Jaguar made beautiful cars, but they also made complicated ones. So restoring any old one, particularly those of the 1960s, is not a task to assume lightly.
We have two 1965 Jaguar Mk2s on our classic car hire fleet, this 3.4 and a similar 3.8. The Green 3.8 was restored by us over the winter of 2014/15, including a huge amount of welding and panel work. The grey 3.4 car has been on the fleet for several years: I bought it from another classic car hire company in a fairly dismal state and we have invested a considerable amount in the mechanicals of the car. But now it’s time to attend to the bodywork.
The car is fundamentally solid but is beginning to deteriorate cosmetically around the wings and arches, the front ‘crows feet’ behind the bumper and a couple of the doors. The challenge with a Mk2 is to make any new metal and panels fit the lines of the car accurately: replacement panels are pattern parts and usually a poor fit and most Mk2s are laden with filler, so judging the original line without incurring a huge amount of extra work is tricky. Similarly, some of the bodywork around the car is highly styled and complex to replace, such as the wing markers on the front corners.
Our objective with the 3.4 is to return it to a very good, presentable standard. Because it is a hire car it simply isn’t worth doing a nut and bolt concours job because the car is going to be subjected to high mileages and will deteriorate relatively quickly through use and general light damage. What we will achieve is a solid, rot-free car that can be used without worry, rather than a car that will live in a carcoon most of its life.
This rust spot on the rear nearside door of the Mk2 is typical of the sort of thing that can happen with a regularly used car. When the workshop broke through the remaining metal a small waterfall gushed out. The drainage holes in the door had blocked up and the water had simply collected, with nowhere to go.
So far we have begun to strip the car and investigate the main areas of deterioration so that we can get an idea of what is required. Next step will be stripping back these areas and ordering parts.
You can follow the progress of this car on this blog.
We maintain our own fleet and customer cars. To discuss your project, big or small, just call 01527 893733.
www.greatescapecars.co.uk 01527 893733