When it comes to iconic Jaguars, few cars set the heart pumping more than the E-type. Built between 1961 and 1975, the E-type was a masterful combination of beauty and high performance at a competitive price that established the model as an icon of the motoring world.
Nine-time Le Mans winner Enzo Ferrari famously labelled it as “the most beautiful car ever made” and now, ten first-generation models have been comprehensively restored as part of Jaguar Classic’s Reborn initiative.
What goes into the restoration process?
Lots of time and effort, as you’d expect.
It all starts when Jaguar’s E-type experts source a base vehicle from the 38,000-plus Series 1 models that were produced between 1961-68.
A dedicated team of restorers then set about bringing the car back to its original 1960s factory specification by using build records and original drawings stored by the Jaguar Heritage Trust.
This ensures that each model is restored ‘up to concours-winning standard’.
Who carries out the restoration work?
The Coventry-based Jaguar Land Rover Classic Works team, which is made up of 130 engineers, graduates and apprentices.
They’ve previously been keeping themselves busy restoring original 1978 Range Rovers at £135,000 a pop.
How does the finished article fare?
Very well, to the point that it would hold its own against not just any boxfresh E-type but also most modern sports cars.
Under the bonnet is either a 3.8 or 4.2-litre straight-six rear-wheel drive, mated to a four-speed manual gearbox. This unit pumps out 265bhp to get the car up to 60mph in seven seconds with a top speed of 150mph.
Body panels from Jaguar Classic’s reverse-engineered panel programme are fitted where necessary to get rid of corrosion and restore the E-type’s iconic looks with the best fit possible. So meticulous is the team that they recreate the correct type of spot-welding when refitting the panels.
What do the honchos at JLR have to say?
Tim Hannig, director of Jaguar Land Rover Classic, labelled the launch of E-type Reborn as “a hugely exciting development”.
He added: “The resources and information available to Jaguar Classic’s expert technicians are unrivalled, which results in the most authentic E-type restorations possible.”
Where can I see one in the metal?
The first E-type Reborn, a 1965 Series 1 Fixed Head Coupe 4.2, made its world debut at Germany’s Techno Classica Essen show in early April.
Shut up and take my money!
Okay, that will be £285,000 please.
If you fancy paying more, a number of upgrades from later E-types can be added at extra cost including improved cooling (using Lightweight E-type-derived parts), an all-synchromesh gearbox (if not fitted to the vehicle originally) or front brake calipers from Series 2 models.