1961 Jaguar E Type FHC (BA)
Total restoration


Specification (briefly) for this project is as follows:

Total restoration to original specification of an extremely rare outside bonnet latch FHC. This car will be restored in its original factory livery of Opalescent Dark Blue with Biscuit interior.

Return to main CJ workshop



Update report - March 9, 2017

The following images show the difference between very early bonnet hinges and those fitted to E Types beyond the first few months of production.

Using Tom Haddock's excellent originality
book as a reference
Early hinge at bottom of this image is clearly a
different shape to later hinge

1961 vintage Girling shock absorbers restored to pristine condition.

Shocks were stripped, repaired and repainted
correct Girling Blue

Early cars had shorter springs, a spacer at the top
and thick aluminum retainers at the bottom
Shocks now restored and ready to install!

Tool kit now complete with all original and period correct tools.

Tool roll is now 100% complete, tools will
be restored
Comparing to a known original tool kit from
chassis # 875462 (in foreground)

Powder coated IRS components ready for final assembly.

Differential now rebuilt and reassembled using all original fasteners, hub carriers restored and rebuilt, and chrome trial fit continues...

Diff now assembled using original 'Newton' bolts
and final drive ratio and PL (Powerlok) tags

Ultra early hub carriers have the same sized
inner and outer bearings and seals
Hub carriers now look new

Trial fitting front bumpers
First sighting of the famous outside bonnet latches!

Early Girling shock absorbers and two eared German 'safety' knock-offs

In our quest to have everything on this car as original and correct as humanly possible, we are very fortunate to have our friend and early E Type expert Mike Mueller not only advising on some of the finer points of originality, but also coming up with some of the hard to find parts that are unique to the extremely early cars. This week Mike was able to supply us with some very early Girling shock absorbers, as well as three out of four of the extremely rare German two eared 'safety' knock-offs.

If anybody out there has a spare left hand German knock-off, we would love to buy it to complete the set we need for 885013. Our car was supplied new in Germany, which means the two eared 'safety' knock-offs would have been installed originally.

Ultra early hub carriers

In two of the photos below you can see the rear hub carriers. The very earliest cars had an undocumented hub carrier, part number C15229-4. This part number was not mentioned in the J30 Spare Parts Catalogue, which incorrectly cited part number C19063 as the earliest form of hub carrier used. We have restored numerous outside latch roadsters, as well as two of only 18 LHD outside latch coupes to leave the factory, and we have seen several cars with the C15229-4 hub carriers. Interestingly, while 885013 has clearly had the C15229-4 hubs from new, 885020 and 885036 both had the C19063 carrier listed in the Parts Catalogue. We have documented several outside latch roadsters built prior to July 1961 that had the C15229-4 hubs.

1961 vintage Girling shocks will be rebuilt
and restored
Hard to find the correct part number front shocks

Early differential housings were red oxide color
when new
Differential final drive ratio stamped on the
crown wheel (3.31)

Diff cover was gloss black on the early cars

Hub carriers were stamped left and right, although
I honestly don't know what the 136 denotes..
Ultra early hub carriers - Part # C15229-4

Mike Mueller previously loaned us this original early
door so we could replicate the unique rear edge
Here you can clearly see the modified upper
rear door edge

Carlos trial fitting door window frames and
rear quarter lights
Trial fitting headlamp chrome

Special thanks to Dr. Mike Mueller, the accepted world authority on outside latch E Type coupes, who was kind enough to loan us an original outside latch coupe door and an ultra early production bonnet mouth tray, so that we could replicate each of them for our restoration of 885013. The photos below show the modifications in progress.

Note difference between upper rear corners
of ultra early versus late coupe doors

After simple modification, our restored door
looks exactly like the original
Comparing the two side by side

This is a very early bonnet mouth tray

Captive nut brackets spot welded to early tray

Fabricating new captive nut brackets

Spot welding new captive nut brackets in place


I am delighted to report that we have now completed the bodywork stage of this project and 885013 has been primed with Spies Hecker Raderal sprayable polyester primer. All of the panel gaps have been finalized at this stage and the car is scheduled to be painted very early in the New Year.

Car has now been put into Spies Hecker Raderal
sprayable Polyester primer

Panel gaps have all been finalized and are
spectacular throughout
You may never see a better fitting bonnet!

