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Some Assembly Required

Some Assembly Required – Authenticity/Originality

Wow, I really am thinking I should tackle a less controversial subject, like religion or politics! But here goes. Trust me, this won’t be a definitive answer to this subject but I hope to at least provide some food for thought, so to speak. By the way, let’s say that Authenticity and Originality are basically the same thing. I will default to the term Authenticity for what will probably be one of several articles on the subject.

Now that major paint work on the 63 E-Type restoration is mostly behind me, I turned my thoughts to simpler tasks, that can be accomplished in less than the 2 years it has taken for bodywork. I have been concerned with Authenticity since day one of the restoration. My mantra for this restoration has been, when there is a decision to be made, to apply the rule of “as the car was delivered from the factory”. Here is the relevant guidance from the JCNA Concours Rule Book, for the top level Champion Division cars.


Champion Division is the most demanding JCNA Concours Division. It challenges its Entrants to research, prepare, and present the judged portions of their cars in their original, authentic, factory-delivered configuration, and condition.

Due to this standard, folks that have prepared and shown their cars in JCNA concours have expended much effort in determining the specifics of this requirement. Books have been written. Technical sessions have been prepared. Forum discussions have been had, at times heated. I suggest there is a protocol to follow when trying to answer Authenticity questions. Some of my discussion is going to be E-Type specific but I trust owners of other cars will find some value to the process I use.

To me the top tier document is the Official JCNA Concours d’Elegance Rule Book. It applies to all Jaguar cars, from the earliest Swallows to the latest electric cars. Large sections of this 200 page document are devoted to resolving questions about Authenticity. It is available for download on the JCNA website. For instance, it has a large appendix regarding Authentic wheels and tires. I see that it was issued in 1975 and has been revised over 25 times so it is clearly a “living” document. The path to this document on the JCNA website is a little convoluted. Look for JCNA.com/Events/Concours. Section III.A.3 of the Rule Book notes the following:

Approved Judging Guides and JCNA Seminar Technical Bulletins*

When a JCNA Judging Guide or JCNA Seminar Technical Bulletin* has been approved by the AGM, its use is mandatory. JCNA Judging Guides and JCNA Seminar Technical Bulletin* have been developed at great effort to aid Judges in determining authenticity and to standardize judging throughout JCNA. One copy of each approved JCNA Judging Guide and JCNA Seminar Technical Bulletin* shall be available for reference by Judges and entrants at each sanctioned Concours.

* Only that bulletin content, which quotes or copies information from the Jaguar Cars documents, listed in Table C-1, is permitted for validating feature and component authenticity.

For me as an E-Type restorer, I tend to lean pretty heavily on the JCNA Judging Guide, specifically the JCNA Series 1 E-Type Judges Guide. BTW, you have to be logged in as a JCNA member to get to the Judging guides. Look under the Members Only tab. The Judges Guides themselves discuss the reference documents they used. For Series 1 they list:








I consider the Jaguar Parts Book, aka Spare Parts Catalogue (SPC) for the series car you are working on to be absolutely indispensable. Nice printed and bound versions are available in the JCNA Merchandise section of their website.

Jaguar Spares or Service Bulletins represent a problem, as they are not as commonly available and hard to get your arms around. The Coventry Foundation has most of them. Hint hint- join the Coventry Foundation and it will help you get their attention when you have a question.

I see that the JCNA Seminar document noted above is available as JCNA Merchandise, as well as a number of other technical documents for various model cars and subjects.

There are two Haddock books. I have both. The latest one is over 500 pages. Not inexpensive to buy but it contains a wealth of information. The same goes for the Porter book, which is over 700 pages. The only one I could find was used but it makes fascinating reading, being much more conversational in tone.

Finally, if you look at Appendices C and E of the Concours Rule Book, you will find Official Publications for Documenting Authenticity and Jaguar Approved Accessories, respectively. I find Appendix E to be a little bit of a “sleeper”. You may find an accessory that you are trying to defend. You may not. It is worth taking a look at.

Those are the major documents that will be applied to JCNA Concours judging. What you do not see here are things like period photographs from magazines, photos of 100 point cars from a recent concours, and recollections from Uncle Fred who remembers seeing one new in the showroom. In JCNA’s defense, the line had to be drawn somewhere and this is how they have drawn it. A particular “sticky wicket” is the area of dealer add-ons or modifications. Referring to the above mentioned Appendix E may help you here.

Finally, let’s look at the judging standard for Authenticity from the Rule Book. It states:


a. Items on Champion and Driven Division Entries will also be judged for authenticity.

Authenticity will be determined by judging individual components for:

 original materials or authentic replacement materials

 correct fasteners (e.g., bolts, screws, latches, etc.) of the correct size and type

 correct patterns, shapes, fit, and positioning

 correct colors, finishes, and plating

 correct applicability to the model

So that’s a lot to digest. Let’s look at an example relevant to my 63 E-Type FHC, that being paint.

How did I pick my color? I ordered a Heritage Certificate (mentioned in Appendix C of the Rule Book), which told me the original color was Opalescent Golden Sand. Based on my mantra of “how did it leave the factory”, I went with that color. You may ask, what about a color change? Here is what the Rule Book V.C.2.a states:

Judge the exterior finish for runs, sags, orange peel, nicks, blisters, ripples, dents, stone chips, scratches, checking, or crazing of the paint. Consider the overall appearance while judging for authenticity of color. There is no deduction for type of paint. Colors must be reasonably close to production standards for year and model. Metallic colors or two-tone color schemes must adhere to factory standards. Non-production colors must be documented by the car’s JDHT certificate, as having been an originalfactory-applied color.

It doesn’t jump right out at you but there is no deduction for a color change, as long as the color meets the standards mentioned. There are a number of sources on the internet regarding production colors. There can be some differences of opinion as to what colors were available in a specific model year. I’m not going to get into that. Original Jaguar E-Type by McKay seems to have pretty good info in that regard.

What areas of the car get painted with “body color”? Easy. Go to the Judges Guide and do a text search on Body Color. From there, you should get a pretty definitive list of what areas got painted. Also, if you search on “Cadmium” you will get a list of items to be plated. And if you search on a few more colors, mainly black, grey, green, and hammertone, you will get a pretty good list of what items are judged for paint and what the standard is. Note, some areas are not judged, like suspension parts, so you technically get a pass on those but you want the car to look correct, don’t you, so try and use alternate sources to spec these items for the correct finish also. Not really mentioned but the bold There is no deduction for type of paint is a JCNA nod to the fact that the original paints are not readily available.

Finally, if you want to go above and beyond what JCNA looks at then they judge an E-Type, you might want to peruse the UK E-Type forum. They have Factory Fit forums that really get down into the minutia of things. Here is the general URL for their forum: https://forum.etypeuk.com/

So there you have it. I will swing back around to the subject from time to time, as it can be frustrating and contentious. Specific examples are always helpful.



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