IF JAGUAR had de­cided on a drop-top S-Type, it’s doubt­ful it would have looked bet­ter than the stun­ning cre­ation by cen­tral coast ve­hi­cle restora­tion spe­cial­ist, Tony Bayliss.

Over the years Tony and his wife owned many Jags and one day his wife saw and fell in love with the S-type.

Tony found an auto ver­sion, in white, which he did up for her as a daily driver.

One day he was out in the S-Type when he was of­fered a sec­ond body for spare parts, which he thought might come in handy. Years later when the white car was sold he still owned the spare body and, though his staff sug­gested a ute con­ver­sion, his wife thought a convertible more ap­pro­pri­ate.

And that is how the five-year project was born.

Armed with fac­tory draw­ings of the car and a bot­tle of white­out, Tony en­vis­aged how it would look, stay­ing faith­ful to the orig­i­nal body con­tours.

With the con­ver­sion un­der­way, Tony em­barked on a ground-up front-to-back restora­tion.

Ev­ery­thing on the car was re­moved and ei­ther re­built or re­placed.

The body was strength­ened, new parts fab­ri­cated, the front and rear sus­pen­sion, frames and brakes were re­fur­bished and a new ex­haust fit­ted. A re­built 4.2-litre M10 en­gine, Borg Warner 65 gear­box and XJ6 power steer­ing rack in­stalled, along with a new wiring har­ness.

New splined house chrome wire-wheels and knock­offs were also fit­ted.

The in­te­rior was re-trimmed in leather, the tim­ber­work re-ve­neered in burl wal­nut, the soft top made from Mercedes cloth with West of Eng­land lin­ing and the body brought to life in rhodium sil­ver.

Tony has kept records of the S-Type for the 14 years he has owned it in­clud­ing the five years of the con­ver­sion and resto project.

With ap­pear­ances at wed­dings and ad­ver­tise­ments, this one-of-a-kind head turner could be yours, check out the ad in our on­line clas­si­fieds.

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