A Mostly British Obsession

Seeing Red

What would take a pro a couple of afternoons has taken me a month of spare time, but I have most of the interior installed. I only have a few very minor visible mistakes–and I think they’ll be fairly invisible once the seats are in.


I still have to do the “A” posts, which will be super-nasty as they have have a reversed shape which is going to make avoiding a wrinkle very difficult (maybe impossible for yours truly).

This is a BAS kit from the early 2000s, and generally it’s been OK. The professional who is doing the seats is not impressed with the lack of care taken with the grain alignment in the seat kits (which makes some sense, as the big kit manufacturers want to maximize the use of hides), and I’ve been puzzled by a few of the things in this kit, but, overall, it’s been about as expected.

The way Jaguar decided to attach the upper door trim chrome strips on these early cars is totally for the birds. Plus apparently the correct-length strips have been “inventory rationalized” out of production, and the strips you can get these days are about 5/8″ too short.

One of the most frustrating things I had to deal with was the beading on the center console. One thing I found that helped a lot (and, of course I hit on it too late to help except for on the very last bit):


Run some wire down the center of the hollow nylon cord inside the beading. This allows you to pre-shape the trim to match where it’s going to go; otherwise, it’s a nightmare to try and reign it in. Since my beading was also falling apart, I took the opportunity to re-glue it with much more overlap on one side, make it easier to secure to the console.


Here is Roger’s List of Interior Discoveries:

  • Hardura is not fun to work with. This early car has hardura all the way to the floor behind the seats, instead of moquette, and that made it very, very difficult to get the center console in.
  • The door panels were not much fun. Aside from the chrome strip, the panels themselves don’t match the door as well as you’d hope, and the beading added to the top edge (correct for early 3.8s) is placed in such a way to make it impossible to have the panel reasonably flat. I removed the beading from mine and re-positioned it. Mind you, “lay flat” is relative, since the panels aren’t going to fit amazingly well in any case…
  • You cannot use door clips in the rear trim panels (behind the seats), and there were no proper clips included, and I’ve not seen any for sale. The door clips require that the holes in the panel be offset from the holes in the body, whereas the trim panels match and require a straight-in clip.
  • The tacking strip came in three pieces, which didn’t fit. It’s now seven pieces, much like the original. It’s helpful to enjoy woodworking when doing an early E-Type…
  • The lift-the-dot studs provided for the top cover are self-tapping and are supposed to be machine screws. I got some from a yacht-supply place via ebay.
  • The reproduction aluminum center console panels are only vaguely like the originals. I spent a lot of time working with them, and they look OK now, but don’t expect to slap them on and bolt it up. Plus the aluminum finish is very fragile, scratching easily and is completely resistant to have those scratches removed. The aluminum was not included in the main kit (at least not mine); I got the evil things via one of the usual suspects.
  • Though it’s not really “interior” as such, beware the door lock mechanisms, the ones I got–for a lot of money!– didn’t work and required hours of filing to make work.

Remaining tasks include the aforementioned a-post trims, under-dash panels, dash top (a huge pain since I cannot use one of the normal kits for this early car with its skinny dash), door seals, top frame restoration, top replacement, bumper hanging, and hardtop restoration. Plus I will be replacing the torsion bars, the driver’s one has dropped 3/4″ and as these are the original bars, after 54 years it’s probably time.


  1. jeff groves

    gosh, she’s really starting to look like a complete motor car, lovely… and I’m sure you’re about ready for the laughing academy! onward! cheers, J.

  2. Kevin Teabag

    Pretty darn nice if you ask me.


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