Before the E-type Jaguar, sleek was just something you did with your hair. And class was something you had to attend to learn English and maths. It took some time running the alphabet before the emergence of this gem in all its ruby-coloured glory. This is the story about an E-type named Desire.
With its slick design, concupiscent curves and seductively beckoning headlights, it really is a no-brainer as to why or how this voluptuous vehicle came to be ranked first in The Daily Telegraph’s “World’s ‘100 Most Beautiful Cars’ of All Time” list. Jaguar enthusiast or no, the E-type awakens a desire and demands attention even from those not utterly humbled by its presence. And it truly remains one of earth’s most worship-worthy vehicles.
Every E-type owner has a story worth telling. Stories that all elucidate the fact that the E-type is more than just a machine, much more than merely a graceful design and exceedingly more than simply one of earth’s most sought-after sports cars. It is a legacy.
Stuart Lottering recently purchased an E-type of his very own. Even though the car is one of many in his collection of classic motor vehicles, it is THE only one he’s ever really wanted. And as we’ve mentioned, with every E-type comes a unique story – in this case complete with a log book to back it up. Like any thoroughbred, this Jaguar’s class and sophistication was spawned by an illustrious heritage. A heritage which, as the time for her overhaul draws near, will be laid bare in all its parts, before being rebuilt to its former glory.
Lottering’s E-type has had only a single previous owner, Mr Frank Fowden, a British hairdresser of some renown who rubbed shoulders with some of the world’s most celebrated corporate bigwigs and glitzy celebrities. His client-base included the likes of Mick Jagger, Hillary Clinton and the entire Schwarzenegger crew. In 1983, Mr Fowden made the decision to move to sunny South Africa but could not, for obvious reasons, part from his beloved E-type.
Frank initially settled in Rosebank, Johannesburg and opened shop but later moved to the Mother City, E-type in tow, where he opened Frank Fowden Hairstylists at the V&A Waterfront. Since he first purchased the car in 1968 Frank’s E-type had been groomed by many a caring mechanic and dedicated restorer. Still essentially in her original condition, every tweak, touch-up or windscreen replacement has been meticulously entered in the log book that accompanied the purchase.
Sadly, Mr Fowden passed away in 2015, leaving behind a wife and adopted daughter as well as a legacy of particular hairstyling flair, and this beautiful vehicle.
At the annual Jaguar Simola Hillclimb of the same year, Stuart Lottering bumped into a friend of his, Alan Hughes. Hughes told him of a dear friend, Frank Fowden, who had recently passed away and that Fowden’s spouse, Patricia had asked him to assist with the sale of her late husband’s E-type Jaguar. Hughes naturally knew Stuart would be interested and the sale was processed over the course of the next couple of months.
Fast forward to January 2016 – Stuart and Hein Bruwer of Spotless Knysna Automotive Restorers collect the E-type from the sixth floor of a parking garage in Cape Town CBD, where it had been stationary for more than a year and brought her back to Knysna, for her ultimate do-over.
Even completely stripped bare in a workshop at Spotless Automotive Restorers in Knysna, the allure is evident. After her long and winding journey, she stands patiently poised for her makeover. Working alongside Don Steenkamp, a seasoned E-type restorer, Spotless Knysna will embark on this arduous but rewarding task of lovingly restoring the magnificent, awe-inspiring machine. Join us on the journey with Spotless and Don Steenkamp as we report on the progress of this exciting project.
Words by: Anje Lombaard
Images supplied by: Stuart Lottering