Regan Schoultz is an NZME news service reporter based in Auckland.

Rare Jaguar impresses at Ellerslie

A car that was lovingly restored just in time to carry its owner's daughter to her wedding last March had its own big day today at the Ellerslie Intermarque Concours and Classic Car Show in Auckland.

The rare 1961 E type roadster Jaguar, owned by Simon Crispe of Remuera, was on display at the premiere classic car event in the masterclass, where its restoration was judged alongside hundreds of other classics.

It came first.

The car has been the cherished project of Mr Crispe, who has spent years carefully restoring each part of it right down to individual nuts and bolts.

"I found it in Scotland in 2009. It belonged to a chap who had been restoring cars," he said.

"I took it back to Dubai, where I was living at the time, and stripped it down there and restored basically every nut and bolt and then put it back together ...

then sent it back to the UK to get the paintwork finished and the interior done.

"The car has retained every original bolt that it came out of the factory with."

Only 72,000 Jaguars of the same model and make were produced over the next 14 years.

Mr Crispe brought the car back to New Zealand just in time to drive his daughter, Imogen, to get married to Sam Blackman.

The E type can command a price tag of up to $500,000 "if not more - it just depends on the buyer and where it is sold".

"But I don't own it for that reason, I own it because I wanted a really early car.

"The E type particularly is the most extraordinary combination of older British engineering, combined with very modern concepts that are still being used in cars today," Mr Crispe said.

"People often do a double take when they see one because they are just so beautiful."

In preparation for today's event, Mr Crispe spent hours and hours polishing, scrubbing and wiping the car to the point where it was so clean you could eat off the underneath of the chassis.

White-glove-wearing judges in classic car competitions regularly extend their scrutiny of a vehicle's cleanliness to putting their fingers into its exhaust pipe.

- NZ Herald

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