An interview with the author!
E-type Jaguar DIY Restoration & Maintenance
An expert could not have written this book.
Experts start with knowledge and experience and often make assumptions and gloss over important details. I’ve played with classic cars before but had never fully restored one, and knew nothing about them. I learnt by trial and error, making mistakes and correcting them. But I don’t hide these: instead I cover them in detail them for your benefit, so you don’t have to fall into the same traps. My restoration therefore helps potential restorers to complete their own restorations – and in a lot less time than the 9 years it took me to restore mine!
The work was undertaken mainly in my basement, using the minimum of specialist tools and equipment and was very much a DIY restoration. This means that the book is aimed very much at the home DIY restorer and should be your friend and help in the workshop.
Note that this book should be read in conjunction with other manuals such as the Haynes manual which give some of the background info which I haven’t repeated in the manual because as the info’s already out there, there was no point in just repeating it. My manual explains in detail and expands the info that is in the these manuals, making it directly relevant and relevant to the home restorer.
As with my other books this is written in a very readable style not in a dry technical manner, and so it very accessible and easy to follow – and there’s even a bit of humour in there, so when it’s all gone pear shaped and you’re sitting on the workshop floor in tears, this’ll help you see the funny side of things and laugh again!
I really hope you enjoy reading this book as well as finding it of great value in helping with your own restoration.
Written in a friendly, engaging style and well-illustrated at every stage, the manual includes:
- A complete DIY E-type restoration from start to finish
- Details the trials and tribulations of an inexperienced enthusiast
- The specific knowledge necessary to work on an E-type
- Anecdotes and mishaps, both amusing and encouraging
- Brutally honest, very detailed, 360 pages, over 550 photos.
How to buy a copy
The E-type restoration Manual is available from most good booksellers, especially those specialising in automotive books. It is also available on-line from such places as Amazon. The link below will take you Amazon.UK, or if you’re in a different part of the world, just type my name – Chris Rooke – into the Amazon search bar, and the book should come up. You might also want to try such as e-bay etc. or just type the ISBN number (see above) into Google and see what comes up.
German edition also available: Schraubertagebuch!
One enlightened publishing company in Germany have now published the E-Type DIY and restoration manual in German! Like the English version, it’s available all around the world, but if you’re thinking of buying a copy, there’s a link below to Amazon in Germany.
Chris Rooke, a Drama teacher by profession, admits to a passion for classic cars, but one with no engineering or restoration experience. However, he turns out to be a damned good writer; brutally honest about his mistakes, revelling in his successes and often very amusing.
Chris takes us through the sorts of dramas that many optimistic restorers must experience – from probably choosing the wrong car to restore in the first place, to not having a decent workshop and having to undo the work of many hours due to a missed step. Not to mention a mixed range of experiences in dealing with suppliers and restorers and, in this case, ending up delighted with the end result.
Often it’s the seemingly simple tasks that cause the greatest frustration.
The level of detail in the book is amazing but it’s very readable – not dry or overly technical. The hundreds of colour photos would be very helpful to anyone tackling a similar car, and they illustrate every step and item imaginable.
The 50-plus chapter headings give an idea of what you’ll come across, such as – How (not) to buy an E-Type Jaguar, Re-re-re-fitting the door seals and, The carburettor linkages. At the end of each one is a list of Lessons learned (I imagine that a lot of them would apply to any restoration job, regardless of the car involved).
Bodywork, mechanicals, interior, the smallest fittings and essential tools are all covered in layman’s terms from a guy who really did the hard yards, and who tells his tale with some style.
Definitely recommended. New Zealand Classics Magazine
There has never been a shortage of E-type related works, and we must admit to a slight twinge of dread when this thumping softback first appeared on our desks. But this one works on so many levels, not least because it’s written by a non-professional restrorer whose real-world experiences of rebuilding his car are a lesson to anyone contemplating taking on an ‘E’, be it a basket case or a minter.
Chris describes his mistakes and remedies with equal candour, highlighting the frustration that follows the elation of getting stuck into a project car. There’s everything here, from rebuilding a heater box to treating old leather.
