Rebuilding Oct 61 RHD OTS

At last I’m starting on my LAST restoration which I’ve had squirrelled away since 2019….I’m only starting now because my Painter is finishing up 30th June so the body needs to be finished by then.

The story first!

Let me start at the beginning as some of you will recall when I joined this forum many years ago I owned a OBL (LHD OTS ) …which i found near my then home …250 yards away! …… due to some very highly inflammatory discussions on Xkedata by someone else claiming the same vehicle …despite the fact I had the paperwork from the import, original data plate and picture frame etc…… it put some damper on my enthusiasim to spend the time and Money to have a “disputed” car …I sold to a chap who was , knowing the history, said he’d just make it a runner ……since then I’ve built 3 cars , just completing a 2+2, and he’s still plugging away at it because he got the bug , and is building it from scratch too!

Having digressed let me gat back to the “new” project …… life is always a bit interesting , we were having some work done at our new home by a tradie who noticed a hoist in the garage of our soon to be completed home……he asked what my passion was and I told him……. He told me about a car he’d heard about in a nearby area 3 miles from home…he new nothing about it really other than the supposed location in the back of a tyre retail workshop.

Of course I got a bit curious and after some enquires I eventually found some of it located where he had described….but the owner was known to the shop owner …his landlord …… I was able to convince him to allow me to peak in the enclosed area where it was, everything but the tub and front frames was there!
Including matching numbers motor,gearbox , body number etc and best of all a beautiful bonnet with welded louvers but at that stage no body number of course……. I left my number with the shop owner to pass onto the landlord.

I didn’t hear anything for a couple of weeks and then Barry, the landlord called me, he was very cagey and knew what he had! And after seeing the body at his home completely rebuilt but mostly in red primer and not only that by the premier body restorer of e types in Australia.

It turns out that the car had been purchased in 1987 for $23500 and had been a complete vehicle (nearly)
pulled apart , worked on in 1990 , and stopped dead for 29 years . After protracted negotiations I purchased the car and started to move it home in many many parts……but it was stunned by its completeness including bagged and tagged nuts,bolts etc.
The only bits missing were…air cleaner and plenum box ( replaced by triple webers) and worst of all ….the ID plate although all of the other tags etc were there!..…Barry knows he removed it before work was done on the tub ……he put it away very carefully ….and cannot find it ! What he did find for me was the purchase document of when he bought it , which proved to be another interesting story…more later on this.
From discussions with Barry he told me that the engine had been done in 1990 ! …I got the original windscreen and steering wheel together with the original inlet manifold and triple su’s.
Unfortunately the seats had been eaten away by rust but the remains were there with a brand new set of seat frames. The hood had also been replaced. The mileage on the speedo reads 50k miles approx.

So going back to the Heritage cert for the car I had found out that it was first registered in UK in October 61 and immediately dispatched to Cycle and Carriage in Singapore ( Jag agents) ….unfortunately the owners name was not recorded and the DVA records which were held by the local registration office were lost or destroyed so the original owner remains a mystery, however it is very likely that it was bought by a serviceman being posted to Singapore ( they got some good incentives to buy and register in UK to avoid duties in Singapore) ……

So I decided to try and go backwards from 1987 ( from Barry’s purchase) …from the vague memories and deciphering signatures etc I found the name of the previous owner and by using publicly available records I eventually caught up with Quentin ……. His unusual given name helped considerably in locating him as was the fact that he’d been a service member and had been involved in restoration of some military helicopters, he was an airframe and engine fitter,. What did through me off was that I was looking for him as an Australian serviceman in either Malaysia or Singapore during the 60’s to 1980’s …… wrong he was actually serving in Vietnam …… and started living in Singapore in early 1970’s as a contractor for a company in Indonesia working on ex military helicopters used for exploration of minerals in Indonesia but used Singapore as his home base.
Quentin purchased the car in 1974 from ….Coca-Cola ! , it was being driven by the then sales manager who had had the original car painted in the “ coke red” over the original cream! Well they painted the bits that could be seen! . When Quentin got the car he painted it fast Red so that little evidence of the original cream was virtually eliminated entirely. He also swapped the original painted wire wheels for chromed wheels, and swapped over the carbies …… in 1976 Quentin returned to Australia to live about 15 miles from my now home on the Mornington Peninsula in Rye ( then a sleepy seaside town) . The car was driven to Mornington and environs on a spasmodic basis until 1982 when it was replaced by something more practical for his now family……. The car was sold in 1987 to Barry so that Quentin could move to Queensland, living there in the same house since! When I met up with him last year we had a great chat and I asked him about the mileage…… he says and I believe him that these cars when in Singapore were driven short distances because Singapore was a small island ….it makes sense and the condition of the car tallies with this also.

The aim of this is to document the rebuild as I will be aiming to produce a car that is as near to original when delivered ( albeit with perfect gaps and modern paints etc) along the way I’ll be posting on an advocate basis my progress.
In the meantime I haven’t given up on trying to complete the missing years 1961-1974 …… I have the Singapore rego details …so here,s hoping I’ll be able to find out more!
Pictures are coming very soon!

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Great story!

From before I bought the car

Here’s the thing …I have. A couple of things I need to think about here.

1 do I put painted wires ( which I will need to acquire and refurbish to get correct to period…hubs centres are different) or put on a set of modern chromes?

2 and this is a bit more difficult as it involved an after market alteration made in the first few years of the car’s life ……the petrol cap filler lid has a lock on it …… from paint evidence I can see it was put on whist the car was it’s original cream It is a FP series lock and will have been put on I’m guessing before the car was painted Coca-Cola red which would have been between 1961 and say 1972 and is authentic to the period……

So do I weld up the hole OR do I say it’s part of the history of the car and retain it! Even though I cannot find any evidence that these were optional at the factory or dealer?

You said you intended to restore to original, so the wires should be painted. The lock sounds like something that a dealer might have added for a good customer, so maybe keep that.

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As I found the car 30 ish years later

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Working on the bonnet and Cad plating




More photos





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