- 1963 Jaguar E-type Series 1 3.8 FHC
- Recently restored at a cost of more than £100,000
- Five-speed gearbox conversion
- Upgraded cooling system and brakes
Having covered less than 4000 miles since undergoing a comprehensive restoration, this beautifully presented Jaguar E-type Series 1 is now nicely run-in and ready to be enjoyed by its next owner.
Chassis number 888791 was built on 5 June 1963 as a left-hand-drive fixed-head coupé and dispatched to New York on 14 June. It was finished in Opalescent Golden Sand with Tan interior, and its first owner was recorded as being RL Mytincer.
Paperwork in the history file shows that the E-type was in Virginia by 1980 and it was still there in 2013. Two years later, it was sold to Northern Jaguar in Harrogate and shipped back across the Atlantic. In January 2016, it then passed to a new owner in south-east England.
The Jaguar was in need of a complete rebuild, which took place over the next few years. The E-type was stripped all the way back to a bare shell and the cost of the bodywork restoration alone was more than £40,000.
The 3.8-litre six-cylinder engine was rebuilt by renowned specialist Classic Motor Cars in Bridgnorth and the standard four-speed Moss gearbox was replaced by a five-speed unit – a popular and sensible modification among E-type owners.
The braking system was also upgraded, as were the cooling system and fuel pump, and a smaller steering wheel was fitted. An immobiliser was installed and the car’s electrical system was converted to negative earth.
The interior was fully retrimmed in dark red leather and a right-hand-drive conversion was carried out, and the owner even went to the trouble of putting together a full tool kit.
All of the invoices from the rebuild have been retained in the substantial history file, and there is also an extensive photographic record of the work. More than £100,000 was spent on the bodywork, engine, interior and chrome – a total that doesn’t include further expenditure such as the new brakes and wheels.
The 3.8-litre Series 1 FHC is one of the most desirable variants from throughout the Jaguar E-type’s long production run, and this car is offered for sale in exceptional condition thanks to its painstaking restoration. With a series of well-chosen modifications, it is now perfectly suited to the sort of fast touring for which the E-type was always intended.
Having stunned the motoring world in 1948 with the introduction of the XK 120, Jaguar did it again when it launched the E-type at the 1961 Geneva Motor Show. Beneath its beautifully curvaceous Malcolm Sayer-designed bodywork was a layout that owed much to the Le Mans-winning D-type.
That car’s layout of a central monocoque structure with a front subframe for the engine was retained for the E-type, which replaced the D-type’s live rear axle with independent suspension all round. With the marque having pioneered the use of disc brakes in the early 1950s, it came as no surprise that the E-type featured them on all four wheels.
The new model was introduced with the 3.8-litre, triple-carburettor, straight-six engine from the outgoing XK 150 S and early road tests produced a sensational top speed of 150mph – at a time when 100mph was still a significant figure.
When John Bolster tested a pre-production E-type for Autosport, he wrote that it was ‘capable of whispering along in top gear at 10mph or leaping into its 150mph stride on the brief depression of a pedal. A practical touring car, this… yet it has a sheer beauty of line which easily beats the Italians at their own particular game.’
Production of the roadster and FHC slowly ramped up through 1961, with early cars also scoring some notable competition success. Updates came thick and fast as Jaguar struggled to keep up with demand. In 1962, the ‘flat floors’ were modified in order to provide the driver with more room around the pedals, and in late 1964 the engine was enlarged to 4.2 litres. At the same time, a Jaguar gearbox with synchromesh on all four speeds replaced the previous Moss gearbox.
A long-wheelbase 2+2 model was added to the range in 1966, and the heavily revised Series 2 followed in 1968. The V12-engined Series 3 then took the E-type through to the end of its run in 1975, when the model was replaced by the XJ-S.