Rare Jaguar E-Type transformed from birds' next to former glory
A rare Jaguar E-Type car which was left to rust in a French barn before becoming home to a birds' nest has been restored to its former glory after 3,000 hours of intensive work.
The newly beautified car, which was discovered in a barn in Cernay, France, in late 2013, will go on display at the London Classic Car Show later this month.
The Jaguar E-Type fixed head coupe Chassis No. 15 was given much needed repairs by restoration company Classic Motor Cars of Bridgnorth (CMC).
The Series 1 3.8 Litre Chassis No. 860015, a right hand drive car, is rare and historically important as it was one of the six E-Types to go on display at the Scottish Motor Show in November 1961.
Last year Nick Goldthorp, Managing Director of CMC, said: 'We found Chassis No. 15 at end of last year in Cernay, a town close to the border with Germany about two hours away from Paris.
'It had been owned by the same person since 1976, who dismantled it probably some twenty years ago and that is as far as he got.
'Unfortunately, the car was left unattended in a barn until we found it, very rusty and corroded – there was even a bird's nest in the rear quarter.'
The experts spent a challenging 2,956 hours restoring every aspect of the rare car while retaining as much of its original features as possible.
Mr Goldthorp told the Telegraph: '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.
'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.'
The E-type was developed from Jaguar's successful racing D-type, which had won the Le Mans race three times from 1955 to 1957.
Originally intended as a racing car, the E-type eventually emerged as a road-going sports and grand touring car.
The iconic style of the E-type was based on the D-type and was the work of the aerodynamicist Malcolm Sayer.
Originally the E-type was available either as an open two-seater, as with this particular model, or as a fastback fixed-head coupé.
All E-Types featured fully independent suspension and four- wheel disc brakes.
Jaguar was one of the first car manufacturers to equip cars with disc brakes as standard, and for the first time Jaguar used the sophisticated independent rear suspension, developed by Bob Knight, on the E-Type.
The stylish and iconic E-Type shape meant following its release it quickly became an iconic symbol of the 1960s.
Thanks to its combination of price and performance, offering a top speed of close to 150mph at little more than £2,000 at the time, it became an instant success - particularly in the American market.
The E-type attracted many celebrity and VIP owners, from the world of motor racing and show business, as well as Royalty.