Jaguar E-Type Celebrates its 60th Birthday

 

With COVID-19 lockdown restrictions still in place back in March, you may have missed a very important birthday across the classic motoring world. 

Jaguar E-type turned 60 on the 15th of March this year and the E-Type Club is hosting a truly spectacular event to celebrate the occasion.  

The E-Type 60 party is to take place on the 12th-13th June 2021 at the Shelsley Walsh Hill Climb in Worcestershire.  

Even more so, the E-Type Club has invited Mini Cooper to join in on the festivities, as it is also turning 60 this year. 

You can secure your tickets for the event here.

In the spirit of celebrating the magnificent motor that Jaguar E-Type is, we have found a great restoration story by one of our customers, Duncan, who was pleased for us to share it with you. 

Here’s the journey of his E-Type Jaguar coming to life: 

"I suppose I am probably a fairly typical classic car fan of a certain age. I was a teenager in the late 1970s and having grown up in Newport Pagnell on the same road as the Aston Martin factory, with every car they sent out on a test run having to pass our front door, I guess the 'brain washing' was inevitable. Before I could drive, I used to cycle the 15 miles or so to all sorts of meetings at Silverstone to watch what are now almost priceless classics being thrashed round the track and was determined that one day I would joint the owner's ranks.

Unfortunately reality hit as I got older and the cost of everyday life meant that it took a few years to realise my ambition!".

"For me, it has always been about the 'look' and 'feel' of a car rather than chasing the fastest acceleration or performance out of the latest engineering advance.  Like a lot of us, my 'fun' drives started with a TVR and whilst there have been several since, truth be told, I never really knew as much as I wanted to about the mechanics of a car.  To put this right, I had been in touch with a local mechanic (Tony the mad Moldovan) who had agreed to work with me on a project car and, when the bank account permitted, I made my move".

 "The car I chose was an E-Type and having researched 'drivability', I settled my search on a Series 2.  After some fun months spent looking, I finally found what I wanted - a roadster being sold by Toby Smith - ex of Jamiroquai and an all round top bloke who sadly left us far too young a year or so after he sold me the car"

"So... about the car.  It was a black 1970 Series 2 Roadster, imported from the US and with a believable 55,000 miles on the clock".

"Being from a warm State, it was largely rust free but it had had a small bump to the front fight and whilst it looked great at first glance, the reality was not so good!"

"The front frame had been very slightly knocked out of line, the odd dent had been badly filled and an earlier restoration and sill replacement, whilst solid, had been done horribly badly".

"Having been made for the Colonies, the steering wheel was on the wrong side!"

"Work commenced in late 2017 and with our time limited to weekends, I thought it would take about a year".

"I would shortly learn my first lesson about classic car restoration - how and where can you stop?"

"I had planned to devote our main efforts to sorting out the front frame, renewing the sills and overhauling the engine.  However, when we had stripped the car back, it became too tempting to attend to more and more jobs - which were much easier to deal with now the car was in pieces".

"So we rebuilt the front suspension, switched the steering, rebuilt the floor when sorting the sills out etc etc".

"Also, when I got the engine out, previously hidden parts of the engine bay revealed the original Willow Green livery which was way too tempting to ignore"

"So hours of prep ensued and a respray was duly booked". 

"Ultimately it became a case of - "now we've done so much, why stop here".  So we rebuilt the rear axel, renewed all of the fuel lines and replaced the original wiring loom for good measure".

"The truth is, I ended up competing very close to a full 'nut and bolt restoration'.  In fact I only stopped just short of the "full" job, because I still wanted the finished article to retain what I felt to be a reasonable amount of patina and originality, rather than look like a brand new car".

"After all, the old girl was approaching 50 years of age and I felt she needed to grow old gracefully rather than suffer the indignity of the automotive equivalent of botox, filler and silicone implants!".

"So... at the end of the day it took us a full two years to reveal the finished project - just in time for a 2019 trip to Turin to commemorate the 50th anniversary of The Italian Job.  I took the old girl for a couple of 50-100 mile dry runs, noted every little squeak, knock and issue I thought I could detect and attended to them as best I could. Then, with plenty of blind faith I filled her up with with 98 Ron petrol and set of for a 2,000 mile round trip.  I won't say I got round without a single hiccup but my previous 2 years of learning on the job definitely paid off and I made it home in one piece!  I certainly didn't  blow the bloody doors off!".

"More enthusiastic than ever the 'green machine' is now safely tucked away in a warm garage, having a well deserved rest and waiting for the next adventure".

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published