• 1964 Jaguar E-type Series 1 FHC
• Ex-Ron Modell and Neil Corner
• More than £170,000 spent on full restoration
• Presented in its original colour combination
• Getrag five-speed gearbox – original Moss ’box included
Previously owned by Jaguar collector Ron Modell and motoring aficionado Neil Corner, this Jaguar E-type fixed-head coupé is a late example of the 3.8-litre Series 1. Chassis number 861664 was built on 21 April 1964 – from October of that year, the Series 1 would be fitted with an enlarged 4.2-litre version of the straight-six engine.
The accompanying Heritage Certificate notes that the E-type was finished in Opalescent Silver Blue with a Dark Blue interior. An original right-hand-drive UK car, it was dispatched from the Browns Lane factory on 25 April 1964 and supplied via PJ Evans in Birmingham to its first owner – a Mr WJ Whale, who was based in nearby Sutton Coldfield.
The Jaguar’s second owner kept it until July 1982, when it was sold to Ron Modell. Over the course of the next 25 years, more than £170,000 was spent making the E-type perfect. Finally completed in 2010, the restoration process utilised some of the most well-respected specialists in the classic Jaguar world. The bodywork was entrusted to Martin Robey, who carried out a bare-metal respray at a cost of more than £20,000, while Guy Broad rebuilt the engine (RA6692-9) to fast-road specification. This included 10:1 forged pistons, plus a gas-flowed, ported and polished cylinder head.
Lightweight competition valves were used, along with D-type camshafts, the valve springs were uprated, and a fully balanced flywheel, clutch, con-rods and crankshaft were fitted. The straight-six also benefits from electronic ignition and a high-flow oil pump, and the paperwork notes that it was built ‘to show finish’, while the exhaust has been ceramic-coated.
A Getrag five-speed gearbox was also specified. This is a popular conversion among enthusiastic E-type owners and makes the car a much more usable proposition in modern conditions. The original Moss gearbox (EB 14621 JS) was retained and is being sold with the car.
After Modell had sadly passed away, the E-type was acquired by Neil Corner at Bonhams’ Goodwood Festival of Speed sale in 2015. It’s therefore had only four owners in almost 60 years, and retains its original colour combination. There are discreet BRDC badges on the front wings – Corner is a lifetime member – and its chrome wire wheels are shod with Pirelli tyres.
Now being offered for sale by the Classic Motor Hub, this is an exceptional example of the E-type Series 1 3.8 FHC and would be equally well-suited to fast touring as it would to being displayed on the finest concours lawns.
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. Its latest model repeated the XK’s intoxicating blend of performance and elegance – and at a much lower price than the few cars that could match it in either area.
Famed aerodynamicist Malcolm Sayer came up with one of the most beautiful automotive shapes of all time, and at a time when 100mph was still a significant figure, the E-type offered 150mph performance from its triple-carburettor, 265bhp, 3.8-litre straight-six engine.
It really was the ultimate development of a bloodline that started with the XK 120 and continued via the legendary D-type sport-racing car. Beneath the skin, in fact, the E-type owed much to the Le Mans-winning D-type. It used a monocoque centre section with a subframe carrying the engine and front suspension. At the rear, independent suspension was fitted at a time when many of Jaguar’s rivals still employed a traditional live axle. 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.
Production was slow to get under way during 1961 – only 342 cars, for example, were built that year for the UK market – but thereafter modifications came thick and fast. The E-type was offered as both a roadster and a fixed-head coupé, and in 1964 the 3.8-litre engine was enlarged to 4.2 litres. At the same time, Jaguar’s own all-synchromesh four-speed gearbox replaced the original Moss unit.
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 the run in 1975, when the model was replaced by the XJ-S.