The ‘lessons learned’ box-outs include such gems as ‘however is the commonest word in the DIY restorer’s vocabulary’. Too true. Octane Magazine
Based on a 50-part-write-up in a club magazine, Chris Rooke’s paperback book’s 350 pages are a warts and all account of the nine year rebuild of his S2 fixed-head. Brutally frank and well illustrated the book’s 12 sections cover all areas of the restoration from the ground up, with emphasis on mechanical reassembly and trimming – both notoriously tricky. Entertaining for anyone embarking on a similar project, utterly invaluable if the car in question is an E-type. Classic and Sportscar Magazine
Restoring an E-type is a lengthy process, and this soft-back publication is suitably detailed, running to an impressive 347 large-format pages. Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the book is that it isn’t written by an expert but by someone who had only a passing knowledge of E-types when he embarked on restoring his newly-acquired Series 2 fixed-head coupé. Under the shiny paint it turned out to be a bit of a dog and this, combined with what Chris readily admits was a severe lack of knowledge on his behalf, resulted in a restoration that took nine years to complete and caused many a hard lesson to be learnt.
But this is exactly why the reader benefits from Chris’s steep learning-curve (and, as he also admits frequent mistakes). An expert tends, probably without thinking, to gloss over various aspects of restoring an E-type because to him the correct procedure is obvious. But to the home restorer it often isn’t, a problem compounded by the fact that rusty old cars don’t come apart just like the manual says they should – though Chris stresses that his book should be read in conjunction with the workshop manuals (Jaguar’s and Haynes’).
A Kind of Loving really does get down to the nitty-gritty of restoring an E-type and the detail it contains is enormous. Almost every
component and stage in the restoration is clearly photographed (in colour, of course), and along with Chris’s lucid explanations all contributes to making this book indispensable to any amateur restorer – and I’m sure that the more experienced would benefit too. Even E-type owners not contemplating a rebuild would learn a very great deal about how their car is put together after reading this book.
The book is laid out in 12 sections, these being:
The First Steps, Body beautiful, Rear suspension, Power unit, Misc. mechanical (front susp. brakes etc), Final fit-up, Trials of trimming, The final hurdles, Annual servicing, Tools required, Photo gallery, E-type services
Nicely designed on good paper and with excellent print quality, this book is pleasant to handle as well, so all in all it’s a product that can be confidently recommended – and the price won’t exactly break the bank either. Xclusively Jaguar News
The most honest, comprehensive and real account of rebuilding an E-type ever written. E-Type Club Magazine
I found this book very helpful and amusing at times , I am in the middle of a re-build and found myself agreeing like a grumpy old man when he outlines his mistakes , I recommend this book be read before anyone starts any major work as it can save a lot of time and expense , there is a lot of ‘perfection’ with re-chroming etc. that the normal re-builder may not undertake but that’s down to the individual , this book is a welcome addition to my ‘library’ of manuals which I am sure I will use for reference. 5*
Got this as a present for me for Christmas! An excellent read from a DIY restorers point of view. Mr Rooke details his trials and tribulations during the long process of restoring his series II E type. The book is excellently written – very readable, and has good illustrations. If you are contemplating restoring an E-type then it is a must. If you just want an entertaining read then it is well worth it. Even if you cannot afford to join the E-type fraternity there are plenty of tips (lessons learned) for anyone restoring an old car that could apply to any old car and not just a Jaguar. If I could give it 4.5 stars I would as the only thing it lacks is an index, although there is a comprehensive chapter index. You will find yourself thinking “where did I read that bit” and then spend a while finding it again. Other than that an excellent book that will join the legion of others I have on the E-type – the most beautiful car ever made! 5*
If you have bought an E-Type then this is for you. If you haven’t bought one yet, then don’t read this book or you never will. Written by an amateur enthusiast and covering his entire ‘nut and bolt’ restoration it is an interesting guide for the E-Type restorer. Well written and with good illustrations. It is also wrist-breakingly heavy. You can even converse with the author on the E-Type forum UK 5*
