Chasing my dream
Like many car enthusiasts I have always been attracted to the flowing sensual lines of the E-Type Jaguar. Since I was a boy the E-Type has been an icon of highly desirable motoring that was always out of my reach, way too expensive and exotic to be a reality in my garage. Over the years the occasional glimpse of an E-Type Jaguar, quietly purring along the highway, gracing the lawns of a car show or blasting around the race track was enough to stir my imagination and desire to be an owner and not just an observer.
In 2000 I purchased and restored my first classic Jaguar, an XJ12C, a rare V12 powered coupe version of the popular series II XJ saloon. Full details can be found at my Jaguar XJC web pages. It was a magnificent car and further stirred my desire to own what I consider to be the ultimate collectible and useable Jaguar..... the E-Type.
First I had to decide which model E-Type to buy
Roadster, coupe or 2+2? Series I, II or III, 6 cylinder or V12, manual or auto? Budget was an important criteria along with suitability for regular use, good road manners and comfort. I settled on a 2+2 Coupe because they provide the best interior room, reasonable storage space and comfortable all season motoring, while fitting into a reasonable price bracket. I looked at series I & II fixed head coupes and was very surprised how cramped their interior was and how difficult they are to get in and out of. The short doors and low roof line makes for a very confined passenger area when compared to the more spacious 2+2 which has a longer wheelbase and doors. The roadster, while being the most desirable, was a lot more expensive and well beyond my budget. Roadsters can achieve prices of around 40% to 60% more than a 2+2 Coupe, in the equivalent condition.
The series III E-Type also attracted me because of its more aggressive profile provided by the flared guards, wider wheels and wider track than the earlier cars. In comparison the series I and II cars look fragile and unstable when viewed from the front or rear. The series III also provides a more comfortable ride, better brakes and the sophistication of power steering and a smooth changing three sspeed auto. Selecting the E-Type that suits you is a very personal choice but I am very pleased with my choice.
Then there is that magnificent V12 engine that powers the series III E-Type! My previous Jaguar XJC was also powered by the same engine and I am a big fan of the silky smooth performance provided by Jaguar’s all alloy twelve cylinder marvel. It’s relatively easy to maintain and as long as it is serviced correctly the V12 is almost indestructible and will provide very reliable service for a couple of hundred thousand kilometres before potentially requiring attention. In fact the V12 easily outlasts Jaguar’s six cylinder engine.
I wanted a comfortable, well equipped, smooth riding gentleman’s sports car and that’s pretty much what you get with the series III version of the E-Type. Some people prefer the original classic lines of the series I and II but for me it was definitely the more aggressive looking V12 powered 2+2.