We want this jaguar e-type roadster
Restored and converted to right-hand drive, this ex-Florida roadster looks good value.
This E-type has been fortunate to have lived much of its life in the more classic-friendly climate of Florida. The car was imported into the UK in 1997 and has covered 13,000 miles since then, bringing its total on the clock to 98,500.
Looking around it, you certainly wouldn’t think this Jag had covered the best part of 100k. That’s for two reasons. The car underwent a complete restoration (by Jaguar apprentices) and right-hand drive conversion, which was finished in 2004. There is a partial photographic record of this. In May 2014, the car was stripped and repainted again, this time in Signal Red, and the cockpit retrimmed in black leather. A new windscreen was also fitted. Consequently, I found very little to fault. The paint finish is consistent and swirl free, retaining a high-gloss finish. Looking down the ‘mouth’ and underneath reveals no discolouration or surface corrosion.
The smart click of the doors opening and shutting suggest the tub is straight, as does the fuss-free opening and closing of the huge bonnet. Its springs and hinges are clean. Reassuringly, shut lines to the big clamshell remain consistent along both sides. The long chrome strips and bumpers are free of pitting or discolouration. Likewise, headlight mountings are clean, smooth and bright. The MWS wire wheels (with EBC vented disc brakes behind) are in fine fettle – no corrosion or grime around spoke ends – and are shod in new-looking Pirelli Cinturato tyres.
Like the bodywork, that refurbished cabin is hard to fault, the only obvious anomaly being the faded hood cover. Seats are hardly broken in and the centre console armrest looks to have never felt an elbow. The only chips to the finish appear around the speedo mount and centre console ashtray. The hood is in good condition. An Aiwa stereo is the only non-period-looking item.
The car’s last owner (from 2006) was an engineer and his company – Yorkshire Engineering Services – looked after the car. There are receipts for a bush kit in 2015 as well as a universal joint. The engine bay suggests a vigilant attitude towards leaks, stains and the topping up of fluids, and no jubilee clips or screw heads show signs of corrosion or dirt. There is a pair of sizeable fans in the nose.
The straight-six fires up readily – helped by the high-torque starter motor and uprated distributor – and settles into an even idle. Those three SU carburettors – it’s been converted from US-market twin Strombergs to European spec – are working nicely in harmony.
The E-type doesn’t feel hugely quick, so perhaps it still has a US-spec low-compression head, but above all feels a well-sorted, balanced car on the road. Pedals are light and responsive and the motor pulls well enough, bringing in the power more strongly as the tacho needle arcs over 2000rpm. The smooth, progressive clutch and positive changes from the four-speed ’box are reassuring, while play-free steering inspires you to lean into the bends with confidence. None of the gauges threw up any warning signals, and there are no groans, whines or grinds from body or drivetrain during our test run on Yorkshire B-roads.
Though it may have a higher mileage that some, this repatriated example’s conscientious upkeep means it has many more miles still to drive and it is priced competitively.