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An E-Type reborn

  1. After Jeremy gave the E-Type a proper birthday bash we thought we’d head down to Eagle - makers of the awesome Speedster from the show - to follow the rebirth of an incredibly broken Jag.

    As well as making stupid-fast coachbuilt concepts, Eagle rebuilds old Es, adding lots of exciting tuning parts along the way. Each car’s built on an entirely bespoke basis and, as you’d imagine, prices tend toward the eye-watering. Once this one’s delivered it’ll cost the owner north of £200k…

    But you get what you pay for, especially if you want to transform a car this rubbish. There was rust. There was mould. There was a family of very aggressive insects. But now, after 4000 hours, the car you see in the pictures has been rebuilt into a better-than-new icon that we want very very much.

    Click forth to follow the build.

  2. This is the donor car. It’s come all the way from Florida and it’s been stood for more than ten years. It’s also very rubbish.

    Like most cars left in the elements, it’s been consumed by rust. That box section arm bit is responsible for shackling the front suspension to the body tub. And the big rusty hole next to it should be neither big, rusty nor a hole.

  3. While the Jag’s swoopy body’s lovely to behold, all those burred edges trap water, which means it rusts from the inside out.

  4. This 1966 Series I car’s got the rather charming 4.2-litre six-pot, though things have taken a dive for the broken during its hiatus. But we have the technology…

  5. Before the engine gets upgraded and refreshed, there’s the small matter of those inconvenient rusty bits. After the car’s been stripped to a naked shell, men turn rust into sparks and sheets of steel into Jaguars.

  6. After the horrid ferrous stuff’s been chopped out, the new bits are grafted with a MiG welder.

  7. Eagle had to replace lots of this one owing to extreme knackeredness - most of the metal was beyond economic salvation.

  8. That big silver bit’s been added for extra rigidity and that big white machine’s spot welding it into place.

  9. Before the body heads to the paint booth, lots of the original steel brackets get remade in aluminium to minimize weight and withstand corrosion.

  10. We’re up to around 1000 hours to get to the first stage of paintwork. That’s ONE THOUSAND hours.

  11. Snazzy modern paint gets mixed up so it matches the original Jaguar colour code. This one’s going to wear opalescent silver gray.

  12. Remind anyone else of Back to the Future?

  13. Once the paint’s dried and hardened it gets machine polished so the depth is perfectly even. That makes it shiny. We like shiny.

  14. Ta-da! Now it’s ready for the spannerers to hang lots of new bits on it.

  15. Just enough time to get a quick blast with cavity wax - this helps prevent rust. Old Jags like to rust.

  16. The observant among you may have noticed that there are colossal bin-lid brakes, a carbonfibre air filter housing and an alloy radiator. Obviously, these aren’t original bits. But you wouldn’t restore a Victorian house and rebuild the outside loo, right?

  17. As well as a quick steering rack, big brake servo, five-speed ‘box, lightweight alternator, air conditioning and even an uprated wiper motor, this one’s getting more power. It’s been bored out to 4.7 litres and there’s a stroker crank, shortened lightweight pistons, lightened and balanced con-rods, big valves and a modified cylinder head. Huge want.

  18. Which leaves the small matter of turning lots of bits of metal into an internal combustion engine. These chaps take care of things.

  19. While the engine gets pieced together, there’s still plenty to do. This bloke’s making an eccentric rear suspension bush.

  20. The shell gets fitted with all the wiring bits. Thankfully, all the original Lucas stuff - which is famous for getting a bit firey - gets binned and replaced with modern cable tech.

  21. Mr Engine, meet Mr Gearbox.This shot’s been taken after a dyno run - Eagle’s tinkering’s upped power to 300bhp and 340lb ft of torque.

  22. Lots of rubbery bouncy bits get fitted onto the car, and you can also just make out one of the braided brake lines.

  23. Special sound deadening’s applied to stop heat and noise getting in the cabin.

  24. All the original Smiths instruments have been rebuilt and get fitted into the dash ready for installation.

  25. It’s the final straight - soft stuff means the job’s nearly done.

  26. There’s just time to mirror-polish the alloy cam covers before it gets returned to its owner.

  27. And done. The only exterior differences from an original car are the 6.5x15 wheels (an inch bigger than original) and the modern radial tyres. Facebookers - hit like if you’d sell body parts to own it. We would. Well, we’d sell yours. 

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