Jaguar E-Type Series 1 4.2 FHC RHD
Chassis 1E 20962
Registration GVU 298D
Body No 4E 22955
Engine No 7E 6014-8
Gearbox EJ 5057
Year of Manufacture 1.4.66
** Matching numbers ** Original RHD Car
The Series 1 was introduced, initially for export only, in March 1961. The domestic market launch came four months later in July 1961. The cars at this time used the triple SU Carburetted 3.8 litre six-cylinder Jaguar XK6 engine from the XK150S. Earlier built cars utilised external bonnet latches which required a tool to open and had a flat floor design. These cars are rare and more valuable. After that, the floors were dished to provide more leg room and the twin hood latches moved to inside the car. The 3.8-litre engine was increased to 4.2 litres in October 1964.
The 4.2-litre engine produced the same power as the 3.8-litre (265 bhp;198 kW) and same top speed (150 mph;240 km/h0), but increased torque from 240 to 283 lb·ft (325 to 384 N·m). Acceleration remained pretty much the same and 0 to 60 mph (0 to 97 km/h) times were around 7.0 seconds for both engines, but maximum power was now reached at 5,400rpm instead of 5,500rpm on the 3.8-litre. That all meant better throttle response for drivers that did not want to shift down gears.
All E-Types featured independent coil spring rear suspension with torsion bar front ends, and four wheel disc brakes, in-board at the rear, all were power-assisted. Jaguar was one of the first vehicle manufacturers to equip cars with disc brakes as standard from the XK150 in 1958. The Series 1 can be recognised by glass-covered headlights (up to 1967), small "mouth" opening at the front, signal lights and tail-lights above bumpers and exhaust tips under the number plate in the rear.
3.8-litre cars have leather-upholstered bucket seats, an aluminium-trimmed centre instrument panel and console (changed to vinyl and leather in 1963), and a Moss four-speed gearbox that lacks synchromesh for first gear ("Moss box"). 4.2-litre cars have more comfortable seats, improved brakes and electrical systems, and an all-synchromesh four-speed gearbox. 4.2-litre cars also have a badge on the boot proclaiming "Jaguar 4.2 Litre E-Type" (3.8 cars have a simple "Jaguar" badge). Optional extras included chrome spoken wheels and a detachable hard top for the OTS. When leaving the factory the car originally fitted Dunlop 6.40 × 15 inch RS5 tyres on 15 × 5K wire wheels (with the rear fitting 15 × 5K½ wheels supplied with racing tyres). However the 4.2 Fixed-head Coupé fitted Dunlop 6.40 × 16 RS5 tyres and the 4.2 2 + 2 Automatic fitting SP41 185 − 15 tyres. Later Series One E-types fitted Pirelli Cintuato as an original tyre option.
A 2+2 version of the coupé was added in 1966. The 2+2 offered the option of an automatic transmission. The body is 9 in (229 mm) longer and the roof angles are different. The roadster remained a strict two-seater.
Less widely known, right at the end of Series 1 production and prior to the transitional "Series 1½" referred to below, a very small number of Series 1 cars were produced with open headlights. Production dates on these machines vary but in right hand drive form production has been verified as late as March 1968. The low number of these cars produced make them amongst the rarest of all production E Types.
Following the Series 1 there was a transitional series of cars built in 1967–1968, unofficially called "Series 1½", which are externally similar to Series 1 cars. Due to American pressure the new features were open headlights, different switches, and some de-tuning (using two Zenith-Stromberg carburetters instead of the original three SUs) for US models. Some Series 1½ cars also have twin cooling fans and adjustable seat backs. Series 2 features were gradually introduced into the Series 1, creating the unofficial Series 1½ cars, but always with the Series 1 body style. A United States federal safety law affecting 1968 model year cars sold in the U.S. was the reason for the lack of headlight covers and change in switch design in the "Series 1.5" of 1968. An often overlooked change, one that is often "modified back" to the older style, is the wheel knock-off "nut." U.S. safety law for 1968 models also forbid the winged-spinner knockoff, and any 1968 model year sold in the U.S. should have a hexagonal knockoff nut, to be hammered on and off with the assistance of a special "socket" included with the car from the factory. This hexagonal nut carried on into the later Series 2 and 3.
An open 3.8-litre car, actually the first such production car to be completed, was tested by the British magazine The Motor in 1961 and had a top speed of 149.1 mph (240.0 km/h) and could accelerate from 0 to 60 mph (0 to 97 km/h) in 7.1 seconds. A fuel consumption of 21.3 miles per imperial gallon (13.3 L/100 km; 17.7 mpg-US) was recorded. The test car cost £2,097 including taxes.
