- 1962 Jaguar E-type 3.8 FHC
- Supplied new to Jaguar Cars New York
- Fully restored by leading marque specialist
- Opalescent Dark Blue
This Jaguar E-type Series 1 3.8 fixed-head coupé was fully rebuilt between 2017 and 2019 at a cost of more than £130,000, and it has been used sparingly since then. As a result, it is in superb condition.
Built on 13 December 1962, chassis number 887866 left the Browns Lane factory as a left-hand-drive E-type bound for the US East Coast distributor, Jaguar Cars New York. It was dispatched on 2 January 1963 finished in Carmen Red with black interior, and the Heritage Certificate that is supplied in the car’s history file notes that it was fitted with engine number R9402-9 and body number V4910.
The E-type remained in the USA until 2017, by which time it had spent a number of years in storage. It was then brought back to the UK by well-known E-type specialist The Splined Hub, and the company embarked on a complete restoration for the car’s new owner, with the brief being to rebuild it as close to original specification as possible.
The body was stripped to bare metal and all necessary repairs carried out before it was repainted in Opalescent Dark Blue – one of few deviations from how the car left the factory, but a colour that was an option on the 3.8 E-type in period. The engine was rebuilt to standard specification, as was the gearbox, and a new clutch assembly fitted.
As is standard practice for The Splined Hub’s restorations, all suspension components were re-plated, powder-coated or painted as appropriate, and new standard-hardness bushes were fitted along with new dampers.
The cradle for the independent rear suspension was stripped and powder-coated, and new springs and dampers used. The brakes were uprated via the use of four-pot front calipers – a sensible upgrade for modern use given the E-type’s performance – and braided steel brake hoses were used throughout. The only other modifications are electronic ignition and a Bluetooth amplifier that is hidden away so that the interior retains its original appearance.
For many enthusiasts, the Series 1 FHC is the best-looking of all E-types, and this example – now proudly offered for sale by the Classic Motor Hub – presents beautifully as a result of its painstaking restoration.
Launched at the 1961 Geneva Motor Show, the Jaguar E-type owed much to the famous Le Mans-winning D-type of the 1950s. Both cars were designed by aerodynamicist Malcolm Sayer, who had previously worked at the Bristol Aeroplane Company. He devised a central monocoque structure – referred to as the ‘fuselage’ by some of Jaguar’s top brass during development – to which was added a front subframe for the engine.
But while the D-type had used a live rear axle, independent suspension was used all round on the E-type, which was introduced with the 3.8-litre, triple-carburettor, straight-six engine from the outgoing XK 150 S. Its performance was astonishing for a car that cost far less than the equivalent Aston Martin or Ferrari. A pre-production FHC was lent to The Autocar for its road-test, and the magazine famously achieved a two-way average of just over 150mph.
Put that sort of performance with the E-type’s styling and it was clear that Jaguar was on to a winner. Bill Boddy wrote in Motor Sport that: ‘The E-type is a staggering motor car on all counts; safety, acceleration, speed, equipment, appearance – all are there, for a basic price of only £1,480.’
Production of the roadster and FHC slowly ramped up through 1961, with early cars also scoring some notable competition success. In 1962, the ‘flat floors’ were replaced in order to provide more room in the foot well, 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.
In 1966, a 2+2 model was added to the range, and the Series 1 lived on until 1968, when it morphed into the facelifted Series 2. A more fundamental change came in 1971 with the addition of a V12 engine for the Series III, and the E-type lived on until 1975, when it was replaced by the XJ-S.