1961 E Type FHC - 885020
Total restoration for a client in The Netherlands


Factory records document this car to be the last outside latch coupe built. Only eighteen left hand drive outside latch coupes left the factory and this particular car is one of only eight known survivors. The Jaguar Heritage Trust certificate shows the car was originally Opalescent Dark Blue with Light Blue interior. The certificate also confirms that all the numbers (body, engine, gearbox, etc) are matching. In fact, of the eight known survivors, we understand this particular car is one of only three that still has its original engine, the others being 885004 and 885018.

Over the years, 885020 has been hacked about by some of its previous owners in the name of restoration. It currently sports such 'custom features' as welded up bonnet seams, a conversion to inside bonnet latches, at least three different color schemes (currently black), interior trim items from a later (1963) car, a brace of additional gauges mounted on the console by the handbrake - as well as the remnants of an aftermarket air conditioning system. At some stage, the car even suffered the ignominy of having a pair of period Amercian sedan seats installed! Needless to say, we will obviously be restoring everything back to absolutely original specifications.


I am pleased to report that the restoration of your E Type is now complete and the car is being collected and taken to the docks in Houston on Monday morning. All being well she will be in Holland by the end of August. I hope you enjoyed following the restoration of this beautiful car in these pages.




Almost finished....
 First time in the Texas sunshine for a couple of years
 Note body colored headlamp 'sugar scoops'






 The last of only 20 outside latch LHD coupes ever made
 Interior almost finished...


More progress in the trim room...

Installing carpeting

We have entered the finishing straight with this restoration, which should be completed in the next couple of weeks.

 Headlamp scoops have been painted body color



 Luggage rail runners have now been installed



Carlos installing the chrome cantrails
Horns cleaned up nicely


Since our last update we have installed the front bumpers, motif bar, outside bonnet latch covers, bonnet chrome beading and retrimmed and fitted the dash top.





We have now installed your front and rear screens and chrome trim, and have begun installing the cabin underfelt and carpeting.



Update report - February 2, 2012

Your gauges have now been totally rebuilt, mechanically and cosmetically.


Update report - January 20, 2012

Today we installed the new Triplex windhsield and began installing the rear quarterlight windows. We are getting very close to maiden voyage time!


Update report - December 22, 2012
Installing and adjusting the bonnet...

Bonnet installed
Gaps are beautiful throughout
Installing rear lights


I am delighted to report that we have now test run the engine for the first time and everything went perfectly. For tuning and break-in purposes we are using temporary plug wires, a spin-on oil filter kit and a CJ aluminum radiator. The finished car will use OEM spec plug wires and oil filtration, etc.

Click on the second image below for a short video clip of the initial firing.

 Time to fire the engine for the first time!
Click on photo above for video of initial firing 



 Worm's eye view of the rear suspension
Original fasteners used where they are visible 



 CJ alloy radiator will eventually be replaced by finned 
original style unti


Engine and transmission installed...


We are currently rebuilding the original transmission and should be ready to install the engine in the next week or so.

Original Moss transmission being rebuilt



Note early style "fish tail" cantrails
Assembling the radio console



Pedal box and master cylinders have been rebuilt
Engine bay almost ready for engine...

Happy New Year, Marten!

Car now back on its wheels and in the trim room



Carlos has now begun installing the new interior



We borrowed this from 885118 to use as a template
as this panel was missing on your car
Restored cubby panel latches



Fabricating and trial fitting new cubby panel



Note early style fiberglass glove box
Light blue interior nice compliment to Opalescent Dark Blue


Time to assemble the IRS and put this car back on its wheels....









Restoring center console and shifter tower...





Restoring dash components, including very early style fiberglass glove box...

Dash panels were blasted, repainted and trimmed






Center gauge panel will receive new fascia
Restoring the passenger grab handle



Foam padding glued to sides and shaped



Fiberglass glove box feature of very early cars






Interior has been re-flocked

Restoring and trimming your seats...



























Your carbs have now been completely rebuilt...






With the new light blue interior kit in hand, Carlos has begun the process of restoring and retrimming the seats. Note that the photos make the carpets look brighter than they really are. Image # 3 below is the most representative of the actual color.

 Unpacking interior kit
 Carpets not as bright as they appear in this photo!



Original specification light blue hides



 Stripping roadster style seats (as fitted to very early coupes)
 Carb rebuild items for Ni plating



 Steering rack components restored

We have now received all of the chrome plating back and begun assembling the front engine frames and front suspension, using the original fasteners that we had plated in black oxide. We have also installed both doors, which fit and latch beautifully.

