Originally configured as a left hand drive roadster, this Series 3 was first supplied to the British Leyland distributor in New York on 19th January 1973, having come off the Browns Lane production line on 10th November 1972. The Heritage Certificate on file confirms this information and that its original colour scheme was ‘Primrose’ paintwork teamed with black trim, a combination it still sports today. Repatriated to the UK by renowned specialists ‘The E-Type Centre’ and registered in November 1998 the Jaguar has had just one private owner since then. No ‘quick flip’, the E-Type Centre’s workshop diligently went through the car effectively converting it to right hand drive UK specification.
Fast forward to 2006 and somewhat unhappy with the E-Type’s performance, the owner entrusted it to Jaguar specialists Watjag of Bakewell who after diligent investigation work recommended an engine rebuild be undertaken. One hundred and sixty-five hours and £12,000 later the V12 was once again purring as it should with new pistons (balanced with their rods), liners, valves, guides, bearings (just +10 on the crankshaft) and a myriad of other bits and pieces all nicely run-in. The work is extensively documented in the Jaguar’s history file – well worth a read.
With twelve new spark plugs recently fitted, the engine fires easily from cold and the choke could be quickly dispensed with allowing the big V12 to settle into a smooth as polished silk (not sure you can actually polish silk) 600 RPM idle, burbling through those fabulous quad chromed tail pipes. Though not warmed up, the engine’s oil pressure was showing as a reassuring 60 PSI. With a new clutch fitted at the time of the engine rebuild, it bites positively and early in the pedal’s travel while the gearbox engages smoothly with no untoward noises. The impression is of a mechanically sound machine that has ‘had the money spent on it’ already and we would have no qualms encouraging anyone to test this for themselves.
Paintwork is in great condition with a very nice finish.
Being for the most part relatively new, the chrome-work is in very good condition throughout with no dullness or pitting evident. The surround to the radiator air intake has picked up one or two dents along the way but all the other bright-work seems straight and true.
The chrome wire wheels (five of) and their associated ‘Jaguar’ logo hub nuts are very presentable with no nasty scrapes or dings while the light lenses be they glass or plastic are in good, unmarked condition and the windscreen is free from chips or scratches.
A top quality cloth hood (or roof if you prefer) is fitted and appears to have spent the majority of its life folded away under its canvas cover; there is no wear or fading evident and the very slight creasing to the rear window may need nothing more than a few hours in the sun to relax it.
The interior is in pretty much universally great condition with very good black carpeting to match the nicely ‘lived-in’ perforated leather seats which are supple and un-cracked but perhaps getting towards benefitting from some hide feed. The centre arm rest has dried out a little more and its need for feed is more urgent. There is a slight nick to the back of the driver’s seat caused by unobservant stowing of the hood.
The factory leather rimmed, matt finish alloy spoked steering wheel is also in great condition and small enough (thanks to power assistance) to aid ingress and exit from the delightful cockpit. The boot trim, boards and spare wheel are all in place along with the wheel spinner spanner.
Since its return to the UK, the Jaguar has had consistent but limited use, covering 400 to 500 miles per year, though it has been consistently MOT tested and has recorded an impressive eleven straight advisory free passes since 2006. Please note that the Personalised Registration number on the Jaguar is being sold with the car.