Hadlow, Kent - The 5.3-litre V12 engine Series III, built from 1971 to 1975, has long been the stepchild of the Jaguar E-Type family, partly because it was longer, wider and significantly heavier than its 4.2-litre predecessor, partly because of the rather unfortunate front styling forced on it by US road safety regulations, and partly because some purists say the only real E-Type is an XK-engined E-Type.
But there’s an upside to that: those same purists are less likely to cry ‘Blasphemy!’ if you throw originality to the winds and build a one-off bespoke restomod based on a Series III, creating one wealthy enthusiast’s dream E-Type.
And that’s exactly what E-Type UK has done with this 1974 left hand-drive example, starting with a total engine rebuild. The original 187kW 5.3-litre V12 was taken out to 6.1 litres, and its four Stromberg carburettors ditched in favour of a custom-made downdraught fuel-injection system using Jenvy throttle bodies, an Emerald ECU and a bespoke wiring loom, topped off with 12 specially made velocity stacks.
In place of the original exhaust manifolds, there are two stainless-steel ‘banana branch’ header sets with Zirtec coating, and the rebuilt engine drives the original rear end via a completely new five-speed gearbox, delivering a measured 212kW at the back wheels.
The inner sills of the tub were stiffened to deal with the extra power, a sports steering rack fitted for a heavier feel, along with adjustable suspension, sports torsion bars all round and four-piston AP Racing brakes behind a set of custom-laced 62-spoked Turino wire wheels with 16 inch aluminium rims.
All the bumpers - the worst feature of the original Series III - were replaced with smaller, more elegant, handmade and polished stainless-steel components.
Inside, the the seat rails were lowered so that customised seats from a Jaguar XKS - compete with seat heating! - would fit into the cockpit, which was trimmed throughout in leather, with a piano black dashboard featuring a start button backlit in red and a full surround sound audio system, linked to an iPod by Bluetooth.
All the lighting inside and out was replaced with LEDs, including daytime running lights (which should really have the anoraks frothing at the mouth) footwell lighting and door flood lighting.
The brief was to create a unique car, combining classic styling with modern-day performance and convenience. It took 3000 hours of labour to build and cost a fortune; whether you think it was worth it, is up to you.