Over the next couple of weeks we will have the car back on its wheels and proceed with the installation of the engine and other major mechanical components.

Both doors now installed with new
seals and latches
Perfect panel fit
Original fasteners were plated with
black oxide



Starting to install the front suspension



All chrome and brightwork now
ready to install


Double checking fit of 'trial fit' items before final chrome plate is applied.



We have now received back the bulk of the chrome plating. Certain 'trial fit' items have been returned in copper plate so we can re-check fit before the final chrome plating is applied. This extra step adds time and expense to the process, but when perfection is the goal, it is well worth the extra effort.

699 nuts, bolts and washers being
sent out for black oxide plating
Copper plated 'trial fit items' have 
been returned to re-check fit 




Update report - February 16, 2010

Yesterday afternoon we painted the bodyshell and doors...






This week we have been busy painting the inner panels, including the cabin, boot compartment and the underside of the bonnet. The photos below also show us trial fitting and stamping the new data plate. Interestingly, when using Haddock's "Originality Guide" to try to make sure we positioned the data plate in exactly the right position, your actual car was referenced in the text immediately above the photograph we were using as a reference. It's a small world...

 We went to some lengths to find just
the right rivets for this bracket
See how closely the rivets match the ones 
photographed in Haddock's book (at left)
New CJ data plate a perfect match for
the original



 New data plate stamped
Notice your car mentioned above
reference photo!



Cabin now painted 
Boot compartment.... 
Outer panels will be painted
next week...

The first of the Opalescent Dark Blue being applied to the underside of the floors. With this car we are limiting the use of the Rocker Guard to the underside of the floors, inside the transmission tunnel and inside the rear arches. We have not applied rocker guard to the outer sills or the underside of the boot floor, as we normally do.






People are often surprised to hear that it takes us around 40 hours to trial fit an E Type's chrome so that it will fit perfectly following the re-plating process. The photos below demonstrate how much work is involved in getting new bumper over-riders to fit the way they should. If you look carefully at the first two images, you will see Darrell has drawn in arrows showing all the various directions in which the over-rider needs to be adjusted, to fit correctly.

The third photo shows how Darrell modifies the shape of the new over-rider using multiple beads of weld, which is then ground back into the desired shape to match the contour of the bumper blade. The fourth photograph shows the disparity between the installed angles of the left and right over-riders after the fit of the right hand over-rider has been addressed (and before the left hand unit has been modified). It is a lot of work, but the finished look justifies all the extra effort!








With all of the bodywork completed, your car has now been put into Slick Sand. New rubber seals have been installed and the doors, tailgate and bonnet are all latched and adjusted ready for the final blocking stage. Check out the quality of the panel fit of the doors and bonnet in the photos below.

Guide coat applied prior to blocking
Final blocking underway

Your engine is now fully built and assembled...



Assembling the engine short block..

Installing main caps to measure
bearing clearances
Installing forged pistons
Installing oil pump and oil
Installing timing chain assembly
Oil pan drain hole was welded
up and re-threaded

A special flatting agent was added to the clear coat to provide the desired 'satin black' finish for the front suspension.
 Radio console had been butchered
 New console sealed with red
 Center console had also fallen victim
to the skill-saw



 Air cleaner canister painted
flat black



 Front suspension has been painted
with a flatting agent in clear coat

When we cleaned up your connecting rods prior to re-sizing and bushing them, we found one of the rods to be bent. If you look carefully at the first photo below you can see the slight bend in the shaft of the rod. We decided to replace all six rods with a matched set, rather than just the one damaged rod.

Bent original connecting rod
Replacement set has been re-sized
and bushed

We have now completed the rebuild of your differential and have begun the reassembly of the IRS. The shock absorbers in the photographs below are new Boges (OEM Girlings are no longer available). Boge shocks are supplied black, so we custom mixed some blue paint to match the color the original Girlings would have been, and we also saved/restored the original Girling caps for the rear shocks. Our goal is for the entire IRS to look exactly like the day it was assembled at the factory. We have re-used all the original fasteners, treated with acid and sealed with a special 'bare metal' clear coat to prevent rusting.

All nuts and bolts treated with special 
corrosion resistant clear coat
New shocks painted custom
Girling Blue
Original Girling caps used on
rear shocks
Flatting agent used in clear coat


IRS rebuild progress...

