E-type / #Jaguar-E-type
Run by Gaynor Cauter
Owned since 1980
Total mileage 113,795
Miles since October
Latest costs nil
FACELIFT AWAITS FOR TIRED BOO
It’s decision time. I’ve been putting off the evil moment for too long and, in the meantime, poor old Boo is at risk of becoming a bit too scruffy. I hate taking the car off the road – so much so that, apart from the week of The Great Propshaft Disaster of 2006, it hasn’t been laid up since its major rebuild in 1995.
However, the writing is on the wall – or, more to the point, on the bodywork. While most of it is solid and showing no sign of rust, small stress cracks in the rear corners of the door frames, which were repaired about 15 years ago, have appeared and, since the previous respray, little bubbles have come through the paint along the bonnet edges. Thanks to a man in a modern Mercedes at a Goodwood Breakfast Meeting, I also have a dent in my passenger door and, since then, another ding has appeared in the nearside front wing.
Taking the car off the road for the winter is not the problem, it’s finding the money to pay for the work. Marrying an engineer with a wizard way with welding helps, but I’ve also had an offer from a top Jaguar restorer to paint the car once Len has done the repairs.
While we’re at it, we’re going to pull out the engine and gearbox, too. The last time they were out was in ’04, when the clutch packed up five days before the #Le-Mans-Classic
. It was the usual panic job and I only made it to the ferry thanks to old friend Ray Brown at Surrey Jag Centre, but it left me no time to tidy up the subframe, which hasn’t been touched since before I got the car in 1980. The engine is leaking oil from the back seal and from a stripped thread in the head, both of which need sorting, and Len is thinking about looking at the gearbox, too. As far as I know it’s original and, although it works fine for a unit that may well have done 150,000 miles or more, the synchromesh is weak on two gears.
Len has had some experience – and success – in rebuilding Jaguar gearboxes, not to mention fabricating replacement parts. And there’s no point in pulling the engine without replacing the clutch. It’s all going to add up, but better to do it now than let the car deteriorate. It’s always good to have a deadline, and for us that’s next summer when, hopefully, the rebuilt #E1A
E-type prototype will make its commemorative run through the Brecon Beacons. I’ll probably feel better once Len has made the first ‘cut’, but the thought of his grinder biting into Boo’s bodywork makes me shudder… perhaps I should take myself off to the pub for a pint while he fires up his torch?
crack has suddenly got worse. A ding in the front wing needs attention. Although in decent overall shape, Boo is crying out for a few preventative running repairs.