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1963 Etype Coupe

1963 FHC- The Plan

Every good project needs a Project Plan. In my life in nuclear power, these plans were very complex and a pain in the neck to develop. Somehow, management expected you to see into the future, predict costs and schedule, and stick to it. I’m not going to be so hard on myself. That said, from a cost side, I only have $5000 invested at this point. You read that right. That is what I paid for this car in boxes back in 2002. I could probably sell it as is on Bring A Trailer for 10 times that amount. But that’s not what I’m in it for. I enjoy the process, the hands on, the restoration. So that is what I am going to do. As far as schedule, there is none. Oh, before I die would be nice. And getting done in time for the 60th anniversary of the Etype would be nice. I’m going to to do my best to meet the “before I die part” but we’ll just have to see.

So what is my “Mission Statement”. Because, all good projects need one, don’t they? My Mission Statement is “I will restore this car to the highest standards within my capabilities”. “Highest Standards” to me means within the guidelines of the Jaguar Club of North America (JCNA) for a Championship Level concours car, or another way of saying it is “how the car was originally built but nicer”. I am prepared to spend what it takes, as from what I can see top cars fetch top money when it comes time to sell. I’ll save all my receipts, never add them up, my labor is free and if I need a part, tool, or service, I will buy it, no remorse! With a few exceptions, in order to improve reliability, I will stick to the original standards for the car. Right now, my list of intentional deviations is short. Both are mechanical in nature. I will install a modern radiator and fan from CoolCat Express. I will install a modern distributor from 123 Ignitions. I have the CoolCat and 123 parts on my 67 2+2 and really like them! So that’s my list of deviations for right now.

On the other hand, what are some guidelines that I will adhere to. First of all, I obtained the Heritage Certificate for this car from the Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust. This is basically the cars “birth certificate”. It states, among other things, that my car was built on January 2nd, 1963 (the day after a holiday. Ominous!). Its first owner was Mr. T. Ritchy, Inc. of Downey, California. The exterior color was Opalescent Golden Sand. The interior color was Light Tan. There is absolutely no area on my car that contains any original paint. That said, I have worked with my paint supplier, Finishmasters, and we mixed up their “formula of record” for this color and I have sprayed out some on a piece of sheet metal. I am excited about this original color that the car was painted in and am going to stick with it. That, and I am bored with red, silver, black , and white cars. I do have some original, if faded, interior pieces and will seek to match them with my new upholstery kit. My primary originality guidelines will be the “JCNA Series 1 E-type Judge’s Guide”. A significant supplemental source will be “Jaguar E-Type Six-Cylinder Originality Guide by Haddock and Mueller”. My “assembly manual” will be the “Jaguar Spare Parts Catalogue for the Jaguar ‘E’ Type Grand Touring Models”. Another reference that I really like from a “how to” standpoint is the “E-Type Jaguar Restoration Manual by David Barzilay”. Although it is not a direct comparison, it doesn’t hurt that I have a 1967 2+2 to refer to!

So the general plan is as follows. First do another inventory (here is an article about my first one). Establish once again if there are any difficult to obtain parts missing and get cracking on finding those. It might take a while. Next, tackle the main body shell. Evaluate it and perform any neccesary repairs. Then I will have the body shell media blasted and put into primer. At that stage, I will trial fit all of the exterior components such as doors, bumpers, light fixtures, etc. that may require “fettling” of the body shell to obtain a good fit. Then, identify all the items requiring chrome and get them sent off to the chrome platers (Pauls Chrome Plating). Also identify all the parts that require cadmium plating and get them out for plating. On days when nothing else is pressing, I will work on major sub-systems like the IRS, suspension, and brakes.

After some thought, I have decided to farm out restoration of the engine, transmission, and differential to Dick Maury at Coventry West. This decision pains me as I love doing that kind of work (see my 5 part series on Porsche 944 engine rebuilding). But these parts have been sitting around in my shop for at least 15 years and no telling how long before that. I’m sure “issues” will come up. There is no one better than Dick and Coventry West to make it all right. Not cheap but worth every penny.

I will do my own paint. I have the equipment, the expertese, and the time. Paint is very time consuming (it’s all in the prep!) and there is serious “sweat equity” to be had in this part of the project. I will do all the mechanical assembly. Ditto for the electrical and hydraulics. I will buy an upholstery kit from Original Spec Jaguar Interiors (OSJI) in Muncie, Indiana. I’ll do the final installation of the upholstery. And before you know it, it will be done! Sounds easy. I’m not naive. It will be a slog. But it should be fun and the final result should be fantastic! I’m looking forward to it.

Not my car of course but here is a tasty example of Opalescent Golden Sand!








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