The cars submitted for road test by the popular motoring journals of the time (1961)such as The Motor, The Autocar and Autosport magazines were specially prepared by the Jaguar works to give better-than-standard performance figures. This work entailed engine balancing and subtle work such as gas-flowing the cylinder heads and may even have involved fitting larger diameter inlet valves.
Both of the well-known 1961 road test cars: the E-type Coupe Reg. No. 9600 HP and E-type Convertible Reg.No. 77 RW, were fitted with Dunlop Racing Tyres on test, which had a larger rolling diameter and lower drag co-efficient. This goes some way to explaining the 150 mph (240 km/h) maximum speeds that were obtained under ideal test conditions. The maximum safe rev limit for standard 6-cylinder 3.8-litre E-type engines is 5,500 rpm. The later 4.2-Litre units had a red marking on the rev counter from just 5,000 rpm. The maximum safe engine speed is therefore 127mph (3.31:1 axle) and 137mph (3.07:1 axle) at the 5,500 rpm limit. Both test cars must have reached or exceeded 6,000 rpm in top gear when on road test in 1961
Wheelbase 96.0 in (2,438 mm) (FHC / OTS)
Length 175.3125 in (4,453 mm) (FHC / OTS)
Width 65.25 in (1,657 mm) (all)
Height 48.125 in (1,222 mm) (FHC)
The car is quite special as the paint colour was a special order, Opalescent Dark Blue, and the original colour interior has been recreated.
I bought this car from Alan Carrington in 2014, who had imported the car from Africa. The following three years (up to 2016) the car has been extensively restored:
Car fully dismantled.
All suspension powder coated then rebuilt with new parts (Polybush suspension front & rear.)
All glass removed and replaced with Sundym glass all round including heated rear screen.
Bodywork stripped to bare metal and new meal welded as required.
New floor pan
Engine fully stripped down and then fully rebuilt with new liners to 9:1 compression dome topped pistons and a full rebuild kit from XRN Engineering.
Gearbox fully rebuilt.
Rear axle, completely stripped, all new parts.
New three piece clutch.
All new bearings, shocks and UJs.
New wiring loom.
All clocks reconditioned by a specialist, including triple chrome plating.
All engine ancillaries replaced.
Entire braking system replaced.
New discs all-round.
A full 2" big bore stainless exhaust complete with custom-made polished manifold.
New Grey-union cloth headlining - to match original.
5 x Competition Wire Wheel, (Basically Borrani style with s/s spokes and nipples 6x15 with brand new 205/70VR15 tyres and new two eared spinners.
All chrome work stripped and triple plated.
Body work back to bare metal, shot blasted, new complete floor pans, new boot pan, new front upright foot wells, new inner and outer sills, new underside of front bonnet, repairs to bottom of both doors including new door skins.
Fully re-trimmed in Barley connolly hide.
The works were completed by Alan Carrington, with a labour bill of 3000 hours. The total cost of restoration is a mind-blowing £450k.
Now there are cheaper E-types out there, you could buy a Series 2 or later, but if you are like me anything other than the best will always make you have regrets and never completely enjoy anything other than a Series 1, and especially a 4.2.
Of course, then having decided upon a Ser1, you could always buy something needing work, and maybe undertake a rolling restoration. Well this is how I started out with this E-type. You would think after 30 years of classic car ownership I would have known better!
The fact is an E-type is a car that needs restoring properly, and this means a complete strip down, bare-metal re-spray, panel alignment and engine/gearbox overhaul with a complete strip down of the running gear. Unless, you want to spend 3 year’s of your life doing this yourself, you will need to put this out to a reputable restoration company.
And of course, you would rightly think that this will save you some money over buying a car that has already undergone a total restoration – huge mistake!!
You will start out with for around £75,000, anything cheaper will almost certainly need a jig and major welding. All the basic parts, which are readily available, will come in at about £70,000, then a bare-metal re-spray £15,000, full interior £8,000. This assumes that you do everything apart from paint and interior yourself. If you put this out to a specialist, expect between 2,000 to 3,000 man-hours depending upon the level of restoration. Specialists charge circa £75 per hour.
I know all this, because this is exactly what I did, and the car you are looking at stands me over £400,000 and a marriage. So you get to enjoy the best E-type on the market at less than half-price, and almost certainly get to keep your wife or attract another one quite easily with this car.
But seriously, this is better than the day it left the factory, it’s number matching, restored with fastidious attention to detail and has the super-rare (special order) colour combination.