The Best Series 3 Coupe Around
January 21st 2019
Released in 1971 and dubbed the ‘The Ultimate Big Cat’, the Series 3 was Jaguar’s answer to maintaining that all-important US-market appeal. Available as a Coupé and Roadster, it utilised a longer 2+2 wheelbase to accommodate a brand new 5.3L V12 engine. A revised chassis and twice the cylinders under the hood weren’t the only things new about the latest and last E-Type model, as the Series 3 also introduced a new cross-slatted grille, flared wheel arches, four-tip exhaust, larger brake discs and fuel tank among numerous interior revisions. The Coupe also featured 2 foldable rear seats, making this E-type Series 3 the ultimate family grand tourer of the 1970s.
Rolling off the production line in 1973 finished in Lavender Blue, an uncommon colour in the E-type world, this original right-hand drive Series 3 Coupe lived a pampered life but had seen better days. The current owner of this E-type brought the car to E-Type UK, Jaguar specialists in Kent to bring this gorgeous grand tourer back to life.
Seeking an E-type that was reliable, with some subtle modernisations, improved driving characteristics yet retaining that classic E-type personality, the brief for E-Type UK was to not only restore but upgrade this 2+2.
But, before the curated selection of E-Type UK upgrades could be fitted, the team had to get to work fully stripping the car. This thorough process exposed some shoddy previous repairs, an unfortunate reminder of a time when these models were unloved and undervalued, such as inner arches patched up with layers of tin. Once all the metal work was repaired to original specifications, a bespoke aluminium bonnet was fabricated to reduce front end weight. Then, it's off into the paint shop for a Concours standard repaint in the stunning shade of Opalescent Gunmetal.
The original engine was fully rebuilt and fitted with a combination of engine upgrades synonymous with E-Type UK: electronic fuel injection with larger throttle bodies, aluminium radiator and header tank and the all-important 12-branch tubular stainless steel sports exhaust system to allow the V12 to sing.
Under that now perfect body, the suspension was revised heavily for improved handling and ride with adjustable suspension all round including sports torsion bars, Anti-roll bar and uprated bushes. AP Racing brakes replace the stock units, which in combination with 16” Turino wire wheels and the lower ride height make this S3 obviously something different from the norm.
With an uprated 5-speed gearbox, 15-inch wooden steering wheel to make the most of the car’s spritely handling, bespoke inertia reel seat belts and LED dash light conversion, the fully retrimmed cabin is a superb environment to take in the character of this on-the-button E-type. A period style stereo system, hiding full modern internals including Bluetooth capability, is also fitted, though we can report most who hear the noise of the V12 through that exhaust often choose a more natural soundtrack…
At E-Type UK we have had the pleasure of restoring, refining and revising a number of Series 3 models, and can say with some confidence that this is one of the finest 2+2 examples out there. Whether viewed as a sign of the times in the E-Type world, an exercise in perfection or simply a top-notch restoration, this S3 is undeniably something special.