Note how the rear edge of the bonnet follows the
contour of the cowl perfectly

Door top flows perfectly into rear quarter and top
edge is perfectly straight across both panels
Note pronounced rectangular shape of gas flap
which is a feature of the very early cars

Tailgate also fits beautifully

Another view showing how the bonnet follows the
contour of the cowl panel
Front upper corner of the RH door

Wheel arch lips were folded on very early cars for
additional tire clearance

Carlos has now completed the re-trim of the first seat.

Carlos has been putting on something of a master class, trimming your seats.

Restored seat base cushion frames

First of the seat bases trimmed

Trimming and installing seat back foam

Carving the foam to the desired shape using
a sanding block

Trimming the second seat base

We have had to fabricate several interior trim panels as there are subtle differences between the very early cars and later production models. It isn't really possible to buy a 'kit' for the very early cars, because so many things were hand built, resulting in variations from one car to the next.

A unique feature of the very early coupes are the
sabre-like cantrail panels
Fabricating new cantrail ends

Corrected template in center, newly fabricated
alloy panel to right

Note slight difference in position of holes for
cubby and hatch release
Trial fitting hatch release in new panel

New panels will be trimmed in biscuit vinyl

Panels around hatch itself also had to be fabricated

Your original bonnet hinge frame was unfortunately too badly damaged to restore. As there are several differences between the very early hinge frames and the later versions, Matt spent some time modifying a replacement frame to look exactly like the original. The following sequence of photographs show how we achieved this.

The original frame was manged and rusty
Radiator support plinth is fabricated on the very
early hinge frames

Lower mounting bracket of the early frame
Lower mounting bracket of later frame, which
is heavily reinforced

Later radiator support plinth is pressed

Cutting away the pressed plinth on the later bracket
Flat plinth welded in place

Brace spot welded on plinth, precisely as the
original had been
License plate bracket tab was not on the very
early frames

License plate tab removed

Finished frame is indistinguishable from the original

Your original outside latch bonnet has now been restored and assembled.   

Your original picture frame was too badly damaged to save, although we felt it was important to retain the original factory chassis number stamping. To that end, Matt cut away the stamped portion of the original picture frame and transplanted it to a new frame.

The original picture frame was mangled!

Factory chassis number stamping cut out

Original chassis stamping clamped to the new frame
Job done!

Your Team CJ restoration book is already at almost 200 pages - and the car has yet to be painted!

Matt has almost finished restoring your bonnet. All that remains to be done is to reconstruct the belly pan that forms the bottom half of the bonnet mouth.

Continuing with the restoration of your original bonnet.

Some nasty corrosion in the heater intake panel

Making a card template for the repair panel

Tack welding repair panel in place

Spot welding brackets to underside of the
bonnet center section
Marking a corroded area of the RH wing to be
cut away and patched

Corroded sheet metal cut away

Repair panel tack welded in place
After TIG welding and metal finishing, the repair
is virtually invisible

Repairing mangled 'tea tray' panel for bonnet mouth, tack welding repaired nose section to bonnet center section...

Bonnet mouth 'tea tray' was badly damaged and
also had an unwanted hole
Front edge was particularly mangled

Matt reworked the panel on the English wheel
with the planishing hammer

Trial fitting the repaired panel
Tack welding repaired nose to original center section

Matt has been pressing ahead with the restoration of your bonnet. Some of the brackets on the underside of the bonnet center section were a little too rough to be re-used, so we fabricated new replacements. On the very early bonnets, all of the support brackets beneath the bonnet center section and on the inner wall of the front wings were spot welded in place, rather than glued, as was the case on later production E Types. In restoring your bonnet, Matt has been taking great care to replicate the precise location of every last spot weld.

Fabricating new support brackets

Spot welding support brackets in place

Every last spot weld is in precisely the same postion

Spot welds visible on top side of the bonnet
center section

Spot welding the restored louvers back in place

Spot welded panels and louvers viewed
from beneath

Air intakes will need some repairs before they
can be bolted to the center section
Pulling dents from one of the air intake panels

Trial fitting the repaired air intakes

To be continued...

We were determined to save the original bonnet louvers, despite them being badly pitted and actually holed in some areas. It took some ingenuity on Matt's part, including fabricating a copper louver to use as a backing panel to the original louvers during the welding process. I thought you might be interested to have Matt explain his methods personally.

