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Restoring my E-Type Jaguar V12

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 found 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 is 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 known 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 thirty five year old 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 floorsRust around the accelerator pedal

Both the drivers and passenger floors had rust holes and the drivers side bulkhead also had rust 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 created while the car had been in long term storage. A few 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 on this site in the new floors pages.

And what about the engine bay?Engine bay partly stripped

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 seemed.  No major problems just lots of grime, a couple of small rust holes, 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 on the engine bay pages.

Refurbishing the interiorInterior as it was

  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.

 Full details are contained in the interior pages.


Refurbishing the V12 engineJaguar V12 engine partly stripped

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 it made sense to tidy up the engine and rebuild the gearbox while they were on the floor.  Full details can be viewed in the Engine pages.


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