Some people, when they wake up in the middle of the night, lay awake thinking about work or personal problems. I think about my Etype restoration! Sad but true. So I hired a panel beater to help me with my bonnet center section. It is by far the roughest item bodywork wise on my 63 FHC. He is semi-retired and has a wealth of experience but never on an Etype. BTW he is also going to help me spray my Opalescent paint. I have “rough assembled” the lower nose section, center section, and two wings on the car. Things look generally pretty good. But the bonnet center section has taken some licks and was previously repaired with an eye on limiting repair costs. I removed the plastic filler. He went to work smoothing out the peaks and valleys. We identified some holes that need to be welded. He wanted to know what the profile for the bonnet opening should be. Good question? I did some research but appreciate input from the forum.
I have one of those large poster size drawings with early Etype OTS dimensions.
In general, it would appear that the opening is symetrical about a horizontal centerline.
I looked at a bunch of photos on XKEData. Things can be confusing based on camera effects but I have convinced myself that generally the opening is symetric about the motif bar.
I happen to have a 1966 build 2+2 in the shop. It has an openheadlight bonnet which may not be original to the car. That said, I took off the bumper and pulled a string across the opening, embedding the ends in the body seam between the lower nose and the bonnet. It sure looks symetrical to me. BTW the horizontal dimension on this opening is about 24 1/2", which agrees pretty closely with the 63. My forum searches lead me to believe the opening did not get bigger until the Series 2.
And then there’s my bonnet. Not symetrical
Measurements are compounded by the fact that the bonnet opening is “tilted” forward at the top but if you try and establish level planes that touch the opening edge on the bottom and the top, it would appear that my bonnet opening needs to come up by about 3/4". I think he can get there but I don’t want to send him on a wild goose chase or impossible mission. Purchasing a new bonnet center section from SNG is an option, but not without it’s own potential issues. Plus I’d reallly like to save this one if I can.
Also there is the Plan View profile, which is a view that appears to never be the subject of photos on XKEdata. Here is what the Jaguar drawing shows.
It almost looks flat in the middle. If I hold a straight edge on my 67 it doesn’t really have a flat section but a gentle curve. The 63 is pretty flat across the middle. The panel beater suggests that it could be due to collision damage.
The big question: Was it the design intent for the opening to be symetric?
I think the answer is yes. If so, I can take a profile of the lower section opening and “flip it” about the centerline as a target for enlarging the upper opening. It’s going to be tricky.
Does the Plan View of a undamaged bonnet exhibit a little bit of curvature?
If yes, we will probably achieve some of that as we roll out the lip to make it sit taller.
Is it safe to use my open headlight bonnet as a template?
Again, I don’t really know if there are any telltales that differentiate a bonnet with the larger opening. My 67 bonnet opening is 24 1/2" across and about 7 1/4" as the crow flies from the edge of the lower lip (at the middle) to the edge of the upper lip. If I can make templates off this bonnet, it will vastly simplify things. This bonnet shows zero signs of collision damage.
Sorry about the long post but if you’ve read this far, that’s a good sign for me. I searched the forums for keywords like Templates. I came across a bizarre thread (some of you may remember) from a guy who requested templates and immediately got really angry and insultive with everyone. I promise not to be “that guy”. Thank you thank you in advance!