The photo on the previous page shows my nice shiny car sitting alongside some attractive and expensive cars in the dealers showroom. However, the camera could not pick up the micro blisters all over the car - caused by condensation in the paint lines during a respray several years ago. The hood was quite shabby and the seats were showing signs of having seen better days.
It proved to be a good move to attend a local Jaguar Drivers Club meeting crammed with a group of like minded car nuts. After introducing myself they wanted to know about my car and it was at this point one of them mentioned a local guy called Lee Ridley who restores old Jaguars and suggested I pay him a visit.
The following day I visited Lee and saw a black series 3 roadster which had recently come out of his paintshop sporting a fantastic coat of paint, when asked if he could make my car look as good and he said yes, there was no hesitation in asking when he could start.
After witnessing the quality of Lee's work I was not surprised when he said he was fully booked up and that I could not expect the return of my car until the spring. This didn't matter to me because with winter fast approaching there wouldn't be too many days I would want to drive the car, so it was agreed to leave Jagger at the workshop until he was fully restored.
Beginning at the top and from left to right, the first two shots are of the paintwork stripped back to the metal.
Whilst this was going on, I contacted a previous owner, whose details were found on some of the bills in the history file. He spoke of a replacement body shell having been fitted just before he bought it in 1991, so it came as no surprise when Lee called one day to advise that apart from one tiny piece of rust on one of the rear wheel arches, the car was solid.
Lee went on to say how lucky it is to find a E-Type in such good condition and added that the car had been Waxoiled which was another reason why it was in such great order.
When the paint had been stripped off it was time for the first coat of primer, before the hard work really got going. The rubbing down process takes hours of hard labour to achieve the correct outcome.
Once completed a further primer was added, (the orange one) this one finds any abnormalities and when rubbed down the car returns to a light grey colour as seen at the top of the picture behind my bonnet. And finally we have paint on the car!
With the car all put back together, apart from the seats and hood, it was my job to drive to BAS in South Wales for the retrim. As it happened, it was a glorious sunny day but it wouldn't have mattered to me what the weather was like, nothing could wipe the smile from my face driving such a beautiful looking car.
The Jag guys were right about the restorer, Lee Ridely did a fabulous job and I could not have been happier.