body bent unnoticeably downward, right in its weak spot for OTS, this is in the back of the seating area.
After few months of hard work and dreaming of taking the car for a spin I finally had the car in a body shop. At the shop and having the engine inspected it was satisfying hearing that the car still had a good heart and not needing of major repair. So it was just body repair.
The body shop worker that was responsible for renovating the car, brilliant in shaping sheet metal and welding, became so astonished at the beauty of the car that he told the boss that he´s restoring a work of art and he could not be disturbed or rushed or he would pack his bags and leave.
The outside body of the car was completely stripped down of its paint right to the bare metal.
Technical specifications and measurements were found with the help of official manuals and the car was put back its original level so the doors would close properly. A hidden 10cm wide metal tube was welded concealed inside the right and left hand sills to give it extra rigidity, solving the main problem.
After primer paint and the final layers of white I reinstalled the upholstery and carpets that I had meticulously washed and the leather seats given them a few coats of body hydrating lotion. With a professional paint jog and the interior looking brand new I was finally near to enjoying my ride.