Ramp­ing up the ante...

Classic Cars (UK) - - Our Cars -

With the E-type mo­bile, my ef­forts went into get­ting it reg­is­tered. I’d sent the pa­pers off to the DVLA when I brought the car in from the USA, but they were sent back with a note ask­ing me to re­turn them once it had an MOT test.

The first job was to re­fit the bon­net and con­nect up the lights, ne­ces­si­tat­ing a bon­net-less drive to the barn. On the way the Borg Warner au­to­matic gear­box grad­u­ally loos­ened up un­til we had all for­ward and re­verse gears – quite a re­lief!

I’d re­built the front brakes and bled the rears. The lat­ter can be dif­fi­cult – it’s best to have the en­gine run­ning so the servo as­sists, and on the 2+2, ac­cess plates make the job eas­ier.

With the car up on stands, I greased ev­ery­thing, from the front sus­pen­sion to the rear end, ex­tract­ing the grub-screws from the drive­shaft joints to in­sert a grease nip­ple and pump grease in. They all took plenty of grease – ex­cept one, where the grub screw just wouldn’t shift…

I really like the clear front lenses and solid red rear ones on US mod­els, es­pe­cially with white paint­work – but it should have am­ber flash­ers. Gil Keane at bet­ter­carlight­ing.co.uk reck­oned high­power am­ber LEDS should still shine am­ber through red lenses, so I in­stalled a full con­ver­sion to LED flash­ers, in­clud­ing the flasher unit and haz­ard flasher unit. It really was plug-and-play.

One worry was cir­cu­lar im­pact dam­age on the wind­screen where a stone had hit it years ear­lier. The Se­ries 1 2+2 wind­screen is unique and this car had Sundym tinted glass from new, so it’s a rare screen and I didn’t want to re­place it. For­tu­nately, a wind­screen spe­cial­ist had set up that week at my lo­cal Tesco. He dis­cov­ered it had al­ready been re­paired – poorly – in the USA, but af­ter drilling a new hole to in­ject resin he man­aged to make it al­most in­vis­i­ble.

So, a week af­ter that first drive, I headed to West End Garage in Buck­ing­ham for an MOT test. We were wel­comed with great en­thu­si­asm by the two broth­ers who run the garage – it turns out their father had owned a 2+2 and they had happy child­hood mem­o­ries of squeez­ing in the back for fam­ily out­ings. They gave the car a clean bill of health, apart from slight wear in the steer­ing col­umn UJ. Hur­rah!

In the MOT sta­tion at long last – but would the E-type get a clean bill of health?

Mal­colm (left) and pal An­drew re-af­fix the bon­net

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