The most recognized English sports car of the 1960s, the Jaguar E-Type continues to impress consumers some 54 years after its launch in 1961. Following the great success of the XK140 and XK150, the E-Type on the surface was a drastic change to Jaguar’s former line up. Designed by Malcolm Sayer, the E-Type was aimed to “cheat the wind” using complex formulas combined with Malcolm’s uncanny eye for aerodynamics. A true testament to its design beauty would be Enzo Ferrari’s commenting “it was the most beautiful car he had ever seen.”
The E-Type would bring many great technological advancements, previously unheard of in the sports car field. Using an independent rear suspension, handling greatly improved; while power assisted 4 wheel disk brakes would enhance breaking on the street, and the track. The body, a stressed steel monoque was developed on the Jaguar D Type racecar, and something radically different from anything the competition had ever seen.
The 3.8 liter 6 cylinder power plant was carried over from the XK150, however now would now feature 3 2” SU carburetors producing 265 horsepower at 5,500 rpm, an option only available prior on the XK150S. Mated to a lighter body than the XK150, top speed was an impressive 150 mph, with 0-60mph acceleration in an unprecedented 6.8 seconds. Matched with the Moss four-speed gearbox, despite a non-synchromesh first gear, it did come standard with a limited slip differential. The E-Type would continue to evolve, and in 1965 would receive a larger 4.2 liter 6 cylinder engine, as well as fully synchromesh gearbox making shifting easier.
However it would not be until late 1968 that these cars would receive any obvious design changes. These cars would become known as Series II, as U.S. specifications would force Jaguar to put an end to covered headlights, as well as enlarge turn indicators, now positioned beneath the bumpers. These are details one may not notice without studying the two side by side. Series II cars, have the advantage of a larger air intake, with dual electric fans as well as larger water pump, all welcomed upgrade on hot summer days. They also benefitted from larger Girling brakes, sporting three piston calipers in the front, and two piston calipers on the rear, greatly increasing stopping ability.
The E-Type OTS or “Open Two Seater” offered here, has records covering the last 24 years, beginning with car collector Albert R. Pincus, whom upon acquisition preformed a cosmetic restoration during the early 1990s. With a mixture of receipts and personal notes, Mr. Pincus outlines figures for the restoration of the E-Type including a re-paint, replating of chrome, new wire wheels and tires, as well as new top, interior plus restoration of seats and dashboard. Records go on to note regular maintenance, including oil changes, brake jobs, and replacement minor components. Twelve years later through his ownership, records show a mere 1,286 miles covered, Mr. Pincus continued to drive the car sparingly.
In March of 2010 this E-Type was traded to it’s next custodian and shortly there after was frequently taken to marque specialists, Ragtops and Roadsters of Perkasie, PA. Which lead initially to a great deal of front end work. A poor master cylinder and brake booster were replaced, while the steering rack was removed before installing a rebuilt unit, with all new mounts. Following this, the right front suspension was removed, replacing an a arm bushings, ball joints, bearings, and sway bar bushings, while the left front suspension received new control arm bushings. Both front left and right wheel bearings were replaced, alleviating this from a future concern, and restoring the E-Types handling to that they are known for.
Carburetors were removed and re-built, while all new exhaust mounts were installed with new down pipe studs were fitted. Timing was checked and adjusted, while replacing a bad firewall throttle bushing, while other items were corrected, such as the section of crunched fuel line, and semi seized up the gas pedal pivot. The seats were then pulled, showing installing missing spacers, while seatbelts were installed, and seat brackets were made to fit the car. Later that season, the voltage regulator was replaced, while also replacing brake canister. After three years of enjoyment, the car would switch hands to its current owner.
Upon acquiring this numbers matching E-Type, the new owner chose to enhance drive ability, by upgrading the stock 4-speed gearbox with a 5-speed gearbox, at a cost of just under $5,000.00. Converted by Rag Tops and Roadsters, the original gear box is included in the sale. During the conversion, the exhaust was dropped with new modified transmission mount installed to fit the 5-speed, with everything looked over underneath.
