Shropshire

'Unique' £5m Jaguar E-type restored

A rare Jaguar car has been restored, 47 years after it was destroyed in a race.

The lightweight E-type crashed in 1964 on the Montlhery circuit in France, killing driver Peter Lindner.

Peter Neumark, chairman of Bridgnorth's Classic Motor Cars, which restored the E-type, said the work had taken four years and more than 5,000 hours.

The car was one of only 12 lightweight models to be made by Coventry-based Jaguar and was its unofficial entry for the 1964 Le Mans race.

In preparing the car for Le Mans, the Brown's Lane factory fitted Malcolm Sayer's specially-designed low-drag body, making it one of a kind.

Mr Neumark said: "It's been an amazing restoration, the like of which we'll never carry out again, because I doubt we'll get the opportunity."

The company said there were no plans to sell the car, now believed to be worth about £5m.

The E-type, once described by Enzo Ferrari as "the most beautiful in the world", will be shown at the Villa d'Este motor show in Italy later this month and at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in Sussex in July.

It will also be appearing at the Pebble Beach motor show in California.

Image caption Jaguar's original test driver Norman Dewis met the restoration team

After the crash, the Jaguar was impounded by the authorities. "French law dictated that they couldn't touch the car for 10 years," Mr Neumark said.

In 1976 another restoration team, led by Guy Black, attempted to put the car back on the road.

At the time, the damage to the bodywork was considered so severe that another factory body was used.

Bridgnorth's Classic Motor Cars, which specialises in restoring Jaguars for private clients and museums, bought the car four years ago, along with the crash-damaged body and set about a full re-build.

The team said they had managed to use 90% of the original metal in the body.

Jaguar's original E-type test driver, Norman Dewis, was also in Bridgnorth to see the unveiling.

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