I have occasionally told some of you about my XK140 restoration here, but today I want to tell you about my ongoing E-Type project, as I have very recently reached a stage, where final completion is still very far away, but maybe as of this week just very slightly within sight.
Sice the late noughties I have been on the lookout for an XK120-140 project that I could restore in my spare time. Knowing that that was a project not to be rushes into, I took my time, knowing a suitable project will show up one day - which it did, my XK140 Coupe. However, while I was on the lookout for an XK a 2+2 E-Type showed up here in Germany with a price tag that didn’t cause too much damage to the savings account, and looked like a good project to gain some experience on.
A 1969 2+2 in pieces, without an engine and loads of previous owner (po) bodge jobs. What a great place to start. I’ll start off by showing you a few pictures of her arrival
First of all I started on the calipers as I thought I couldn’t do too much damage here, as replacemants are readily available. This was real fun and I developed my own way of cleaning parts using vinegar essence, which is awful to work with.
Next on the to-do list was the front suspension. These parts were basically in good shape , but needed a good cleaning and some well done zinc plating. The next picture shows my collection of cleaned and overhauled parts that I was able to do myself.
So working on smaller parts was lots of fun but the day eventually arrived when the body had to be taken to the local coach builder to be sorted out. At first I thought I would take care of the most obvious parts like the rear wings (fenders) which had awful weld lines where panels had been replaced and7or added, but leave some of the work done by the PO which might not be pretty, like the floor panels, but would still get me past the TÜV, the german mot. Unfortunatley, as things progressed and the coach builder performed his amazing skills, the difference between what the PO had done, and what the coach builder did was so apparent that I made the decision one day, to completely re-do the entire body and bonnet to a standard within reasonable reach. Ouch! It stayed at the coach builders workshop for two years. Of course he didn’t work on it the whole time,
but I’ll just say, it kept him fairly busy.
here you can see some of the PO’s expert work
the local coach builder here is old school and does his own lead loading
But somewhere along the line I realised the POs work on the floor panels would just not cut it, so replacement panels for most of the floors were ordered. Here they are installed, all new floor panels.
I decided I would prefer a manual gearbox for my E-Type and found one with overdrive that came form a 420DS, which I thought was cool. This was taken to Hermann’s in Essen for a complete overhaul.
But it meant that the gearbox tunnel had to be completely modified. After all those new floor panels were installed, taking out the gearbox tunnel was a bit of step backwards.
Parts for a manual gearbox tunnel were ordered and installed after a lot of trial and error.
Of course the front engine frames were corroded beyond repair so a new set was ordered. We took great care fitting these as we knew the whole car would depend on accuracy here.
Fixing the bonnet also required a lot of attention to detail.
So it happened: I hit the ‘create topic’ button too early. There’s more to follow…
Chris, in Germany