Even completely stripped bare in a workshop at Spotless Automotive Restorers in Knysna, the allure of Stuart Lottering’s E-type was evident. Francois Bonthuys takes us through the meticulous stripping process by highlighting key findings and outlines the road ahead during this Jaguar E-type restoration.
Desire at first glance
Upon arrival, the Jag E-type did not have any apparent damage and at first glance one could say that it was in top form – the chances of discovering any rust and corrosion during the stripping process could be expected to be minimal. When Francois proceeded with stripping though, he noticed the left door was rust-ridden on the bottom inside, this would need to be re-manufactured and welded. Chroming of the E-type was in great condition, but the majority will nevertheless be sent away for re-chroming. Even though the rubbers were in good condition, a brand spanking new rubber kit was ordered to replace the previous one. The shut lines of the E-type were in top condition, which is fantastic news for the team as this will ensure a seamless re-assembly process.
Slowly stripping her down
Over a period of a couple of weeks Francois spent much time bent and hunched over her, carefully taking off each piece to be reviewed, bagged and tagged for re-assembly. Starting with the outside lights, he took photos as he went along to ensure that all the wiring and pieces would go back exactly where he removed them from. All the pieces removed during this painstakingly precise process will either be placed in storage, sent for painting, cleaning, welding or chroming. After the outside lights, he removed the chrome trim, door parts for chroming and all the inside mechanisms.
Next up in this Jaguar E-type restoration project was the bonnet or ‘nose’ of the car which is removed as a whole section at this stage. This section will be stripped into three segments just before primer to ensure shaping is correct and flawless. Lastly, the boot lid and doors are stripped, and all the nuts and bolts are carefully bagged and tagged to be cleaned or replaced if necessary.
Moving to the interior, Francois removed the seats, carpets and boot liners. Dismantling the soft top Britax sunroof was a breeze. Francois said, “The soft top sunroof came out a lot easier than a Webasto soft top with only four channels to hold it together – once the aluminium channels are out, there is no support around the edges of the opening, which might become a problem when prepping the roof for paint later on.”
He then took the dash apart after removal of the windscreen and boot lid window by Best Fit glass. He left as much of the wiring loom in place as possible, as this will make the installation of the new wiring harness easier.
As striking in the bare minimum as in all her former chrome and glory, she is patiently waiting for all the components and fittings to be tip top before the team can start re-assembly. Join us for the next segment of this Jaguar E-type restoration where we will take a closer look at findings during stripping, and the parts ordered to replace some of the old ones.
Written by: Anje Lombaard
Images by: Spotless Automotive Restorers