One of the UK's leading E-Type specialists, E-Type UK, has completed an intense restoration on a "barn-find" Jaguar E-Type Series 1 3.8 FHC.
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Found in the previous owner’s unused garage in southeast England, this particular car had been left standing since 1979, gathering dust (and more), but has now been restored to its former beauty.
Finished in period with an Opalescent Silver Blue exterior and matching blue interior, the new (current) owner has opted for a striking new combination. He has retained the exterior colour but opted for a new Oxblood Red leather interior and a number of other personalisations.
Upon its discovery, this E-type looked as though it was well preserved and rot-free, protected from the worst of the weather by four walls and a roof. However, after an extensive sandblasting and a three-day strip-down, the extent of the damage caused by 40 years of neglect, coupled with previous cheap repairs and the usual British dampness revealed the extent of the true challenge ahead.
The E-Type UK team set about making sure this E-type would be safe and durable in years to come by identifying and replacing sections that were too rotten to save. The workshop team found that many areas of the floor and the inner and outer sills were beyond saving, opting to replace them completely while also strengthening the body elsewhere. Every suspect piece of metal was eliminated to ensure the structure is even stiffer than the day it left the factory.
After the metalwork was completed, the E-type was introduced to the filler room where E-Type UK’s specialist bodywork technicians set out to restore those seamless ‘60s lines. The entire car was cleaned and skimmed, then block sanded to obtain the perfect straightness and contours.
To achieve the original Jaguar colour of Opalescent Silver Blue the car underwent a long process of painstaking preparation. Due to the silver pigments in the paint, errors are often unavoidable, often leading to a cloudy finish, but with the expert skills from the team the final result was a sparkling and even finish.
Reassembly started with fitting this E-type’s uprated independent rear suspension, which also included improved brake calipers and brake pads. At this stage, the front suspension was also fitted to create a rolling shell, making the car easier to manoeuvre around E-Type UK’s busy workshop.
The E-Type UK team then turned its attention to a number of performance and usability upgrades. The original 3.8-litre XK6 engine was fitted with high-lift cams, a balanced and lightened crank and new seals, all of which will help with driveability and reliability. Also fitted were a new five-speed gearbox for tighter shifts and more refined cruising, a new full stainless-steel sports exhaust and an aluminium radiator and header tank for enhanced cooling.
With much of the work complete, the finishing touches were applied, including the newly trimmed Oxblood Red leather interior, along with fresh chromework and headlight surrounds. In a nod to examples of the rare E-type Lightweight (of which only 12 were originally completed) the new owner requested the addition of a new red vinyl bonnet mouth, setting off the look perfectly.
E-Type UK Founder, Marcus Holland said: “A restoration like this is a real challenge for our team; 40 years of inactivity takes an enormous toll on every single part of a vehicle. But customers come to us to make their dream car a reality, so we will take it apart piece-by-piece, clean and improve everything we can save and replace everything that we can’t with better-than-original quality. Not only are we delighted to have delivered our client a car they’ve always wanted, but we’re honoured to have played a part in keeping this piece of British motoring history on the road, and being used regularly, for many years to come.”