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    James Elliott
    James Elliott joined the group Ferrari owners and fans club
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    #Porsche

    “That car isn’t just me, it’s all the people I’ve interacted with to get to this place,” says John Benton. “I bought this car at 23 years old, I didn’t have all the answers…My car is the result of all those little journeys, here and there…”

    Now, John has his own shop that caters to classic Porsches, but it’s really about how he got to this point—a journey happened in his beloved #Porsche-912 .

    “I’ve heard people say that my car is me. You know, when they see it, when they drive in it, they’re like, ‘Man this car’s you, it’s so obvious’,” he says. “That wasn’t my intent, but it’s neat to hear from people - even strangers - you know, ‘you built this car, it’s so obvious’,” he says.

    His car had been found, driven, taken apart, repaired, restored, and loved over his many years of ownership, and the 912 really was his companion. “It was my daily driver…and weekend race car…” with modifications to suit both. Now, its heart is a “Very high-revving, twin-spark 1.7-litre, fuel injected 616 motor…” but to list off specs would do a disservice to Benton’s passion for these machines.

    “Everything I know put into a car…” he says. The only thing missing is his friend and former business partner, John Coffee, who died earlier this year…but not before completing his opus, a Datsun 240Z prepared for the Peking-To-Paris Rally. “John just hit a home run,” says Benton “…it’s his legacy.”
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    James Elliott
    James Elliott joined the group Porsche 912
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    James Elliott
    James Elliott is now friends with Matthew Hayward
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    Metal gurus at work

    CAR: #1968-Jensen-Interceptor / #1968 / #Jensen-Interceptor / #Jensen

    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.
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    James Elliott
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    James Elliott
    James Elliott is now following Matthew Hayward
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    James Elliott
    James Elliott joined the group Rover P6
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