Either You Know What You’re Doing or You Don’t

Jason builds a repair panel

Jason Marechaux builds a repair panel

Here at Sports Car Services we have been wallowing in E-type Jaguars for weeks, and it’s a state of affairs likely to continue well into the new year.  We’ve shown you some bits and pieces of our Jaguar work load, and not to minimize it at all, we’re certainly appreciative of the work that’s been entrusted to us.  But this week it seemed like a good idea to have a look at someone else’s E-type work load.

Regular readers of these missives are aware that virtually the one thing we do not do here is what we politely refer to as ‘Paint & Fender’ work.  It’s not in our skill set and even if it was we don’t have the space for it anyway.  However, we are extremely fortunate to have those services of the very highest order close at hand in the person of Jason Marechaux of East Coast Collision & Restoration in Mount Holly, Vermont, just a little way up the road.

An E-type badly repaired

An E-type in a sordid state of affairs

Here’s a closer view of the series 2 E-type just visible over Mr. Marechaux’ left shoulder, a hideously bad repair featuring the liberal use of the slide pull hammer, a.ka. “Dent Puller” used in an ultimately futile attempt to pull the bonnet close enough into shape in order to smooth it up with a five gallon pail of plastic filler.  It wasn’t very nice.   A subsequent picture not published here shows that at least a quarter of the bonnet appeared to have been used to backstop a rifle range.

fitting up a repair panel

Repair panel cliquoed into place

You won’t find them making this  repair at Benny’s Auto Body.  Panel beating is mostly a lost art now.  Body Shops are not restoration shops, they’re adrift at sea when it comes to this kind of specialized work.  We know, we see it all the time.

It’s kind of distressing sometimes to see car owners throwing good money after bad, but the E-types, at least, have arrived at their station in life where making a good repair often times builds dollar for dollar value back into the car, a stage their lesser breathern (except for the Austin Healeys) haven’t made it to yet.

Joe Delaney fits up an E-type inner rocker panel

Joe Delaney fits up an E-type inner rocker panel

As bad as the blue car might look, this one (once white) was even worse.  It had suffered the indignity of having basic structural repairs carried out in bed iron.  Presumably the repairer didn’t mind having his box spring & mattress on the floor.  What looked like a straight forward sheetmetal restoration turned out to be anything but, and slowly but steadily this series 1 E-type was reduced to its most basic elements, perhaps the sole identifying characteristics at this point being the shape of the TX tunnel and the windshield posts !   Joe Delaney is one of Jason’s two skilled fitters, but it would be entirely accurate to say that even he was taken aback by the extent to which this car had been molested.

Here’s a view from the back, but please don’t call before Spring.  They’re kinda’ busy right now at E.C.C.&R.

A Marechaux-built repair panel on an E-type

A Marechaux-built rear floor crossmember

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