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Long-time Jaguar en­thu­si­ast, Kaik­oura-based Bob Bell, fell in love with the E-type as a teenager when he first clapped eyes on Jaguar’s svelte big cat — how­ever, he ob­vi­ously couldn’t af­ford one new back then and, as more time passed by, he couldn’t af­ford one even when they be­came sec­ond­hand choices. Later on, of course, prices of re­stored ex­am­ples took off and it didn’t look as if Bob would ever be able to re­al­ize his teenage dream. Then a 1969 Se­ries 2 road­ster be­came avail­able — a car that was part way through a rebuild and avail­able at a rea­son­able price. Bob jumped at the op­por­tu­nity — it may have taken 50 years but Bob fi­nally had his very own E-type.

Ac­cord­ing to Bob, the car sat locked up in a garage for a num­ber of years as the owner, a well–known Jaguar en­thu­si­ast from the lower South Is­land, had sadly passed away be­fore he could fin­ish the restora­tion. Hav­ing owned the E-type for many years, he had com­pleted a body restora­tion af­ter im­port­ing the car into New Zealand and he en­joyed many years of driv­ing the car. Then the time came for fur­ther restora­tion work — un­for­tu­nately, he would not live to see the car fin­ished although he had com­pleted a large amount of me­chan­i­cal work in­clud­ing a RHD con­ver­sion (this Jaguar was an Amer­i­can im­port).

Bob tells us that he isn’t treat­ing the E-type to a con­cours restora­tion, just a very thor­ough rebuild as he wants to have a car to drive and en­joy with­out worry. Bob also wants the car to be a trib­ute to Don (the pre­vi­ous owner) and hopes that he’s done him proud.

Look­ing at what Bob’s achieved so far, we’re sure Don would’ve ap­proved.

Ash­ley Webb

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