Here are, in essence, three types of black paint. The first and most common is merely a collection of swirled scratches on a dark background. The second is a smooth, jet reflector that alternates between blinding glare and contour -masking darkness. The last kind is deep obsidian. It swallows light yet glows with energy. Peering into it makes you contemplate your place in the universe and you begin to realize what infinite really means. Mark Eichert's 1970 Jaguar E-Type is on the third plane of blackness. You can get lost staring into one of those, long, sleek fenders for hours.

Eichert is a true enthusiast of English cars. He owned a TR6 and a TR250 for 15 years before deciding to sell both to acquire his current E-Type, which he has owned for nearly 10 years. After some time shopping around, an original-owner California model was found. When Eichert bought the car, it was in decent shape, but not up to the show standard of the aforementioned TRs. The paint was rough, the interior rougher and we won't even go into the mechanicals. The good news, however, was: no rust.

With the help of his brother, Barry, the one-year restoration process began with a complete tear-down. The engine was extracted, the interior removed and the entire body stripped. The paint job took eight painstakingly laborious months to achieve. That's a long time in the body shop, but the results speak for themselves. The interior is finished to a level of class modern cars just can't match. The leather is smooth, yet still has character. All the controls are detailed beautifully and can be more closely compared to jewelry than modern AC knobs.

With so much love going into the body and interior, it seemed churlish to ignore the mechanicals. So the Eichert boys rebuilt the engine to factory specs (if not a little better). During reassembly, other areas of the car were also refreshed, to the point of making this 38-year-old car look as though it has just rolled off the assembly line.

Eichert drives this car on a fairly regular basis when he isn't busy winning awards. A first place and People's Choice Award at the Huntington Beach Concourse shows how amazing this car is to look at. A first-place finish at the Jaguar Owner's Concourse demonstrates how well the restoration was done. Every detail is immaculate, from the rare factory hard top to the brand-new, 74-spoke wire wheels. The truly amazing part is that Eichert and his brother did almost all the work.

By Michael Febbo
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