An explanation of welded louver repair, by Matt Quinn

The original bonnet from 885013, albeit creased and crunched from accident damage and dilapidated with rust, is obviously worth saving as it is one of only three original LHD outside latch coupe bonnets still with its original body. Our goal with this project is to preserve as much of the original sheet metal as possible. Without going into a rabbit hole of theory and textbook detail, I have compiled my thoughts and actions behind the 'copper louver' idea in the following paragraphs. 


After removing both spot welded louver panels from the bonnet center section, I found extensive rust and pitting on the mating surfaces between the two panels. After media blasting, wire wheeling and treating the surfaces with Ospho (a rust sealer and inhibitor), I could see the full extent of the dilapidation that had meandered onto the visible (upper) sections of the louvers. Rust had eaten away the metal, leaving behind extensive pitting, and even some holes, all of which had been hidden beneath multiple layers of paint and body filler. 

The bonnets were factory stamped from 20 gauge sheet metal, which itself is already thin. Add in the dilapidation from the spreading corrosion, and we were obviously faced with a significant challenge to properly repair the louvers. A TIG welder adds heat to the weld zone, which will effectively eat away thin material when welding. In order to prevent the material from literally disappearing, you have to be light with the heat and quick to add filler rod (in this case silicon bronze). However, in this case, due to the severity of the rust, and the existence of actual pitted holes, no amount of light heat and rod dabbing would keep the pitted louvers intact. 


I regularly use 30 ounce copper sheet clamped to the back side of sheet metal when welding in patch panels. The copper acts as a heat sink and also keeps the back side of the weld shielded from the atmosphere. This allows small holes to be filled with weld by keeping the focus of heat off the area, so the base metal will accept a filler rod without disappearing. After making a test panel with our louver cutter on the Pullmax machine, I was able to repair the original louvers by copper backing them during the welding process. The louver cutter made a slightly less pronounced replica of the factory louvers so it backed the stamping perfectly. I lightly clamped the copper louver in place and used a silicon bronze rod to TIG weld up the pitted areas.

Repairing the louvers this way kept the original sheet metal intact and filled the missing and low areas with a less intrusive material.   

Original spot welds were cut out in order to separate
the louvers from the center section
Punching out plugs to fill the holes left cutting
out the original spot welds

Welding the plugs

Copper 'backing' louver fabricated on the Pullmax

Copper louver lightly clamped in place

Front louver actually holed

Note copper louver visible through the rust hole

Pitting and hole now filled with silicon bronze

Louvers now almost ready to be spot welded
back onto the center section

The follow sequence of photographs show some of the challenges we have restoring the original outside latch bonnet. For any other E Type, we would simply supply a new bonnet and modify it to look like an outside latch unit. However, as we believe 885013 may be one of only three LHD outside latch coupes that still has its original bonnet, we think it is worth the extra time and effort to save as much of the original sheet metal as possible.

The center section nose is especially badly damaged

Some of the support flanges are very rusty
The rear edge brace is also damaged

There is some severe pitting in the louvers,
with some areas actually rusted through
The center section has been crudely patched in
the distant past

Another shot of rust pitting in the louvers

When the factory assembled the early bonnets, they
welded bare metal to bare metal (no primer)

Bad corrosion beneath one of the flanges

Forward section of the bonnet nose cut away
Early center sections were two piece, with the nose
welded in place across the entire width of the panel

Metal finishing the top surface of the center section

Metal finishing the power bulge

No primer between the louver panel and the center
section, leading to inevitable corrosion

Corrosion between the rear edge brace and
the center section

We are applying weld through primer to all
weld zones

Replacement panel cut from a rust free bonnet

Tack welding the replacement panel in place

Center section starting to look much better
A new forward nose section will be fabricated
using our wooden buck

Matt has removed the main body from the roller-hoop jig for installation on a roll-around frame jig. The hoops conjure up thoughts of Stargate Atlantis and the E Type emerging on the other side of the gate in the year 1961..

Interesting to note the many differences between the very early type of hatch door latch and one from just a year later in the E Type production cycle. In the photographs below, the later style latch is the freshly plated unit.

