SOLD for £50,500
“Since then I have been able to road-test the V12 E-type over an appreciable mileage. It remains an unforgettable motoring experience and one is reminded that there must have been more than one girl who promised things to a man on account of his E-type, only to find that it turned out to be a Series-E Morris Eight...” Motor Sport, January 1972
Different times without a doubt but surely an icon of British sports car design none the less. As it gently matured, the E-Type gradually put on a small amount of weight - it happens to the best of us - but Jaguar took positive action to address this and the general public’s evolving, more discerning tastes by introducing the 5.3 litre V12 engine for the Series 3 of 1971. Developed from that fitted to the still-born XJ13 racer, this proliferation of cylinders was matched by an increase in both power and torque, though by substituting the original 6 cylinder engine’s iron block for aluminium, weight increase was limited to a mere 83 lb and the cars external dimensions grew by but a few inches. The 272 brake horse power and 304lb ft of torque produced resulted in a 0 to 60 time of 6.4 seconds, making the Series 3 the fastest accelerating E-Type ever, while somewhat surprisingly adding only 1 mpg to the fuel consumption of the outgoing 4.2 litre ‘six’. Ventilated brakes and uprated suspension reigned in the extra performance while power assisted steering made the car far more usable, especially as tyre width increased.
An original left hand drive roadster, this Series 3 was first supplied to the USA and it was repatriated to the UK in 2014 from a ‘dry state’ – indeed the car pass for a decidedly upmarket San Diego Private Members Club affixed to the Jaguar’s windscreen confirms it resided in California for at least some of its time on the other side of the pond. Once back in the UK and with the appropriate duty paid, the E-Type was thoroughly mechanically fettled and treated to new carpets along with European specification front bumpers; bills are on file attesting to some £6,000 worth of expenditure. The Jaguar was then MOT tested and UK registered, its current V5C is on file.
Generally speaking the Signal Red paint is in nice order with a good ‘depth’ and shine. There are one or two chips particularly around the scuttle where a slightly poorly adjusted bonnet has made contact (please see photo gallery); judging by the wheel arch profile this overly tight gap could be relatively easily improved upon. Structurally the body seems in excellent condition both up top and underneath. There are one or two very light ‘car park’ imperfections but you have to look hard to spot them and the fit of the closing panels is generally good though if one were being critical, the nearside door alignment is not quite perfect.
The chrome-work is in very good condition throughout though a European specification rear bumper wouldn’t go amiss – at least the American market oversized over-riders have been jettisoned and the effect is not unpleasant. The chrome wire wheels (five of) and their associated ‘Jaguar’ logo hub nuts are very presentable with no nasty scrapes or dings. A matched set of Michelin Sport tyres look to be about half worn. All the light lenses be they glass or plastic are in good, unmarked condition and the windscreen is free from chips or scratches.
What could possibly be the E-Type’s original vinyl hood appears to have suffered from simply being folded for most of its life; there is little wear or fading and the creasing evident may need nothing more than a few hours in the sun to relax the material and a little vinyl reviving product.
The interior is in great condition benefitting from the previously mentioned new carpets in black to match the just nicely lived-in leather seats. The dashboard is tidy and very well stocked though the passenger grab handle has a few scuffs to its leather covering – one hopes not from too much grabbing – and there is a small nick in the driver’s side sill cover as shown in the photo gallery. The leather rimmed, matt finish alloy spoked steering wheel is also in great condition and small enough (thanks to power assistance) to aid ingress and exit from the delightful cockpit. In the boot, part of the board covering the spare wheel has gone missing along with one or two bits of trim but these must surely fall into the category of ‘quick wins’.
Under the bonnet all is tidy, dry and well ordered; while not exactly A Series simple, it actually stuck us just how un-intimidating the classic Jaguar V12 power unit is when dressed with good ol’ carburettors and distributor ignition. Despite its more ‘traditional’ specification the engine fires easily from cold and on a mild winters day one can quickly dispense with the choke to allow the big V12 to settle into a smooth as polished silk (not sure you can actually polish silk) 700 RPM idle, burbling through those fabulous quad chromed tail pipes. Great oil pressure and no overheating issues – boxes ticked.
As mentioned, the underside looks solid as a rock with sharp seams and intact protective coatings suggesting the climate has indeed been kind to the Jaguar. Suspension components including Koni shock absorbers are also corrosion free and look to be in good order with much of their associated rubber components having been replaced having presumably suffered somewhat in the dry heat of California.
Parked in the watery winter sun, the E-Type does look a million dollars in its ever popular combination of red coachwork and black interior, chrome wires nicely filling the wheel arches in a way the earlier cars’ fail to do. Able to enjoy barrier free export to anywhere in Europe (for now at least!), it is even equipped with air conditioning for those based closer to The Mediterranean. With cars marketed at two and even three times this example’s eminently sensible reserve, we feel it offers a great opportunity for both enjoyable use and satisfying minor improvement.
Registration number: JRH 82L
Chassis Number: UEIS24144
Engine Number: 7S15027LB