Ramping up the ante...
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