Well, my heart has melted just a little bit. I can’t pretend that I’ve turned away from my fast car and my muscle car but seeing some of the restoration work being done at Tennyson James has rather turned my head.
And then I went to an auction. Oh dear. When you see a forlorn but lovely little car like this, what can you do? The rescue and restore impulse, it seems, fired my arm into action and somehow, when the hammer went down, I was the owner of this gorgeous 1974 V12 E-Type roadster.
The Jaguar E-Type is on my list of ultimate cars, of course, but I hadn’t expected to be quite so smitten. I don’t even aspire to own most of those vehicles. But she had that ‘look’. She’s a British classic, from the last year of production. All her chassis and parts numbers are matching so despite her dilapidated state she’s pretty much an original. Beneath that uncared for exterior I can see the glimmer of her glory days.
The days when Jaguar turned heads across the world with its beautiful lines, long, slender and low silhouette with soft curves and that flame-flick of a rear wing. When, powered by its magnificent V12 engine, and kept on course by its revolutionary road-holding independent rear suspension, it could and would beat the rest of the pack. And with a price ticket that was not as eye-watering as its Italian or German contemporaries.
Whilst her looks are still there, this latter is a sore point. E-types don’t come cheap these days, and especially not when you count the cost of making her go again. I’m aiming to have her restored over the course of this coming year. Besides bringing her bodywork back to gleaming condition, I will be upgrading all suspension and brakes and the engine will be rebuilt to a 500 BHP roaring monster. It’s blown the treats budget (and some), so visiting rights - days to see her being taken apart and put back together again – are now on the calendar as highdays and holidays. I can’t wait!
by James Cartwright at 5 Feb 2018, 00:00 AM