Restoring a 1962 Jaguar E-Type

November 4, 2007

Our first mystery!

Filed under: 1962, auto restoration, car restoration, convertible, E-Type, Jaguar, restoration, xk, XKE — Tags: , , , — Penforhire @ 5:19 pm

I got that offending front bumper bolt undone. Here is a view of the over-rider-to-cross-piece situation. The other side did have a welded nut on the bumper.


Why is it looking chewed up? Because I attacked it with this —


This is a cheap diamond grit Dremel tip, bought in an assortment from Harbor Freight on sale. Good thing they’re cheap because if you use a little too much sideways pressure and let things get too hot —


Anyway, when all was said and done I still had all ten fingers and here is a better look at the nut I was cursing —


See how it just has a round knurled edge? Children, don’t use anything like this in hard-to-reach places! I might have been able to get a grip if it was an ordinary hex-nut. So, does anyone know if this is an original construction? Or did some fool do this later?

So here’s the big mystery for this post. As I was cleaning up the newly free bumper wing I spotted what looks like an engraving.


I believe it is the letters “CL” with “494” under them, written on the welded cross-piece for a bolt that holds the bumper wing to the bonnet. It might be hand-written with an engraving tool but there is a connection to the letters, like cursive writing, that might imply a machine wrote it. I have not read about this particular mark anywhere yet. I searched at Jag-Lovers but found nothing. So the mystery is, what does this engraving mean?

Was the bumper outsourced and then shipped to a Jaguar factory at 494 Coventry Lane? Were employees paid piecework and some CL person completed their 494th bumper? Put the answer in a comment and you’ll be immortalized here! If I don’t get an answer here I’ll post the question on the E-Type board and see if anyone knows.

You might recall I mentioned one of the headlight buckets was banged up. Here’s the best view I could capture.


The wrinkling must have chipped the paint and that started rusting. I used a large punch to flatten out the wrinkled area.


I suppose a multi-ton press and some flat plates might have made an easier fix. You can see here I started sanding the buckets because I decided to repaint them. Getting all the road splooge off them revealed too much bare metal and rust.

Here they are, ready to paint.


I used a Krylon epoxy primer sold for use on rust.


Followed by Krylon epoxy gloss black.


Should look just fine under the bonnet. If you do this remember to scuff up the old paint with some sandpaper or other abrasive first. Then make sure you clean off all the dust and dry the surface before spraying primer.

Here’s the chromed rear bonnet vent. This is what the driver sees, looking at the rear of the bonnet hump.


In this case it has nasty overspray from that blue paint job. I’ve got some advice for anyone out there thinking an inexpensive paint job will make their old paint look better. Don’t do it. Your old paint looks fine from 200 yards away and a cheap paint job looks just as bad or worse close-up. Just how much effort would it have been to remove those two screws and pop off this part before spraying the bonnet? A heck of a lot less effort than it took me to clean it up 35 years later!


Looks nice now, eh? Only took hours of tedious scraping and buffing. This might be the first chromed part I cleaned up that could go back on the finished car without re-chroming. It has tiny bubbles in the chrome but you have to look close to see ’em.

I promised you a look at how I came up with my $50K estimate for this project. Some items, like paint & body, are very soft estimates. Some are straight catalog prices. Others vary depending on how much I do myself. For instance the IRS rebuild can cost less than half what I listed if I can do it all myself. These are not all sources I am determined to buy from but rather a simple pile of line items. For instance I’ll likely go to E-Type Fabs for the front frame (or use a hidden Pertronics Ignitor instead of an ugly Mallory distributor). I apologize for the column spacing. I still haven’t figured out how to transpose a spreadsheet to format properly here —

Paint & body work $12,000
Engine & heads rebuild $10,000
Suffolk & Turley interior kit, CJ’s $5,040
IRS rebuild $4,760
New front frame (all pieces), CJ $4,180
Chrome bits and rechroming $3,000
Tranny rebuild + new clutch $2,000
Tubeless wire wheels, Daytons, from CJ’s $1,700
Harnesses (all) from CJ $1,236
Tires (TBD, inc. size) $1,000
Alternator conversion $750
Instrument repairs $750
Stainless exhaust system, Welsh $736
Rubber seals kit, CJ’s $635
Aluminum radiator, fan, switch – Cool Cat $550
Replacement convertible top $550
Shocks & springs, CJ’s $500
Mallory Unilite ignition, Classic Jaguar $395
SU carb rebuild parts $300
battery $150
poly bushing kit, Cool Cat $140
spin-on oil filter conversion, Cool Cat $75

Total $50,447

Yow! Seems like a lot but it could easily grow. I’ve read about several $20K+ paint & body restorations. And I can see an easy 20+ hours of skilled labor just straightening the bonnet.

See you next time, when the mysteries are sure to deepen.

1 Comment »

  1. Your restoration estimates seem realistic. Because you are doing a lot of the tear-down and refurbishing yourself you may find some items come in below budget! Hopefully that will balance off theose nasty little overbuget items that crop up!

    Comment by Paul Taylor — November 5, 2007 @ 1:22 pm

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