An excellent book, comprising personal experience of the enthusiast restorer. Especially worthy are warnings of possible pitfalls facing every DIY restorer. Definitely the best book I read recently. 5*
Excellent book of a restoration DIY by a person who has no experience at all, and therefor faces all the pitfalls. Learned a lot from it, it’s funny too. Good pictures. Very recommended. 5*
A proper book written well – good value. 5*
I got this book for my husband’s birthday. We have a real wreck of an e-type that is slowly getting it together. He seems to love the book – always has his nose in it! 5*
For those who like to read a story behind a restoration whilst learning some skills at the same time this is a book for you. Lots of pitfalls noted which you can learn about before falling into the same errors. Good read. 5*
A very comprehensive and humorous view of the ways to do and not to do most of the jobs required to dismantle a car. 5*
Great book would highly recommend. 5*
Good book of information that you cannot get enough of wish there was more like it, the only other I have known of is out of print pity 5*
Really good book worth the money. 5*
An excellent publication. 5*
Knowledge, useful, amusing, from the heart of an enthusiast. 5*
Wonderful book…a true reference for the model maker as well as the restorer. 5*
Very good indeed, easy to follow. Great Pictures. 5*
If anyone is planning on restoring an e type I would strongly recommend they first read Chris Rooke’s excellent book E-type Jaguar DIY Restoration Maintenance, A kind of loving if only it had been written before I had started on this journey. Reading the problems he encountered was a certainly a case of déjà vu. 5*
This book is printed on high quality paper, and is a perfect bound soft cover style publication. The work that Chris and his editors put into this book is obvious from the start. It is well written with ample photographs and detailed information from the author based on his own restoration journey of a 1969 FHC E-Type. Great value and good addition to any E-Type owner or restorer’s library. 5*
Unlike most restoration books that have small grainy black and white pictures, this book is full of well sized colour pictures that really show you what he is doing as part of his restoration. While it doesn’t go into the depth to allow you to complete your own restoration, it does have some good gotcha’s and pitfalls that can be avoided. It is well written and definitely worth adding to your collection. 5*
I purchased this book for my husband for Valentine’s Day because he’s restoring a ’67 Jag. Every time I see him sitting and going through the pages, the first words out of his mouth are, “I love this book. It’s chockfull of valuable information.” I should also note that he has several other books on the restoration of Jags, but this is by far is his favorite. 5*
Wow! And I thought that I was the only one who made every mistake possible when I do projects. The author must have a very low-key understanding wife (and a lot more disposable income than I do). It really is very nice to see all of this rebuild process step by step, as I can see what upgrades on my E-type are now way out of my reach, both mechanically and financially. It was well worth the price of this book to get that information. It’s also a very entertaining read, but much more meaningful if you already own an E-type that needs work. 5*
Very thorough in explaining the entire restoration process with countless number of wonderful color pictures that you won’t fine in many other books like this. 5*
Why must we commit any mistake already made? Chris Rooke tells us what to do and what to avoid in a sincere but funny way. 5*
Super book. If you are starting out with an E type. A must have. It will save you a ton of cash. 5*
I bought this book with the idea that the price was well worth it if it helped me avoid only one pitfall in my restorations of E-types. The section on bolt orientation in re-attaching sub-frames does just that and the I can say that the book is well written, well-organized, the photography is clear and in general is a nice piece of work! 5*
The book provides the same purpose of photographs and notes done when dis-assembling a car that are so invaluable when re-assembling it. It may not be a substitute for your car, but it goes a long way. 5*
On top of being a good technical reference it is entertaining to read. Highly recommend this for anyone who is restoring an E-type! 5*
Probably my favorite E-Type Jaguar book. High quality printing, thorough photography, and I love how the author recaps each section with a “lesson learned” blurb. I’ve recommended it to several owners of E-Types, all of whom have appreciated the amount of knowledge this book contains. It’s especially useful for British owners because it has a list of recommended vendors for all things E. Shame there isn’t an American equivalent. Money well spent. 5*