The Highest Spec E-Type Ever?

Summary of Restoration Project

E-Type UK restores cars to customers’ demands no matter how big or small, but in our decades of experience we have never come across anything on the same level as this Series 3 OTS…

The idea of resto-modding is gaining in popularity day-by-day, and E-Type UK were one of the first companies to bring high-performance and comfort-orientated upgrades into their restorations. Although we are highly experienced with modifying and upgrading E-Types, we are still surprised by the level of modification some customers want to go to with their restorations. Of course we can make any E-Type dream come true, meaning this Series 3 OTS is the highest specification car we have ever built. It is built to the customer’s exact request, a large number of modern amenities mixed with the iconic classic lines and renown V12 engine mean this E-Type can be used as a modern car through both day and night with no fuss.

Bodywork

One of the final full restorations of ours to have its bodywork and paint completed by a separate company offsite, the car was in this stage for a very long period, partly down to its strengthened chassis, lowered floors and bonnet louvre extensions. The Series 3 OTS E-Type was approximately 9 inches longer in the middle than the previous Series 1 and 2, meaning structural rigidity was reduced, affecting the handling and ride at higher speeds. To counteract these issues, as well as for added safety, this Series 3 has been strengthened with the use of steel bars (similar to that of a rollcage) running through the sills from the front to rear bulkhead. The other modified bodywork feature is the extension of the bonnet louvres, this car has double the amount of louvres of a standard E-Type, running further forwards. They also feature the visible join that the very early 1961 E-Types have surrounding their louvres.

Performance Modifications

Once the Opalescent Gunmetal shell was back from paint, our workshop team could start the one-off E-Type build. Beginning with some of our more common upgrades, the adjustable sports suspension along with polybushes went on the front; followed by four-pot AP Racing brake calipers with vented and grooved discs. The fully rebuilt rear suspension unit is also adjustable and features uprated brake pads and discs, this is fitted next. The wiring loom is threaded through the car and is modified accordingly to accommodate all new electronic features including custom lights, dashboard and the highly important engine control unit.

Despite all the modifications, of course the car still needed to have the E-Type soul, therefore the original Jaguar V12 is still present albeit in high-performance form. The block has been treated with a new liner and piston kit meaning it is now a 6.1 litre rather than the original 5.3. Ontop of this, our down-draught ITB electronic fuel injection kit has been fitted, providing fantastic looks, sound and performance. This is where the extended louvres come in, expelling as much hot air as possible to ensure only cold, dense air is fed into the throttle-bodies for ultimate power. The V12 is mated to our 5-speed gearbox before being installed in the car; once it’s fitted, the aluminium radiator and header tank can be plumbed in, with the air conditioning condenser fitted just infront. As soon as the engine is running, a base-map is installed onto the ECU and we can now run the car to check if everything is mechanically sound.

Usability and Comfort Modifications

With the wiring loom modified, full LED headlights and daytime running lights, under-door puddle lights, red safety lights and boot lighting can be installed. As well as these lights, electric windows, mirrors and a remote central-locking system are to be fitted. The seats are taken from an early XJS and the frames modified to fit in the lowered floors to give a much sportier seating position. The dashboard is finished in piano black with restyled chrome bezels rather than the original vinyl leather pattern and satin black bezels. No soft hood is present and the car will have a black hardtop only, this decision means standard E-Type interior trim is not an option and a custom tonneau covering will need to be made up. The sound-deadening is out in force with this restoration, rightly so as to enjoy the bluetooth stereo-system to its full potential.

A One-Off Interior

The E-Type is back from the trim shop with its completely bespoke interior, including all the amenities you'd expect from any modern performance car. All done to the customers exact specification, it uses the highest quality grey leather fitted over many different specially fabricated frames, such as the rear storage space, lowered XJS seats, and centre-console. The seats are heated too, and have cut-outs incase the owner would like to change to a convertible mohair top in the future. An illuminated start button just above the DAB radio adds further to modern feel, aided by the footwell, under-door, and boot LEDs. Inside the redesigned armrest, you'll find two output USBs and an Apple charging connector; this storage space is carpeted in the same way as the seat backs, footwells and boot.

The car may look mostly complete, but we still have a lot of work to do before we can begin the shakedown. There are numerous details that have yet to be fitted, such as chrome finishers on the bonnet and windscreen, interior grab handles and window winders, external door handles, steering wheel, and of course the all-important hardtop.

Finish Line In Sight

Since returning back from the trimmers the Series 3 has been fitted with nearly all its finishing touches including; chrome finishers on the windscreen & bonnet, external door handles, steering wheel and custom-made chrome door mirrors and spacers to complement the rest of the cars modern upgrades. Other little lifestyle modifications have been added along the way such as under bonnet lighting that offers the practical factor of a well-lit engine bay for those small home adjustments but more importantly, shows off that beautifully uprated V12 6.1 litre engine. 

The hardtop is now back from our paint workshop, finished, polished and looking stunning. Next we’ll be fitting the hardtop and will start the shakedown process to ensure everything is working correctly and to iron out any of those teething issues that may occur.