E-type S3 2+2 Restoration


My Series 3 V12 E Type Jaguar 2+2 Coupe Restoration Project

by Peter Shrubsall

 

Having completed the build of my Suffolk SS100, I needed another project for these idle hands and in 2016 found, in my own village, a Series 3 V12 E Type Coupè. My local garage knew the car and pointed me towards it. I wanted a Jaguar project and thought a Series 3 2+2 was likely to be affordable. It was in a poor state, having been off the road for five or so years; the elderly seller wasn’t sure. It is a 1972 automatic and had been owned since 1979 and was now showing 215,000 miles. It deserved to look tired. It had been (poorly) restored about 1987 and fitted with a reconditioned engine and covered only 40-45,000 miles since. Three of the exhaust manifolds had broken flanges and the auto box was consuming a litre of ATF a week according to the local garage.

After rebuilding the fuel pump, to get the engine started, I got the car home and it was clear that this was going to need a classic “nut-and-bolt” job and that I would make it my own: manual five-speed box and colour change. I was never a lover of black.

Taking a car apart is a fascinating (and filthy!) job. Having stripped the shell and sent it to T&T Coachworks nearby to repair and repaint the shell, I got on with refurbishing the recoverable.

The body shell was worse than was immediately apparent and having been shot blast both passenger and drivers floors needed replacing, as did the boot floor, and especially the rear inner wheel arches. The rear outer wheel arches were re-leaded along with new outer sills and repairs to the drivers side lower bulkhead. The front frame was removed and the car re profiled, door gaps improved and then repainted in Jaguar Carnival pearlescent red.

A customised Tremec 5-speed gearbox and conversion kit for the E Type was sourced. All the suspension, brakes and steering were refurbished with new bearings and bushes, and then repainted. Much detailing was applied to under bonnet components and where practical finished in either silver or body colour.

 

Before After

The engine only needed cosmetics but was a huge job and the carbs were fully refurbished, a good month’s work in themselves.

 

The body shell was returned after 22 months away and the rebuild commenced.

Some of the challenges have included the wheels, the heater box and some unavailable parts that I have made myself.

 The wheels were sound but the plating was in poor condition, well beyond chrome polish. Either I could fit the car with wires, which would mean hubs and spinners too, or fitting D Type bolt on alloys or re-plating the existing wheels as new ones are no longer available. Either route was going to cost around £400:00 a corner! I decided to stay original and get the existing wheels re-chromed which meant splitting the rim from the disc, re-chroming and re-assembly, hence the cost. Thanks to Castle Chrome, they look fabulous; mind you, I don’t relish painting the scollops in the wheels.

 

The heater box had an awful piece of perforated steel crudely cut out to cover the original mesh, now split. The box itself had been crudely covered with underseal and of course all the internal foam seals had just gone……oh! and the motor didn’t work. Everything was stripped and cleaned and the steelwork painted, new seals fitted and everything checked for operation. The motor was fine with a strip and clean but the new mesh could not be fitted as per manufacture so I made a clamp ring and polished it with a pleasing cosmetic and functioning result.

Before After

 

Several horrors were discovered, from mouse nests, to the handbrake relying just on locking wire(!) and the speaker cover screws going through the speaker cones. (it must have sounded dreadful.

The whole project is proving enormously satisfying; to take what many would have scrapped and recover it. There is still a huge amount to do but there is no deadline – well maybe 2021, the 60th anniversary of the launch of the E Type!