THE JAGUAR E-TYPE
When introduced at the 1961 Geneva Salon, Jaguar’s E-Type stirred passions with its extremely sleek and timeless design backed by staggering performance. The newcomer’s design owed much to that of the racing D-Type. Indeed, the E-Type would be one of the last great sports cars developed directly from a successful competition ancestor.
Just as in the D-Type, a monocoque tub formed the main body/chassis structure while a tubular spaceframe extended forwards to support the engine. The latter was the same 3.8-liter, triple-carbureted, ‘S’ unit first offered as an option on the preceding XK150. With a claimed 265 horsepower on tap, the E-Type’s performance furthered the standards set by the preceding XK models: firstly, because it weighed around 500lbs less than the XK150 and secondly because aerodynamicist Malcolm Sayer used experience gained with the D-Type to create one of the most elegant and efficient shapes ever to grace a motor car.
Developed from that of the original XK120 sports car and refined in the racing D-Type, the double wishbone, independent front suspension was mounted on the forward sub frame. At the rear the E-Type’s suspension broke new ground for a large-capacity sports car, being independent at a time when most of its major rivals relied on the traditional live rear axle. Dunlop disc brakes were fitted to all four wheels; those at the rear being mounted inboard alongside the differential to reduce un-sprung weight.
Often called the most beautiful production car of all time, the E-Type remains an automotive icon of design, engineering and speed.
A very special E-Type
The example here is a late, 3.8-liter example of the classic first-generation E-Type, incorporating all of the early production run improvements made, including the improved seats and extended leg room. Finished at the Browns Lane Jaguar factory in April of 1964, this car was built in the Roadster form – or Open Two Seater as they would be referred to – equipped with a left-hand drive steering arrangement, and finished in Opalescent Golden Sand exterior color over a light tan interior with French Grey weather equipment. The E-Type Roadster was slotted for North American delivery, and was dispatched to Jaguar Cars New York in May of 1964.
This lovely first-series E-Type was sold new through Jaguar Cars New York to E. Gilman, as per its Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust Certificate, which accompanies the car. It has remained on the East Coast in Massachusetts and Connecticut.
A meticulous restoration was undertaken by Motorcars Incorporated and every part was either rebuilt or restored. The restoration was overseen by Dean Cusano, who has over a dozen years of experience as a JCNA and JANE Concours judge. He discovered that all of the components had the correct date stamps and factory markings, proving beyond doubt that all of the components, such as the original factory generator housing, windows, side glass, headlight glass, etc. were original to the car.
The drivetrain was rebuilt along with the brakes, suspension, electricals, relays, and motors. The work was carried out in-house by Motorcars Incorporated’s dedicated team. Only a few specific items were sent out for restoration – the original gauges went to Nisonger’s Gauges and Instruments in Long Island, New York and the original Moss 4-speed gearbox was rebuilt by Quantum Mechanics in Derby, Connecticut.
Where original components were missing, such as hose clamps, small brackets and washers, Dean sourced old stock items or the best reproduction units to replace them, so that all hardware is now as it left the factory. As an example of Motorcars Incorporated’s attention to detail, the heater box, carb bodies, intake manifold, and inner fender wells are restored in the correct satin black, instead of the gloss black that most restorers favour. Details like factory stickers for the air cleaner, brake booster, and other accessories were attended to, and the owner’s manual, grease gun, jack with storage bag, and knock-off hammer are included along with an extensive file of receipts and documentation.
The original hardtop is still with the car and is still wearing it’s original factory paint. Recent chrome wire wheels replete with the correct original equipment Dunlop RS6 bias-ply tires in whitewall, add to the dashing appearance. According to Cusano, the most challenging part of the restoration was mounting the original mudshields and inner fender wells, using the exact mounting places and original hardware in all locations. The finished result of perfectly lined up parts is testament to the care and time that the team spent on the restoration.
Motorcars Incorporated completed the car in time for the 2017 Concours season, and the car won four first places including Best in Class at the Lime Rock Park Concours d’Elegance 2017, First in Class at the National JCNA Concours in Sturbridge, MA in August and Best of British at the Art in Motion Concours D’Elegance at Monticello in October.
E-Type restoration expert Dean Cusano is also a successful racer and national champion autocrosser. He has set up the car properly and tested it over 500 miles on road and track.
The car did 3 rallyes and a couple of tours to sort and fettle it into perfect roadworthiness. Then it did about an hour of hot laps at Monticello Racetrack on its original specification Dunlop bias ply tires. His outing in it at Monticello confirmed that the car behaves on track and handles like a proper early E-type should, with a well balanced chassis and forgiving handling.
Used sparingly and restored to JCNA National First Place award winning level, this Jaguar was prepared with the intention of competing with the best. Whether cruising or showing, this stunning Jaguar is sure to make an impression.
Motorcars Incorporated is located at 333 Cooke Street in Plainville Connecticut. They are having an open day and car show Saturday April 28th, 2018 1-4pm. www.MotorCarsInc.com