Lets Recap….

As the rebuild nears the finishing post, well as much as they ever do, here’s a very, very abridged version of the story so far.

Lady Marilyn was my 50 Car, the successor to the Ferrari 328 which was my 40 car…


I’d considered a few different cars for the 50 car, it have to be something special, something that would make my pulse quicken every time I opened the garage door. The decision, in the end, was an easy one in many ways, something iconic, timeless, a true classic and achingly beautiful. There are few that fit the bill and I settled quickly on a Challenger E type.

They were few and far between, a waiting list existed for the Owners Club  “for sale” section. I managed to track one down early on, from Car and Classics website


It was a nice enough car, the chap selling it was the original builder, but there were two principle issues, firstly it was an auto and I wanted a manual, secondly and more importantly, I didn’t fall in love when I saw her.

In many ways I should have bought her, she was cheap and a go-er, but we wouldn’t chose a girlfriend that way, I’ve done that in the past and it never ends well, so why adopt that approach with a significant vehicle.

I heard of another example, a good one – or so I was told – and off to see her I went. I’d seen photos and had already done the falling in love thing before I set off.

Here are the photo’s….


well you just would, wouldn’t you? I know I would, and I did….

Now, for anyone who’s tried online dating, this experience was much the same. Photos from an earlier age, lots of activities in my wish list (like driving, braking and steering) and very much available.

Internet dating is mostly where (according to, ahem, a friend) you turn up and what looks like the mother of the girl in the photos is waiting, then you have to think of an excuse to spend the shortest amount of time possible before running for the hills. This is what I should have done… Sadly I took my rose tinted spectacles with me and even more sadly a significant wedge of cash.

A little time later we were winging our way back to Gods county with a Challenger on the back of our transporter.


The problems first started when I first started, or tried to, the engine on our return. Nothing, nada, nyet, zip, sod all happened. When we finally managed to get her into the drive we came face to face with problem number two… No brakes. It turns out you can polish a turd after all.

First things first, lets get her started. This lead to an investigation….


which led to the rebuild of the carbs.


Now she started. Time to see if I could make her stop. The brakes wouldn’t bleed but whilst trying I realised how shitty the suspension all was. So off with the front…


Replace everything that can be replaced, powder coat the rest…


Then to the IRS, out it came…


Full rebuild, new everything….


Now she could stand on her fully refurbished suspension.

Next job the engine, out with the lump…


Full strip and rebuild with all new parts, including head studs, pistons, bearings and shells, clutch, flywheel skim. The lot…








Next, with new wheel brakes all round, rip out that nasty master cylinder…


and replace it with a new pedal box…


Then it was off to Uncle Jerry’s for a full rewire and final finish.

First some custom parts, radiator, jockey wheel, bulk head panels, engine mountings…


and the masterpiece throttle linkage….



Then a dash rebuild with new parts…


Before a full re-wire


Then get everything back together….


get the old girl running….

Before bolting the new shiny bits on…


The next phase is the MOT test to get some miles under her belt, whilst I save up for an interior retrim…

I know there are lots of people who read this, they’re all three years older than when I started. I thank you for your patience and leave you with this thought….

All good things to those who wait,,,,,,,



A not insurmountable problem

First Job at Jerry’s was to mount the radiator. This is a cracking piece of kit, custom made to my design in China. Now O know what you’re expecting from anything made in China, but I’ve received it and it’s spot on. It was made in less than a week and in my garage two weeks later all for less than the re-core costs of the original radiator – just £300 all in.

E type alloy radiator

Challenger e-type radiator

Check them out and take my recommendation that the product is excellent.


The first job was to mount the new rad, ensure it cleared the bonnet (to out American readers thats the thing that covers the bit with the engine in) Once the correct angle had been established make a couple of mounting brackets and remove for real fitment at a later date.

There will be twin electric fans and a thermostatic controller fitted. These old girls can run hot and I want to be sure the cooling system is up to that one sunny day we get every year…

Next the Engine went in, well when I say went in, was positioned correctly se Jerry could work out what to do with the engine mountings. The car had come with early mountings, but both were broken when I picked her up. I’d got new ones but had never fitted them.

Jerry positioned the engine and checked for lots of known problems. Too low and the carbs catch the steering column, too high and they catch the bonnet. Like the Goldilocks, it had to be just right.

P1040817a (2)

The early mountings, didn’t actually fit. Using the brackets and mountings per how the car was received put masses of stress onto the joints themselves, which is probably why they disintegrated in the first place.

Mounting 1

To try and get them to align a number of spacers were tried…. But it was becoming unmanageable and the angles still were not right.

Mounting 3

Mounting 2

So, the Jerry-Meister cut up the bracket and remade it to suit the more robust later XJ6 mountings. What we ended up with as another work of art that fits properly and maintains the correct position of the engine in the chassis.


Brackets modified and standard mountings used, all is well. The mounting stud is mid hole and the engine – and more importantly Carbs – are at the right height.


NS and OS brackets and mountings in all their glory.


In the picture above you can see a chassis member which has been cut. This was done by the previous owner in order to place the battery at the front of the passenger foot well. This is butchery in my book and this will be properly replaced with new steel and the batter relocated to the correct position at the front of the engine.

e type shassis repair

Above the chassis rail is magically back in place….

Below the modified and repainted engine mountings.


Also pictured above are the re-studded exhaust manifolds. The old studs were removed and although one stud was missing the thread was sound enough to stand a re-cut and the new studs inserted. – proper job.