Driver’s Di­aries

Classics Monthly - - Contents -

Mike over­hauls his E-Type’s cylin­der head, Gez fi­nally makes a lid for his NSU’s glove­box, Ivan fits a re­con­di­tioned servo to his XJ40, Will starts restor­ing his Mi­nor Van, Peter takes his Al­lard for a spin and Scott gets stuck into a new project.

I n last months ar­ti­cle I started to go through where I’ve got to with the E-Type. It’s now been stripped and af­ter acid dip­ping, the shell was mounted on my mod­i­fied ro­tis­serie and the long job of re­plac­ing the bot­tom six inches of the Jaguar is now un­der way.

It struck me that my monthly up­date may ap­pear a bit like the Star Wars films by start­ing in the mid­dle and work­ing for­ward then back­wards. So I thought it would be a good idea to take you back to the be­gin­ning – not to a galaxy far, far away or a long time ago – just back to last year in Eve­sham!

I like hav­ing a project in the hop­per while one is draw­ing to a close and this time I got a bit car­ried away and bought an im­ported E-Type in a joint ven­ture with the fa­ther-in-law. This all hap­pened while still fin­ish­ing the Frog Eye and still part way through com­plet­ing the Austin Healey 3000’s body­work. This worked quite well, as the ramp be­came free of Frog Eye for the big dis­man­tle and the tim­ing went quite well, as the E-Type was ready for body­work re­pairs to com­mence as the Healey 3000 was be­ing fin­ished off.

My fa­ther-in-law and I had de­cided on a cer­tain spec­i­fi­ca­tion and wanted a 3.8 litre Se­ries One fixed head coupé. The rea­son for this was that the 3.8 Se­ries One in­cluded the fea­tures and pu­rity of the early E-Types but weren’t as ex­pen­sive as the first gen­er­a­tion flat floor ver­sions.

We hunted for quite a while try­ing to bal­ance the right price and qual­ity of car and even­tu­ally found one in the US. Af­ter vet­ting the seller through some con­tacts I knew, we even­tu­ally agreed to pur­chase the car and ap­pointed a ship­ping com­pany to help with the trans­ac­tion. This re­sulted with the Jaguar ar­riv­ing in Southamp­ton Docks a few weeks later and I was pleas­antly sur­prised how cheap the process was when con­sid­er­ing the pro­fes­sion­al­ism of the op­er­a­tion.

I must ad­mit it was still nerve wrack­ing see­ing the E-Type for the first time, but as the cov­ers were pulled off it was ac­tu­ally bet­ter than de­scribed! I trail­ered the car back home and like a kid with a new toy started hav­ing a good poke around. We had bought the car as a non­run­ning restora­tion project but I be­came quickly pleased with how much had al­ready been done to the Big Cat.

Although a lot of me­chan­i­cal work had been com­pleted, it had re­ceived a very poor re­spray and ap­peared to have been done a long time ago as a rolling restora­tion. The more I poked, the bet­ter I found the me­chan­i­cals to be. Af­ter a really good look around, I re­con­nected the bat­tery to find it had some charge and the fuel pump fired. I then de­cided to see if I could get her run­ning, so changed the oil, charged the bat­tery and did some more ba­sic checks.

When I was happy, I hit the choke and starter and the E-Type’s straight six fired up af­ter a cou­ple of cranks. I quickly re­alised that it must have been a run­ner be­fore be­ing taken off the road, so de­cided to go all in and get an MoT. Do­ing so be­fore the restora­tion en­abled me to reg­is­ter it, which pro­vided peace of mind given how much time and money is at stake. With a lit­tle bit of pre- MoT work, the Jaguar passed the test a few weeks later, re­sult­ing in a very happy fa­ther and law and me.

With the car reg­is­tered, the strip down be­gan and I started at the front and worked to the back me­thod­i­cally re­mov­ing parts, mark­ing bags and stor­ing in ap­pro­pri­ately marked crates to make re-as­sem­bly much eas­ier. I took the bon­net off, which is de­signed to be sim­ple to re­move, and started strip­ping the an­cil­lar­ies. On the E-Type, the en­gine can come out from be­low, un­der­neath or out of the front; the lat­ter be­ing more suited to a restora­tion project given the level of strip down al­ready needed. With a bit of care and a load spread­ing bar on the crane the en­gine was out of the car in no time! Foot off the gas for now!

I got a bit car­ried away and bought an im­ported E-Type Jaguar in a joint ven­ture with the fa­ther-in-law

The first time we saw the im­ported E-Type was when it was fresh of out of its con­tainer at Southamp­ton Docks.

Af­ter trail­ing the E-Type back from the docks, it was rolled in the garage await­ing a full ap­praisal, which turned out to be sur­pris­ingly good.

The sus­pen­sion was next to come off and once ev­ery­thing had been re­moved it was la­belled and stored for fur­ther at­ten­tion. Even with the all aux­il­iaries off, the E-Type’s en­gine is a big heavy lump and to keep it level we used a bal­anc­ing beam on the crane. Af­ter re­mov­ing and stor­ing the bon­net, the E-Type’s strip down got un­der­way in earnest. Next job was to re­move the en­gine. Although it looks a big job to re­move the E-Type’s bon­net, it can be taken off quite quickly pro­vid­ing enough hands are avail­able.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.