How would you like to have a brand new Jaguar E-type in your garage?
If you're a fan of what some people have described as the most beautiful sports car ever built, and you have a very healthy bank balance, you could be the proud owner of, well, not a brand new one, but one that's as near-as-dammit in showroom condition.
Jaguar Classic is exhibiting its first 'reborn' E-type as this week's Techno-Classica Essen show in Germany. An initial batch of 10 comprehensively restored examples of the iconic British sports car are now offered for sale direct from the new Jaguar Land Rover Classic Works facility in the UK.
E-type Reborn offers people the unique opportunity to buy an original and highly collectible E-type direct from the vehicle’s original manufacturer. A first for Jaguar, it follows a similar programme introduced for Land Rover’s Series I and Range Rover Classic models, which are also on show at Essen.
Every E-type Reborn, which starts with a base vehicle sourced by Jaguar’s E-type experts, is completely restored according to the company’s original 1960s factory specification. Unique access to build records and original drawings held by the Jaguar Heritage Trust, and the team’s decades of experience in restoration up to concours-winning standard, ensure absolute authenticity. Jaguar Classic Parts are used throughout, to maximise the vehicle’s quality, longevity and collectability.
“The launch of E-type Reborn is a hugely exciting development for Jaguar Classic. The E-type is the most iconic sports car of all time, so we are delighted to be able to give new life to expertly selected examples for discerning customers around the world to own and enjoy,” said Tim Hannig, Director of Jaguar Land Rover Classic. “The resources and information available to Jaguar Classic’s expert technicians are unrivalled, which results in the most authentic E-type restorations possible.”
The first vehicle to go through the complete E-type Reborn process is an Opalescent Gunmetal Grey Series 1 4.2 Fixed Head Coupe. Originally exported to California in May 1965, the car recorded 125 000km before being stored in 1983. It retains its original matching numbers bodyshell, engine and gearbox, all of which have been completely rebuilt by Jaguar Classic technicians.
As much of the original vehicle as possible is retained or refurbished to correct specifications, while any safety-critical parts are replaced with new items from Jaguar Classic Parts. Body panels from Jaguar Classic’s reverse-engineered panel programme are fitted where necessary, to remove corrosion and restore the E-type’s sultry looks with the best fit possible. The E-type Reborn team’s meticulous attention to detail even extends to recreating the correct type of spot-welding when refitting those panels.
A number of upgrades from later E-types can be incorporated into the restoration process at extra cost, subject to the customer’s wishes, including improved cooling (using Lightweight E-type-derived parts), all-synchromesh gearbox (if not fitted to the vehicle originally), or Series 2 front brake calipers.
Prices for E-type Reborn restorations from Jaguar Classic are dependent on specification, starting from £285 000 (R4.8-million).
The Series 1 Jaguar E-type was produced from 1961 to 1968 in a choice of two in-line six-cylinder engines: a 3.8-litre and a 4.2. Its 241km/h top speed and 0-100km/h in 7.3 seconds were remarkable performance figures for its time, and combined with its stunning jet aircraft-inspired styling it became the most iconic sports car of its generation.
The car attracted star owners such as Steve McQueen, George Best, Brigitte Bardot and Frank Sinatra. Racing examples were successfully campaigned by drivers including F1 champions Graham Hill and Jackie Stewart.