Metal gurus at work
OWNER: JAMES ELLIOTT
My Jensen had been with the chaps at Autostilo (www.autostilo. co.uk) for a couple of months when I received that call. It might be a good time to pop up to Potters Bar and have a look, they said. Being a glass-half-full kind of guy, my natural reaction to this was fear and the thought that it could prove very expensive. On the way up there, however, I started to rationalise this a bit and found two positive needles in the haystack of uncertainty.
The first was that a fair bit of progress must have been made, otherwise why bother getting me up there? The second was that it probably meant the car was going to be at its absolute worst because, if I were a bodywork guy, that s when I would want the owner to see it, the better to appreciate the work done thereafter. Hence, things can only get better.
On my arrival, I was kind of impressed to see the Jensen up in the air on a two-post ramp, because it meant that the sills must be rather stronger than I had previously suspected.
It turns out I was right on both fronts. Some good progress had been made, but some grisly discoveries had been unearthed, too, horrors which, to be fair, Massimos and Paolos initial inspection and the suspect bubbling on both A-pillars had led them to expect.
First, the progress. I had sourced most of the panels that were needed from Jason Lawrence down at Rejen, specifically the front and rear lower valances and both rear wheelarch repair sections. Actually, Jason only had one of the arch sections in stock, but I know that Andy Brooks at Richard Appleyard Jensen has an offside item that I will try and prise out of his grasp. Apart from both lower doorskins, these are precisely the same panels that were repaired or replaced when I briefly last had the funds for bodywork, nearly nine years ago.
The front valance is on and the rear is off awaiting the new item, plus the rear nearside arch is done. Apart from the offside arch, there remains some general tidying and some less visible welding to be done - plus those A-pillars and a proper sill inspection - before we can even think about paint.
So completion is a long way off, but I have to say that I am delighted with the quality of work I have seen so far and I can hardly wait to get the Jensen back. I’ll just have to be patient; right now the front valance is probably the strongest part of the car!
Clockwise from right: Tiny Fiat has needed even more metal than hefty Jensen; new front valance; old offside rear arch not so good; new nearside one ready for rubbing-down.