Classic Sports Car
JAGUAR E-TYPE S1
RUN BY Gaynor Cauter OWNED SINCE September 1980 PREVIOUS REPORT January
I am trying not to get too excited, but ‘Boo’ is inching its way out of Barry Bishop’s workshop and nearer to the engine shop down the road to get its vitals reinstated. The cylinder head, so expertly rebuilt by race-car specialist Andrew Tart, has been reunited with the block and, once the engine and gearbox are in, Barry can finish the final repairs to the bodywork and paint it.
With Jaguar Heritage’s Geneva rally cancelled, there is not as much pressure to get the car finished and, in restoration terms, 12 months is not very long to have got as far as we have. The recent lockdown has led to far more specialists shutting up shop and going to ground, hence Barry’s frustration at not being able to get the car finished.
Equally frustrating is not being able to visit the workshop, but the latest photos are very encouraging. It’s the first time I’ve seen Boo back on four wheels since it disappeared on a transporter a year ago. Its new Spax dampers are in place, with the refurbished suspension parts, rack, plus various cylinders and servo. Barry’s attention to detail really shows in the small items – such as the bonnet catches, which were sent away to be zinc-plated. “They looked scruffy against the new paintwork,” he said. And the heater box, which hadn’t been touched since it stopped working 40 years ago, now looks like new.
The wheels are purely for the purpose of moving the car around. Once the body has been finished, it will get a pristine set of stainless wires from MWS and four new Blockley tyres from Julian Majzub.
Julian persuaded me to try out his tyres when he first started making them for E-types a decade ago and I’ve been delighted with them. He has since been making 14in tyres for the MKX as well. They look the part, but are much more affordable than the traditional Dunlop SPS.
The other good news is that the wiring looms have been fitted and Barry has made a few upgrades in the process. The Kenlowe fan, always a source of blade-fuse failure and thermostat meltdown, is now on a simple switch. Better still, Boo now has hazard-warning lights. The horror stories of people stranded on so-called ‘smart’ motorways in the dark, dodging 44-tonne trucks on what should have been the hard shoulder, brought home to me the need for modern warning lights, so these have been added.
Still to do are modifications to the chrome door caps, which don’t match up to Barry’s standards – they’ve never fitted properly since the doors were replaced in 1995 and while I turned a blind eye to them, Mr Bishop won’t.
Barry is getting as excited about the car as I am and, judging by the stream of emails and messages I keep getting regarding Boo’s progress, we’re not alone. Dave Groves, who owned Boo in the ’70s and now lives abroad, got in touch out of the blue some years ago and is in regular contact for updates. I think he regrets selling it now.
One of the things that has cheered me most this miserable year has been the interest everyone has shown in my scruffy old car, so many thanks to every one of you.