Comparing early latch (on right) with later version

There are several significant differences

Later latch had slotted, countersunk screws

Earlier latch had phillips button head screws
Earlier latch had two 'hand cut' bolt holes, versus
3 stamped/slotted bolt holes on later latch

Note differences in the contruction of the frame

Bolt holes were welded up prior to being re-cut
New bolt holes slotted for adjustment

Latch assembly trial fitted beneath tailgate

Time to trial fit license plate lamps
Note how poorly they fit before adjustment

Very early cars had "Butler" license plate lights
Chrome trim will be repaired prior to plating

Straightened and blasted, the brass trim is
now ready to be re-plated

Trial fitting the lamp sockets
Innards will be cad plated, outer trim
chrome plated

The following sequence of photos highlight some of the differences between the very early production, 'hand made' tailgate latch fitted to 885013, and the mass produced version used on virtually all regular production coupes.

Comparing early coupe latch (left) with later
production version (right)
Later production latch frame is one piece

Early latch frame several pieces, welded together
Later latch has integral return spring

Early latch has no return spring

Latch frame requires extensive work

Both side panels will be replaced

Fabricating the second side panel

Reconstruction almost complete

There are quite a few differences between the very early tailgates and later production items, so it was important that we repaired, rather than replaced, the hatch door for 885013.

Tailgate has been repaired in the past
Cutting out corroded sections

Fabricating new captive nut blocks

Fabricating repair panels

Trial fitting original hatch skin

Low spots identified down left side of panel,
previously concealed by bondo
Panel was reshaped on English wheel

Hinges were badly worn and required rebuilding
Bronze bushings about to be pressed into hinges

Note factory scribing denoting #13 (top and
bottom hinges)

Hinges now rebuilt as new

Huge progress in the CJ Coachworks over the last few weeks.

Both A posts are rusty and require extensive repair

Starting to fabricate repair panels

Trial fitting new panels

New sheet metal welded in place exactly
as the original panels had been

Door shells both need rust repairs
Many differences between very early doors and
later production

Fabricating door top repair panels

Front edges of door frames are particularly rough

Card templates made from the original panel

Trial fitting door frames

More door frame repairs

Both door frames now sound and ready to
have new skins installed

Time to turn our attention to the rusty cowl and screen pillars...

Cowl panel is rusty and will have to be replaced

Screen pillars are unusually rusty

The other side of the cowl is equally rusty

Screen pillars will be reconstructed using new
sheet metal

Only minor surface rust found beneath the cowl panel

Cleaning surface rust from inner dash

Rust proofing inner sill box sections and installing new outer sill panels.

Wurth Body Wax applied to all enclosed section

Inner edge of outer sills also coated in wax
Clamping new panels in position

Outer sills now welded in place

Foundation of the monocoque now reconstructed

Floors now spot welded into place

Trial fitting engine frames
Welding new engine frame anchor points into place

Making sure front profile of outer sill matches rear

Installing inner sill support gussets

Installing the new outer sills and trial fitting new floors..

New cross-member welded in place

Rear bulkhead repairs now completed
Old inner sills now cut away

Laying new inner sills in place

Preparing to spot weld new inner sills in position

Trial fitting new floors with reaction plate

New floors will be trimmed to match trans cover

Removing what is left of the old floors with a plasma cutter, repairing the transmission tunnel..

Replacement drive shaft tunnel has facility for seat
belts which were not installed originally

Steel blanking plate cut to fill seat belt anchor hole

Blanking plate welded in place
After metal finishing, the repair is invisible

The new boot floor and lower quarters have now been welded in place, and Matt has also corrected the shape of the rear wheel arches.

Matt has been busy replacing the boot floor and lower quarter panels..

Body shell has been placed on a special rotisserie

Scraping away factory lead from license plate area

Various modifications will be needed before the
new panels fit perfectly

Both panels will be extended to properly fit
with edge of their respective wheel wells

Preparing to weld extension panel to RH lower

Extended panel now fits perfectly
Rear end starting to take shape

The right hand rear quarter panel has now been repaired and installed..

Trial fitting quarter panel one last time

Repaired panel now sealed in epoxy primer
Weld zones will be sealed with weld thru primer

Quarter being welded in place (in back ground)

Matt will begin reworking the boot compartment next

Matt has been making great progress with the RH rear quarter and B pillar repairs. He is almost to a point where the second quarter panel can be permanently installed .

