Jaguar E-type body repair and respray

With the E-type being a true icon of automotive beauty and elegance I was very excited to get the chance to repair and repaint this 4.2 series 2 coupe.

In general this red Jaguar E-type was in good order and certainly did not warrant a body restoration which was just as well because the owner really only wanted a colour change and a couple of suspect areas looking at whilst we had her.

jaguar e-type the suspect areas where around the front windscreen, rear quarters of the bonnet and the rear wheel arches. the first job was to get the bonnet off and set for soda blasting partly due to the layers of protection that had been applied over the years to the underside but also to check the condition of the metal. We where very pleased to see that only two holes where found in the rear quarter. The offending metal was cutaway and replaced complete with a new wired edge section to invisible blend into the existing metal and retain the original build methods. Whilst the bonnet was of and now it was stripped we noticed that the lower front valance did not line up with the wheel arch so we unbolted this area aligned it as best as possible and then undone the wired edge and carefully re-rolled it for a much more pleasing alignment.

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Making and welding in new metal e-type wheel arch sections

Next we moved on to the second largest job – the wheel arches. They had indeed suffered from rot. The inner arch had succumbed to rust and let water ingress and eat in to the outer arches metal work. I made a template of the panel and then cut away the rusted metal back to the good areas. Using the English wheel, shrinking/stretching machine and good old fashion panel beating we produced the new sections. After a repair to the inner arch they where butt welded in to place.

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A small sample of the lead filling on the e-type bonnet

Some additional welding was also required around the rear body seam, rear hatch gulley, passenger door and both a pillars. next the process of lead filling was started. First the bonnet was tackled as it was already stripped. no major dents where present but there where ten or so small dents that we filled with lead and shaved down. Then we worked around the Jaguars body to lead filling any other areas that required it.

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considerable body filler was found in this rear corner. The metal underneath was good just mis-shapen so lead was used to refill and profile the metal.

 

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More lead filling around the rear hatch and body joining seam along with some brass brazing.

With the lead filling and repair work completed it was time to start the paint prep. The bonnets underside was etch primed and then treated to a hard wearing  Epoxy coating. The E-types main body was not bare metal resprayed as the condition and budget did not warrant it. The usual process of keying the surface and sanding the existing paint to level undulations was started prior to sealing the old paint off against reactions with a 2k high build primer which would subsequently be sanded to reveal any high or low spots as the body lines need to be flowing for the finish to look right. This process is repeated twice just to make sure. We then fitted the bonnet to check the alignment and because we wanted to paint the exterior in one one hit to make sure that the colour did not vary. With the bonnet fitted we noticed that the alignment was out and the rear edge had to be cut back to fit the car (we suspect that this was not the original bonnet and may have been a replacement).

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outer body and interior in primer coats

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Hand block sanding the bonnet. the dark patch in the centre is a low area whilst the light area to its right is a high area. These are corrected to provide a smooth panel. Sanding the bonnet took nearly a week to complete

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additional panels in for a second coating before repeating the sanding process

With fresh layers of seam sealers, original look stonechip and other protective coatings applied it was time for the best part, spraying the the colour on and what a colour. Original jaguar opalescent gunmetal grey that really showed the car beautiful shapes. the interior was painted first and then masked off to allow the external panels to be painted. Doors and off panels where painted in a separate session.

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Base coat colour was applied first and carefully checked for panel imperfections before final colour coats are applied

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The Jaguar gunmetal grey paint went on to the e-type beautifully with even dispersion of metallic partials.

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Paint work from the Gun. Gun Finish

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Although the paint went of beautifully we still felt a light colour sanding would make it even better so that was carried out a week later once we felt the clear coat was tough enough.

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