1972 E-Type Jaguar V12
We are often asked: “How long does a restored car stay looking good?” The answer is: “If it is looked after well, kept garaged and not driven in the worst of weathers, then indefinitely.” This Jaguar E Type Series 3 Fixed Head Coupe V12 is a case in point. We restored this car completely to the highest standards between 1987 and 1991.
Many years after it was finished, the owner wished to sell it and we found a good home for it. The current owner uses it regularly, including in the rain, and the last three photos in this sequence were taken in September 2006, fifteen years after the restoration was finished.
As you can see, it is still looking superb. We put the SU carburettors on for the new owner to replace the original Strombergs, which are not our favourite carbs, and to improve its overall performance. We also uprated the ignition and suspension systems. As a result it drives as well as it looks.
Initial strip down. The car actually didn’t look too bad from a distance but there was rust damage in all the usual E Type bodyshell places and the engine was tired. Some of the rust damage in the bonnet can be seen in this photo. The bonnet was actually renewed because the rust damage inside was so extensive and deep seated. The car in the background is an Alvis TC21 drophead having some major bodywork repairs.
A detail of the engine bay during the strip down process. The tubular subframe that is the front of the car forward of the bulkhead can clearly be seen. Those tubes were renewed as they are highly stressed and the old ones were not in excellent order. After much repair work to the rear and sill structures, the whole car was painted British Racing Green whilst mounted on a workshop trolley so the underside was sprayed as well. The braking system is here being assembled on the bulkhead.
The reconditioned engine was now installed. The engine bay got very full with all this fitted in so Jaguar had to turn the alternator round and mount it ahead of the engine - it was the only place left to put it! The new and sprayed bonnet is now fitted, as is the windscreen. The trim assembly now started. If memory serves me correctly, the little chrome trims around the headlight apertures on the bonnet were a swine of a job to get to fit right......
Rear view of the finished car, looking superb. (This and the next photos were taken in 1991) Front view of the finished car, showing that famous bonnet and also those little chrome trims round the headlight apertures that gave so much trouble.
Fifteen years later, in 2006, the E Type was still looking superb. The interior has been looked after well and still looks good 15 years after we finished.
The under bonnet view in 2006. Two of the four SU carburettors can be seen - they have certainly improved the response of the engine and made the car even nicer to drive.