GRACE … SPACE … PACE x 2
WI TH TH E H I GH E S T T E AMS E V ENT S COR E E V E R ACHI E V E D IN THE 4 4 Y E A R S O F THE ELLERSLIE CLASSIC C A R SHOW, THE S E TWO MAGNI F I C E N T E - T Y P E S HAV E S E T A N EW P R ECE D E N T
The Teams Event competition at the Ellerslie Classic Car Show is hotly contested every year. Any car club can enter two of its finest cars to compete against other clubs, and, for those keen enough, there’s provision to enter more than one team at the organizing committee’s discretion. This has been evident in the last few years, with the Auckland Mustang Owners Club going to great lengths to enter two teams and having great success.
The Ellerslie Classic Car Show 2017 saw three magnificently presented teams from two car clubs enter: one from the Auckland Jaguar Drivers Club and two from the Auckland Mustang Owners Club. The stakes are high — the right to host the following year’s event, the right to have two club members present on the organizing committee, and a larger percentage of the gate takings. But this competition is more than that, it’s about club pride, and the satisfaction of presenting two cars against the rest is what keeps car clubs presenting teams every year.
With two teams entered again in this year’s event, the Auckland Mustang Owners Club was no doubt keen for victory after last year’s loss to the Porsche Club of New Zealand, represented by David Mackrell’s magnificent Porsche 356 and Dean Huston’s awardwinning Porsche 911, which gained a total combined score of 1056 points out of a possible 1180.
However, one club put paid to that notion by winning with the highest total combined score of
1109 points — the Auckland Jaguar Drivers Club taking the 2017 crown thanks to two stunning E-type Jaguars, one owned by last year’s Masters Class winner Simon Crispe and the other by Roger Munns. Not only were they victorious team winners, but Simon’s glorious 1961 E-type OTS was the highest-scoring car of the day, including Masters Class, with an individual score of 565 points out of a total 590.
Simon also took out the highly prized Masters Class competition with his beautifully restored 1961 Daimler SP250 Dart (as featured in Issue No. 307, July 2016), with a total score of 538 points.
Simon Crispe — 1961 Jaguar E-type OTS
Simon Crispe purchased his 1961 Jaguar E-type OTS in Inverkeilor, Scotland, on September 4, 2009. He discovered that this fabulous example is one of the oldest remaining cars, possibly one of the earliest 12 known cars in existence, making it a very rare cat indeed.
His very early E-type roadster, finished in Jaguar Cream with red leather interior, was built at Browns Lane in Coventry on April 27, 1961. E-type number 29 rolled out of the Jaguar factory exactly six weeks, to the day, after the iconic E-type’s March 16 launch to the world in Geneva. By that famous launch date, just a handful of E-types had been built, and, by the end of April 1961, only a very few more had seen the light of day. It was a slow beginning, while the factory worked out exactly how to make these cars. By the end of production, 72,500 E-types had been built over 14 years.
Simon soon came to the conclusion that his new acquisition needed to be restored carefully and sensitively, with originality the key but without over-restoring.
He stripped the car down in his air-conditioned garage in Dubai — it needed to be air conditioned so he had a chance of surviving while stripping down an old, dilapidated Jaguar in the 50°C summer heat. Simon was careful to label absolutely everything and took plenty of photographs, knowing that his memory would not help at all a year or two later when reassembling the car.
By the end of 2013, it was ready, warranted and drivable, but it lacked an interior, its soft-top, and the final painting of the external panels for concours-ready presentation. Simon decided to send the E-type to the UK for very exact finishing by a marque specialist in the earliest cars — Classic Motor Cars (known as ‘CMC’).
The car was shipped from Dubai late in October 2015 and arrived in perfect time for his eldest daughter’s wedding. It was first displayed at the Ellerslie Classic Car Show 2015, and was the Masters Class winner in 2016 (as featured in Issue No. 304, April 2016). This year, he was once again victorious in the Teams Event, along with fellow team-member Roger Munns.
Once the body was perfect, it was sent to Golden Gun Panelbeaters and Spraypainters for the application of the original Opalescent Silver Grey colour scheme. In the meantime, Roger and a few mates were busily refurbishing many of the original items that would eventually end up back on the car, including every original nut and bolt, all of which were meticulously cleaned. The original gearbox and differential were in excellent condition, so Roger decided to refurbish the outside only, while the suspension and brakes were completely rebuilt back to original specifications.
The next step was the interior. Roger imported three Connolly leather hides from the UK in the original Jaguar Red colour, which the team at Stu’s Trim and Sound skilfully fitted to the seats and other parts of the interior. Rigg Electroplating added the extra sparkle to the exterior, along with a new set of competition wire wheels as the finishing touch.
After nine long years, Roger’s masterpiece was complete and ready for the Ellerslie Classic Car Show 2016 Masters Class competition, in which he placed third with a total score of 533 points out of a possible 590. After spending the year improving the car, Roger decided to enter the coveted Teams Event with fellow club member Simon Crispe. Once the final results were tallied up, the pair had raised the bar to new heights with the unprecedented aforementioned 1109 points.