THE future looked bleak for this rare Jaguar E-Type, which was found rusting away in abandoned French barn with a family of birds nesting inside, until it was restored to health by world-leading restorers in Bridgnorth.
The exceedingly rare model – a right-hand drive Series 1 3.8-litre chassis No. 860015 – was the fifteenth right-hand-drive fixed-head coupe E-Type to leave Jaguar’s production line in 1961 and one of six examples of the E-Type to feature as a press car at the Scottish Motor Show in November that same year.
Having been passed on to private ownership, it was discovered in a barn in Cernay, France, in 2013, in great need of some TLC. But now its up and running and ready to go on display at the London Classic Car Show later this month.
Having undergone a complete overhaul, ‘YSG 547’ boasts its original colour combination of a pearl grey exterior coating and light blue interior. The crew at CMS spent exactly 2,956 hours restoring every nut and bolt of E-Type at the company’s modern workshops in Bridgnorth, saving as much of the original car as possible and bringing back its show-stopping condition.
Nick Goldthorp, managing director of CMS, said: ‘It had been owned by the same person since 1976, who dismantled it probably some 20 years ago and that is as far as he got.
‘The car was underneath some covers in a garden, very rusty and corroded – there was even a bird’s nest in the rear quarter! We carried out a full nut and bolt restoration, which proved to be quite a challenge due to the sorry state in which it was found.’
Chassis No. 15 may have been nearing the beyond repairable mark, but CMC is known to never back down from a challenging restoration and has a reputation for restoring some of the world’s most historic E-Types, including Lofty England’s Chassis No. 4, the Lindner-Nöcker Lightweight and 1VHP, the first right hand drive fixed head coupe off the production line.
Goldthorp added: ‘No detail was too small and extensive work has been carried out in the paint and trim shops so that the car can now boast its original colour combination of pearl grey exterior and light blue interior, being the only one produced in those colours in 1961.
‘After restoring it to its former glory, we thought it was only fitting that the car returned to the centre stage 55 years later and what could be better than the London Classic Car Show.’
CMC will have the car on display at its stand (C40) at the London Classic Car Show at the ExCeL exhibition centre from February 18 to 21.
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Photo credit: Classic Motor Cars