Brake calipers will be Nickel plated
then sleeved in stainless steel
Hub carriers have been rebuilt
We custom mixed Red Oxide paint 
to match original finish
Early style 2 piece brake pistons
Restored original fasteners being 
re-used throughout

Typically, on very early E Types, I would expect the front suspension (control arms and uprights) to be black. In the case of 885020, although most of the components still show evidence of the original black factory coating, the right hand upper fulcrum shaft doesn't look like it has ever been painted or anodized (see photo # 5 below). My best guess is that the shaft must have been replaced at some time in this car's troubled past. In any event, over the next few days we will be refinishing all the various front suspension components in a highly durable, satin black urethane coating.

Rear suspension components 
before ....
And after...powder coating
Front suspension prior to tear down
Control arms were black from the factory
Rh fulcrum shaft may have been

We now have the rebuild of your IRS underway..

Hoisting IRS onto a work bench
for disassembly
Early rear hubs did not have
water throwers
3.31 ratio
Removing grime reveals diff casing
finished in red oxide
Casing blasted and ready for paint
Interior of casing will be finished in
IRS components to be powder coated


Installing the external bonnet latch mechanisms, repairing a badly damaged front bumper, fine tuning the fit of the new bonnet...

Starting to trial fit bonnet
Side cowl panels are installed
during bonnet fit stage
Weld seams lead loaded
Heater air intake is trial fitted to make
sure it clears the heater box
If it is touching the heater box, the
bonnet fit will be affected
Welding outside latch mechanisms 
in place
With latches fully functional, we can
now begin bonnet fit in earnest
Leading edge of outer sill will be built up 
with weld to match wheel arch line
Lead will be used to finish the repair
Bumpers are in poor condition and
need extensive repairs
Ugly DIY repair from the past
This blade will be beaten into shape


Darrell lead loading the driver's door and left rear quarter panel.




We have been busy converting your new bonnet into a welded louver, outside latch bonnet. This is not as straightforward as one might think, as there are many subtle differences beyond the obvious louvers and latches. We had originally planned on using new louvers that we purchased from the UK. Unfortunately, when we compared those to a set of original welded louvers, there were a number of significant differences (see comparison photos below). In the end we decided to cut out a set of original welded louvers and weld those in place in the new bonnet center section.

We also spot welded all the mounting flanges for the heater/air intakes and the mudguards, items which were glued in place on the underside of later (and new) bonnets. We welded up the extra holes that are present on new bonnets to make them compatible with both the centrally located swb and the offset (to the right) 2+2 safety catches.

 Cutting out welded louves from an
original bonnet
Cutting out the pressed in louvers from
the new bonnet
 Trial fitting welded louvers
Louvers then spot welded in place, exactly 
as they would have been originally
 Significant differences between new louvers
and original welded louvers
Louvers were completely different shape 
Spot welding heater/air intake
mounting flanges in place
 These spot welds are often visible through the 
paint on original bonnets
 Bonnet now fully assembled
Repairing original bonnet hinge frame
 Car moved to a frame jig to have
frames installed
Original bolts and fasteners used to
reassemble bonnet
2+2 safety catch holes welded up 
 Early bonnets had body number stamped in rh 
bonnet brace - so we did the same for you
 Note correct early style hinge frame
and hinges
Time to start fitting the bonnet 


More progress in both the engine machine shop and the Coachworks....

Align honing camshaft caps
Front of head is first sanded....
Then polished
Installing tappet hold down kit
Tapping threads
Tappet hold down kits are only
installed on the exhaust side
Some of the components that go into a CJ
cylinder head rebuild
Custom stainless CJ valves
Head now ready for assembly
CJ head rebuilds feature a five
angled valve job
Checking valve lash
New door skins are different from the
originals in that they are one piece
Top is also a slightly different shape, so we
welded old tops to new skins
Previously welded seams are lead 
Installing new drain tubes
Skins now installed, time to trial fit
the doors
Trial fitting doors, bulkhead side panel and
outer sills together
Installing rear floor brace
Wurth body wax applied to inner sill area
and inside surface of new outer sill
New outer sills spot welded into place


Lots of progress in the Coachworks since my last update...

Trial fitting floor crossmember
Trial fitting trans tunnel
Trial fitting floors
Welding trans tunnel into place
Note torsion reaction plate is installed
when trial fitting floors
Nasty hole cut for aftermarket
interior light
Floors are sport welded together on a worktop
Primer stripped from the weld zones
Rear cowl panel has rust holes and
will be replaced
Replacement panel not quite the
right shape
Darrell marking the new panel where it
will be re-shaped
Folding the upper lip with a hammer and dolly
Temporarily screwed into place for purposes of
trial fitting new boot floor assembly
Holes in rear wall of new boot floor assembly 
are much larger than originals
Fabricated piece replicates original
Trial fitting boot floor assembly
First of the lead loading


Lots of progress in the machine shop and in the Coachworks...

