My dream car has faults
After purchasing my series III E-Type Jaguar I drove it for a month to evaluate it. I hadn’t wanted to undertake a major restoration but the more I looked into the car the more areas that I wanted to improve. My expectations are high and I realise that at times I can be too fussy and expected the E-Type to be like a new car, which was a big ask for a 30 year old car.
The final decision to restore it came when I removed the carpets and sound proofing and discovered that what I thought were only a couple of small patches of rust were an indication of much more sinister problems. The end result was an extensive restoration project over a ten month period that included the replacement of the front section of the floors, rebuilding of the engine, transmission, engine bay, steering, front & rear suspension, diff, interior trim, boot area and hundreds of other minor items.
The previous owner had started the restoration of the E-Type and concentrated his efforts on minor mechanical repairs and the exterior appearance. He completely stripped the body and had a well respected body shop perform a full bare metal repaint in two pack. He also replaced most of the chrome work and the final effect was an as new external presentation, but unfortunately he neglected to lavish the same attention on the engine bay, interior and rusty floors! If only he had understood the need to completely strip the vehicle, start with a bare body shell and work from the inside to the outside my job would have been so much easier.
Oh no! Rusty floors
Both the drivers and passenger floors had significant rust and holes and the drivers side bulkhead was rusted through in the lower section. The rust problems were confined to the footwells on both sides and the rest of the car was rust free. The sill panels were as good as new and it appeared that the rust in the floors was probably created while the car was in long term storage, possibly due to a leaking windscreen. Just a few minor leaks had rotted the carpet and caused the cancer in the floors etc.
Rather than patch the floors I decided to replace them and a comprehensive report can be found in the replacing rusty floors page and floor repair photo album.
And what about the engine bay?
When I was halfway through replacing the floors I took a long hard look at the engine bay area. Again, the more I looked the worse it appeared. No major problems just lots of grime, a couple of small rust holes in the firweall, minor surface rust, paint deteriorated and signs of thirty years of use. If I wanted a pristine engine bay (and I did) then I had to strip the front of the car back to a bare firewall and rebuild everything. From this decision came six months of dismantling, reassembling, cleaning, polishing, painting and plating to achieve the showroom presentation that I desired.
See the details in the engine bay restoration page and engine bay photo gallery.
Refurbishing the interior
The interior trim looked OK at first but closer inspection revealed the need for improvements. Once again I got carried away and replaced almost all the trim except the leather seats which were in very good condition.
More details are contained in the interior restoration page and interior photo gallery
Refurbishing the Jaguar V12 engine
It’s like a chain of dominoes! Once you start you just can’t stop. The engine and gearbox had to come out so the engine bay, subframes and suspension could be rebuilt. Therefore, while the engine and gearbox were on the floor it made sense to refresh the inside and outside of the engine and rebuild the gearbox.
Full details can be viewed in the engine rebuild page and engine photo gallery.