Trial fitting RH quarter after significant repairs
Shut face panel is a mess, as is the rubber
seal channel

Template for the new rubber seal channel
Trial fitting new seal panel and new shut
face panel together

View of the back side of the shut face panel

Time to address the panel immediately
beneath the RH quarter light window

Damaged portion cut away
New sheet metal welded in place

Fabricating a support panel for the
quarter light window latch

Preparing to weld the new shut face assembly
to the quarter panel

Note reconstructed B pillar support tower now
welded to rear of shut face panel

Removing small dents from rear panel

Welding new seal retainer to quarter panel

Trial fitting the new shut face panel to quarter
Trial fitting new inner wheel well

Spot welding new inner wheel well in place
Almost ready to install repaired quarter panel

We have now completely disassembled the IRS and have the restoration and rebuild underway..

Tag denotes 3:31 final drive

Cage and tie plate will be powder coated
Very early version of IRS tie plate

Continuing with the rear quarter panel repairs...

Rusty panel cut out, compared side by side
with the new replacement panel

Clamping the trimmed replacement panel in place
Panel first tack welded in place

Matt TIG welding the new seam

Repair panel now TIG welded in place
As pretty a TIG bead as you will ever see

TIG bead then metal finished
The result is a virtually invisible repair

We are excited to get the body restoration of this very important E Type underway. Our first job is to remove and repair the driver's side quarter panel, as well as to fabricate and install a new seal rail for the door shut face panel.

Driver's quarter panel is in poor shape and
needs extensive repair
A rarely seen view beneath the rear quarter panel

B pillar in poor shape

Inner wheel arch will require attention
Lower section of quarter panel is rtten

Interesting to see how these very earl panels were
made in two pieces, welded together
A new shut face seal rail will have to be fabricated

Ready to spot weld the new seal rail in place
on the shut face panel

Holes previously drilled to pull the panel
after an accident
Holes now welded up and metal finished

Identifying a low spot on the quarter panel
This shows the low spot very clearly

Matt planished and metal finished the low spot to
restore the correct contour and shape

Back from the blasters, the main bodyshell is very much as expected, the bonnet a little rougher than we would have hoped. We will have the body restoration underway next week.

Preparing the body for media blasting back to bare metal...

Time to get this important body restoration underway. Our first task will be to strip and disassemble the bonnet. We have decided to restore (rather than replace) the bonnet because we understand that 885013 is one of only 3 of the surviving outside latch coupes that still has its original factory bonnet.

The last four photographs in the sequence below show the completed engine rebuild.

Air intakes spot welded to underside of center
section on early outside latch bonnets

We have to remove bondo from seams before
we can take bonnet apart

Bondo almost 3/4" deep on the nose of this bonnet

Shot block rebuilt, time to install the head

Original bolts black zinc plated
Polished valve covers add the finishing touch

Assembling short block...

Balancing crankshaft
Uprated rear crank seal

ARP main and rod bolts

Close up of cross hatch pattern on cylinder wall

We have now fully assembled your cylinder head..

We have now completed the machine work to your cylinder head...

Cylinder head was exceedingly grubby, but actually
in pretty good shape
Pumpkin Gold a feature of very early E Type
cylinder heads

Front chain cover will require extensive cleaning
and polishing
Tear down underway

Measuring camshaft saddles. An align hone will
be needed
Pressure testing head after media blasting

Align honing cam housings

Cutting out old valve seats
Pockets now sized for custom CJ valve seats

New CJ seats pressed in place
CJ magnesium bronze guides

Honing new guides for desired stem to guide
Setting up to machine the valve job

5 angled valve job a CJ specialty

Bowl requires blending to the new seat
Blending creates a more efficient combustion

Surfacing the intake and exhaust flanges for perfect
seal of intake and exhaust manifolds
Surfacing the deck of the cylinder head

Finished result is as good as new (or better)

Front chain cover received hours of sanding and

Ready for assembly
Installing new valves and keepers on assembly



Original Jaguar tool kit will be restored to new condition..

Kit is almost complete, just missing the brake bleed
tube, cam timing tool and grease gun

I am pleased to report that your car is now safely in the CJ workshops and we already have the restoration underway.

 Car is partly disassembled, but effectively complete
One of only 3 of the outside latch coupes known to 
have its original bonnet
Welded louvers
Early coupes had roadster style seats

We will have this exciting project underway in the next few days...

 As found, in the proverbial Texas barn
 Number 13 of only 20 LHD outside latch coupes



Factory body tag still in place on the firewall
Body number also stamped on the bonnet 



 Floors are not as bad as they look



 Car was originally Opalescent Dark Blue with
Biscuit trim

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