Installing helicoils in head
Re-cutting water jackets after welding
Exclusive CJ magnesium bronze
valve guides
Remember this previous repair
Drilling and tapping valve cover
stud hole
Heating head prior to installing new guides
Honing new guides
Repairing rear bulkhead
Trial fitting newly fabricated bulkhead
support bracket (marked X)
Items required to convert new bonnet
to outside latch specs
Rear bulkhead now welded in place
Newly fabricated trans tunnel panel
Fabricating repair panel for
lower trans tunnel side
Trial fitting the new panel
TIG welded into place
After cleaning the weld, a virtually
invisible repair

We now have the reconstruction of your bodyshell well underway. Even your cylinder head has been spending some time in the Coachworks...

Disassembling the cylinder head
Head is significantly warped and will
have to be straightened
Pressure testing the cylinder head
Corrosion ground away around 
water jackets
Broken stud boss at front of head
Head is heated in the oven prior
to welding
Darrell welding the water jackets
Another view of the broken stud boss
A new boss is built up with TIG weld
Corresponding stud hole in valve cover
also welded up
Welds then ground back flat and are now
ready to be re-drilled and re-tapped
Water jackets will be reshaped on the mill
New panels have shipping primer removed and 
have 'weld zones' masked before priming
Bare metal areas are the weld zones where
panels will be spot welded
Cutting away corroded sheet metal
B pillars will be reconstructed
Stripping shipping primer from new
boot floor assembly
Again, masking weld zones
Trial fitting first of the new inner sills
Spot welding inner sill into place
A place for everything and everthing
in its place...
Wurth Body Wax is sprayed inside
all box sections
Spot welding the second inner sill into place
Sill end closing panel going into place
Tunnel cut away
Removing the inner rear bulkhead


Align honing the main caps and honing the new cylinders.



Installing custom CJ (top hat) sleeves in the CJ machine shop...

Top of CJ sleeve is stepped to prevent
sleeve moving
Cutting a counter bore for the top
hat sleeve
Pop block in the oven for 45 mins at 400 f ....
Alternate sleeves are frozen then installed in
the heated block
Block then set up on horizontal
Pulling the sleeves down prior to
Sleeves usually pull down about .0005"
 Surfacing in progress
 Top hat portion of new sleeve is
virtually invisible after surfacing


We now have your engine rebuild well underway. Outwardly we will be restoring everything to a completely stock appearance, although the rebuild will feature a number of reliability and performance upgrades, such as Venolia forged pistons, custom CJ stainless valves, custom CJ valve seats, Total Seal piston rings, custom CJ magnesium bronze guides, ARP rod bolts, upgraded front and rear main seals, etc, etc.

Note suspect stud marked 'X'
Head separated from block without
Corroded water jackets will be welded up
and cut/reshaped
Water jackets in block also somewhat
Exterior (visible) bolts will be media blasted
and plated
Tearing down cylinder head
Rear main housing will be machined
for upgraded seal
Clearly not the correct sized cam cover stud
A little heat required to remove head studs
Cutting out old sleeves with boring bar
Behind the old sleeves, water jackets were
completely blocked
Scraping silt from water jackets with a knife
A little heat also required to remove crank
Venolia pistons


Back from the blasters, we are able to see the full extent of all the corrosion and bodged repairs that we are going to have to deal with when the car takes its turn in the CJ Coachworks.


We now have your car completely disassembled and have cut away all the corroded or poorly installed sheet metal. This car has been the victim of some terrible panel replacement at some time in the distant past.

Everything is very carefully labeled
and stored
Incorrect paint color suggests head has
been removed at some time
Aftermarket screen will be junked
Darrell cutting away the door skins
Door frames are quite rusty
Incorrect crank and waterpump pulleys
Incorrect flywheel bolts signal engine
removal in past
Door frames will be media blasted
before being skinned
Body is installed on a rotisserie
for media blasting
Entire car is a patchwork quilt of repairs
Bodged floor pans installed from inside, 
on top of corroded originals
Clint melting factory lead from all the seams
Cutting away outer sills
Inner sills are as nasty as it gets!
Note floors stacked on top of 
each other
Cutting away the boot floor assembly
Ready for blasting!


Time to get this very important project underway!



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