The Perfect Two Seater Tourer

The Perfect Two Seater Tourer

In today’s market the Jaguar Series 3 V12 Roadster has grown exponentially, offering easy grand touring capabilities, greater comfort and with simple performance upgrades such as fuel injection, these last warriors of the E-type family can provide a great level of reliability.

Arriving at the E-Type UK facility as an actively used V12 roadster, finished in Old English White, with matching factory hardtop and Black trim, the owner simply desired to undertake a full exterior repaint of the car and introduce some desirable performance upgrades. It wasn’t until the paintwork was removed that endless poor repairs and bodywork were exposed, changing the direction of the project. Committed to making their E-type the perfect two-seater tourer, the owner commissioned a full bare metal restoration.

Now starting with a blank canvas, the restoration opens several doors of opportunity for the client regarding the specification. It was decided they wanted to maintain the essence and appearance of what made the Series 3 a 70’s hit, but also inject a high level of comfort, performance, and reliability. Working closely with the customer to understand his needs, E-Type UK constructed a custom specification plan, fully tailored to creating the client's dream V12 roadster.

Starting a New

With a new objective, E-Type UK stripped and had the shell media blasted. Upon its return, the bare metal shell highlighted the extent of deterioration hidden underneath the paintwork – a good thing too as some areas were close to being unstructurally sound.

Having made its way into our specialists Bodyshop, the E-Type UK restoration team make a start addressing the shells newly revealed corrosion. First to be removed are the driver and passenger floors, fortunately, due to their solid condition, the original kick panels and gearbox tunnel remain in place. With the seating floor plan removed, the sills are next to go, the technicians weld temporary braces to the shell to ensure alignment is not affected during this phase. New inner and outer sills are fitted and taking advantage of this stage of the restoration, additional reinforcement is introduced, offering a more solid and safe shell.

With the brunt of the work now complete the remaining areas are sorted, which includes replacing both rear wheel arches and perfecting bonnet fit and alignment. While the shell remains in this bare state, further modifications are added which include extended bonnet louvres for improved cooling and lowered seat cross members for passenger comfort and further increasing headroom.

With metalwork complete, the E-type moves across the Bodyshop to enter its filler and paint stage, another milestone and one step closer to its return to the road.

Applying Perfection

After being cut and chopped, this roadster begins to resemble that iconic 1970’s classic as it enters the filler process. Throughout this stage of the restoration, the E-type is given an extensive level of care and precision to reinstate perfect body lines and gaps.

After several days of careful application, the E-type shape starts to take shape and all body imperfection slowly disappear. Once the car has been properly filled, the Series 3 begins a lengthy-standing cycle, as filler is a porous material this process hardens the material as well as drawing out any remaining moisture. Later rust inhibitors are applied to the exposed bare metal, alongside sealer primer and numerous coats of 2pack high build primer. After the car sits through a second hardening period, the shell is then subjected to sand blocking and further primer. With this process complete the shell presents an ideal surface for a fresh coat of Old English White.

The same process is applied to the original hardtop, which once has completed filler is trial fitted to the shell for alignment, then put aside to later be painted.

Warm up the booth, mix that paint, we are ready for a fresh new coat! The interior and underside are first to be sealed and painted, followed by masking then sprayed with the all-important period-correct Old English White. Once several coats have been put down a high-quality clear lacquer is applied, giving the paint protection and unmissable shine.

The Build

Following the Bodyshop milestone, the E-type shell is moved into our restoration Workshop to begin its rebuild process. With the client's sights set on owning a highly useable 70's grand tourer providing ample amounts of performance as well as reliability, a bespoke specification is pulled together to ensure all these needs are met.

While the shell is built up with key auxiliaries from steering, suspension to fitting in place the meters of wiring loom, the original 5.3L V12 engine is rebored and rebuilt to a high-performance specification, increasing the engine capacity to 6.1 litres and fitting a lightened balanced flywheel. The newly spec V12 is also fitted with E-Type UK's desirable side-draft electronic fuel injection system with individual throttle bodies, now capable of producing greater power and torque, supplying the desired engine performance. The IRS is given the same treatment of rebuilt and upgrades, boasting fully adjustable suspension and sports braking.

The client took the decision to keep the E-type's transmission more period, instead of opting for the common 5-speed upgrade, a new 4-speed manual gearbox with overdrive was sourced and fully refurbished by our in-house specialists. The new overdrive gearbox will offer the client a 5th gear alternative in a period-correct format, thus injecting a hint of originality back into the Roadsters running.

With these two key components finished the team proceed with the installation making the E-type mobile, the roadster continues its build process, seeing even more desirable upgrades added such as:

  • High flow aluminium radiator and header tank
  • Modern ECU controlled cooling fans
  • 4 piston aluminium front brakes with vented and grooved discs
  • Adjustable sports suspension
  • Oil catch tank
  • Sports power steering rack
  • Sports torsion and anti-roll bars
  • Stainless steel ceramic coated 12 branch sports exhaust

The team continue to push forward with the build, ensuring the E-type's new and original refurbished parts are perfectly fitted and operating seamlessly. Next to be addressed in the brightwork, glass and interior. Stay tuned.

Some final touches

When the Series 3 V12 arrived at E-Type UK, this roadster had recently been subjected to a recent retrim, therefore, following being removed from the E-type during the metalwork stage, the interior has been kept safely stored in our secure restoration storage. Now at a stage for the interior to be returned to the E-type, the team make a start refitting the beautifully finished original black trim from seats, carpets, door cards, soft top, dash and fascias. It is at this time the original glass is returned to the car alongside the build-up of the bonnet and all chrome brightwork, lights, badges.

With these final touches, the E-type transforms into the perfect two-seater tourer. A 1970's classic offering an exceptional combination of performance, comfort and reliability, all highly desirable traits of a GT, neatly packaged into a classic British image.


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