Following this conversion, a new windshield with new rubber surrounds was fitted to the car, adding to the cars overall clean appearance. Wanting a more than presentable driver, the current owner next commissioned a full mechanical restoration to ensure it would be a reliable turnkey tourer. Receipts show over $35,000.00 in recent mechanical work done by Ragtops and Roadsters. All parts were re-painted prior to be re-installed, and shows wonderfully beneath the bonnet. In our opinion, this car greatly benefits from having a known history with primarily one shop, knowing this car inside and out. Describing this as an engine rebuild hardly encompasses the work completed. Every last item was tended to in detail. The head was completely rebuilt with new valves, guides, and resurfaced head. The pistons, rods and crank were all blue printed and re-assembled as new. A new timing chain assembly, water pump, rebuilt carburetors, total cooling system restoration, and electrical system overhauled and dialed in to as perfect. Receipts are present for all of the work which was indeed comprehensive addressing every last aspect of the cars drive train. Additionally the suspension and braking systems were further tended to while in the hands of Ragtops and Roadsters with yet again no expense spared. Needless to say this car is easily that of a concours perfect car mechanically with every last nut and bolt gone over. Under the bonnet is exactly as one would hope and resembling well over $35,000 worth of work.
As you approach this E-Type, you immediately recognize the classic shape of this roadster. Paint shows well from several feet away, however up close you will notice cracking, in some places more apparent that others. The nose and most vulnerable part of this E-Type show minor touchups only on the lower edge of the air intake, not visible unless below the bonnet. We noted very few chips from road use, not having been driven a great distance under its three former owners. Under close inspection one will notice chipping around the edge of the bonnet where it meets the body, however any chips have been touched up, making them significantly less noticeable. Bonnet gap is good, which is a challenge on any E-Type while the door gap is very good on this example. with on minor chipping along the body. Panel fit of the doors is average, with front bottom corner of the driver’s door having a slight flair. Driver’s doorsill has small chips, touched up making them less noticeable, while there are traces of glue from rubber door seal, which can be easily corrected.
Chrome shows nicely considering the age, however, it does suffer from scratch marks in places. Wire wheels are in excellent condition, really shine, making this example particularly stand out. The convertible top has no rips or tears, and has a clear rear window showing no signs of over exposure to the sun. The top is also vinyl rather than canvas. Overall the car shows nicely, and will make a wonderful driver one can be comfortable enjoying and putting some miles on.
The interior is very nice with seats showing no sign of age or real use. All correct gauges and rocker switches are present throughout and work as they should. Panel lights three setting function as they should depending on your preference, while rear interior light can be switched on for further illumination for occupants. Should you desire something other than the distinctive exhaust note of an E-Type, this roadster is equipped with an Alpine sound system, with speakers discretely hidden. The Moto-Lita wood steering wheel with steel inserts adds a classic touch, and makes for a much easier drive from the standpoint of a car that is tobe driven.
Underneath the bonnet, the engine bay is immaculate. Everything is painted correctly, and all rubber components and hoses have been replaced, as have wires, and hood struts, all the way down to the battery cables. Exhaust manifolds porcelain is nearly flawless, and the engine bay greatly exceeds the outer condition of the car in our opinion. Twin Stromberg carburetors are present and shining, as is the correct oil dipstick reminding you to “stop engine and wait 1 minute” before checking your oil level.
Driving this car is a pure joy. It starts easily, idles nicely, and behaves as near perfect as one could hope for in a totally restored (mechanically) E-Type. Shifting through the gears with great ease, all 5-speeds are a nice thing to have. The clutch is new and works very well. Fifth gear makes a wonderful option for touring and weekend driving, while also making it a much more desirable car to take on the expressway. The brakes are properly adjusted, and the steering is also as it should be. Overall, there is no room for fault in the operation of this example, through and through.
Many E-Types are available on the open market, and with prices on the rise the Series II roadster offers an attractive opportunity to still enjoy the E-Type experience for less than 6-figures. With nearly $50K spent in the past 5 years on this example bringing it totally current, the cosmetics allow for additional room of improvement if the next owner decides. In the mean time however, it is very inviting as an opportunity for the sporting enthusiast to acquire an E-type worth driving.
Available Documentation: (Click on the links below to view the file)