Jaguar E-Type Restoration - Ultimate 3.8L Driving Experience

Summary of Restoration Project

Restoring a 3.8L to provide the ultimate E-type driving experience, having spent a number of years parked up and stripped down. Another E-type that will be back on the road by March 2017 with the specific brief of 'make it as usable as you can, I want to drive it', challenge accepted!

Supplied new to Jaguar Cars, New York, U.S.A, this Series 1 FHC was bought in as a painted shell having spent several years in storage. Supplied originally in Opalescent Dark Blue, the decision was taken by the then restorer to change the colour to Opalescent Gunmetal Grey. A, E-type that will have no stone left unturned in the pursuit of the ultimate driving experience is now undergoing a full restoration at E-Type UK and you can follow its progress here.

Commissioned by an avid E-type restorer, this E-type is going to be built to the very highest standard. Some of the upgrades being applied include:

Aluminium Header Tank
Aluminium Radiator
4.2 Braking System with our 4 pot callipers and vented discs
5 Speed Gearbox
Fast Road Engine
Tinted, Heated and Aerial Windscreen and Glass

To be finished with the original aluminium dash and with Oxblood Red interior, this E-type will undoubtable turn heads and drive like no other!


Where to start with an E-type that is being built to provide the ultimate 3.8 driving experience, a daunting task but not one to shy away we got stuck straight in from the off.

In the down time for the workshop between strip down and bodywork being completed the workshop don’t rest on their lorals with Mark in close partnership with Bob, cracking the whip.

Engine rebuilt to fast road specification: check
IRS rebuilt: check
Carburettor rebuild: check
Pedal box rebuilt: check
Heater box rebuilt: check
Steering Column rebuilt: check
Gauges rebuilt: check
Front suspension plated: check
Brake lines ready: check


Ensuring we have a defined scope lets us hit the ground running to ensure that all of the above has been started on and that hasn’t even touched on the 5 speed gearbox, re-trim, stainless steel exhaust, wiring looms, I am exhausted just writing it down…. Never mind doing it.

ANWAY, with all of the above, rebuilt / ordered / reconditioned the build can begin starting with the front suspension, front brakes and steering assembly being fitted up and we are off to the races.


It is always amazing to see a restoration coming together, it feels like it takes an age to get to a stage where the E-type can start to be reassembled. Although once the E-type reaches this stage, the restoration starts to fly.

Following the build-up of the front suspension and steering, we get cracking, fitting up the uprated braking system. With the uprated 4 pot callipers and vented discs, combined with the uprated servo from the 4.2 E-type, this early E-type should see significantly better braking performance.

Following the brakes comes the brake lines, wiring looms and building up the bulkhead with washer bottles it becomes to look more and more like a car. Upgrades begin to come thick and fast, following the braking system is the aluminium header tank and radiator.

Ensuring we have foreseen the build schedule has allowed us to ensure all the parts for this tight build are on the shelf and as such a case a pick and fit. A tight build you might be asking, since when has this E-type been a tight build?

WELL, not only has the buyer asked us to have this ready by April, we are so proud of the build that we might have a special event in February where we are looking to show the E-type off for the first time!

Anyway, we are getting side tracked and did someway say we are on a tight schedule not time to be side-tracked. Next up, one of the major milestones of any restoration, the engine and gearbox being fitted, tick tock time is marching on!



With the engine and gearbox mated to each other, we can raise the E-Type in the air and scoot them underneath. Now begins the meticulous process of giving the car a heart.

Usually involving three or more men, the car is lowered inch by inch over the 3.8 Litre fast road engine and 5 speed gearbox. One lowers the car, one spots to make sure there’ll be no contact with the beautiful bodywork, and the final technician positions the trolley in accordance to the spotter.

Once the body is at it’s lowest point, everyone can relax, and the brand new engine/gearbox mounts can be bolted in place. Now they’re officially together once again, the assembly can begin, starting with the carburettors and throttle linkage. As soon everything is plumbed in, we can turn the key and press the little black button.

Everyone is eager to hear this stunning, early E-Type fire into life for the first time. The sound will be accentuated by a full stainless steel sports exhaust.




The polished exhaust manifolds, once securely bolted to the cylinder head, really make the engine bay pop. They don’t just look good: performance, weight and sound are greatly improved also.
As the exhaust comes together, chrome is being applied to the E-Type left, right and centre. The front bumpers and grille bar are the first to go on, usually taking a whole day to get perfect. Not long after comes the rear bumpers and lights, placed with the same precision.
Side windows and screens next, not a single mistake can be made. Time is very precious if we want to display this E-Type in all its glory at The London Classic Car Show on 23rd – 26th February and hand it over to its very lucky owner not long afterwards.
As well as a plethora of upgrades, the owner has specified to have chrome headlight scoops (instead of the standard silver), black piping on the Oxblood Red seats, and alcantara headlining. These additions will really set the car apart from the rest!
Please don’t hesitate to come and see the car for yourself next weekend at The London Classic Show, we will be happy to discuss the details of the car, or any queries you may have.





With the E-Type build complete, now comes the 500-mile shake down to iron out every niggle. This ensures the car is perfect in every way before handing it over to its rightful owner. Like all of our restorations, there are only minor details to sort out during this time; from suspension squeaks to radio and speaker sound quality. All of these small details add up if not attended to, affecting the feel and quality of the E-Type drastically.

The car will then be detailed and the final photographs taken, looks like the owner will have their stunning E-Type back right in time for summer!





The final images of the finished E-Type can be found in the gallery at the top of the page. Enjoy!

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