The world’s most expensive Jaguar E-Type ever was recently unveiled – with a price tag of £5 million.
It took over 7,000 hours of restoration to get the luxury car back to its former glory, after it crashed at the Montlhery circuit in France in 1964.
The unique Low Drag lightweight E-type was so badly damaged after the crash that a complete restoration was thought to be impossible.
German driver Peter Lindner lost his life in the famous crash. Another driver and two marshals also died and the car was impounded for 10 years by the French authorities.
Now, almost 47 years later, the car has been restored using more than 90 per cent of the original parts.
Four years ago, Peter Neumark from Classic Motor Car (CMC) in the UK started the restoration process from a large box of mangled metal parts, despite cynics saying the bulk of the parts had been so badly damaged it would be impossible to use them again.
Lindner’s family assisted with the restoration, providing old photographs and cine footage of the car.
Mr Neumark, chairman of CMC, said: “This is one of the most major restorations ever to take place in the world. Many said that it could not be done but we have proved them wrong.”
More than five thousand hours went into restoring the car’s body alone.
Each panel was flattened, repaired, reformed into its original shape and then the structure was riveted and spot welded together as per the original construction method.
“We tested the metal to see if it would weld and once we were sure it would we took the decision to completely restore the original body. It was a bit loopy really but it has all worked out and it was very definitely a labour of love,” Mr Neumark said.
“In fact I had to install more than £30,000 worth of welding equipment just for this one job.”
The car was one of only 12 lightweight E-Types built by Jaguar in 1963 and in 1964.
In its preparation as Jaguar’s unofficial entry for Le Mans that year, Malcolm Sayer designed a special low drag body and work to the engine ensured that it was the most powerful Jaguar the competition department had ever produced.
It became the last competition car prepared by the factory.
Jaguar’s famous test driver Norman Dewis, one of the original driver’s nephews, took part in the car’s unveiling.
Mr Neumark said so much hard work had gone into restoring the car, that it was a vehicle he would never sell.
“This car’s restoration is a testament to the remarkable skills of very talented people in my own company and others in the West Midlands,” he added.View Comments