The Ultimate Family Grand Tourer

The Ultimate Family Grand Tourer

Originally released in 1971 and dubbed 'the ultimate big cat',  the Series 3 was available as a Coupe and Roadster using a longer 2+2 chassis to accommodate Jaguar's brand new 5.3L V12 engine. An extended wheelbase and V12 wasn't the only changes the Series 3 carried, the model also introduced a new cross-slated grille, flared wheel arches, four-tip exhaust, larger brake discs and larger fuel tank. The Coupe, with its foldable two rear seats, became Jaguar's answer to the US Market's demand for a family grand tourer. While in today's market the collectors favour the Series 1 Coupe, the S3 is slowly growing in the hearts of the Jaguar enthusiast again, ready for a comeback.

Leaving the factory in 1973 finished in the uncommon Lavender Blue, this original RHD Series 3 Coupe was later resprayed to British Racing Green. During the ownership of the current owner, the E-type was lovingly used, touring the UK's picturesque South East countryside. After some years it was decided to treat the S3 2+2 to a full nut and bolt restoration and thus the E-type arrived at the doors of Jaguar restoration specialists, E-Type UK.

WHERE TO START?

With the owner's vision in mind, the team get the restoration underway by commisioning a full strip down of the E-type removing EVERYTHING from top to bottom leaving just a bare shell. It is at this time the restoration technicians can sneak a peek at what's in store as hidden horrors become exposed. The real nightmares come once the shell is blasted, revealing the usual level of corrosion from a classic E-type Jaguar, however, it wasn't until the E-type's metal work began that a true horror was revealed. The E-type had been subjected to poor inner rear arches repairs but here's the kicker, the area was 'repaired' using layered discarded tin - definitely a first for the team. 

Metalwork continued on the Coupe by fitting numerous new panels including a complete floor section, sills, inner and outer rear arches and complete boot floor, returning the E-type to a sound and most importantly safe shell. During this stage of the restoration, it was decided to fit a bespoke aluminium bonnet to reduce front end weight and improve the handling of the roaring V12 under the bonnet.

The car is then handed across to the body shop team who apply filler to the car, restoring the iconic Series 3 curves and applying primer ready to be finished to the customer exact specification.

INDUSTRY FAVOURITE FINISH

With the car going through a full restoration the paint team have a lot of work to get on with. After sitting a period of primer to harden and create the perfect painting surface the team first separately paint the inside of the panels: doors, tailgate and bonnet. At the same time, the engine frames are also removed and painted. 

The shell is then put on a rotation spit and angled allowing the underneath to receive several coats including stone chip protection. The interior is next on the list followed by the rehanging of panels, readying the shell for the exterior coats. With all panels temporarily fitted to the shell, except the bonnet, the exterior can now be painted to achieve an all-around consistent and perfect finish. The bonnet is painted separately for a complete finish. 

At every step of the paint process, the team re-mask and allow for appropriate drying times. Now painted, all panels are removed to be flat and polished along with the freshly coated shell. The result is an immaculate Gunmetal finish signalling the E-type is ready to enter the build stage of its restoration.

BUILDING YOUR E-TYPE

The Series 3 makes its way to the workshop to begin its re-assembly. First, the front suspension and recently rebuilt IRS are fitted, along with adjustable GAZ shock absorbers, creating a rolling shell. With the essential engine, components fitted the engine and gearbox are mated to the chassis enabling the team to continue the engine bay build up which includes fitting the EFI, emerald ECU and car specific wiring loom, as well as an uprated aluminium radiator and header tank.

It is at this point the customers E-type story truly opens up and the fun begins. After an in-depth discussion with our Jaguar specialists, the client knows exactly what they want from the car and so the upgrades are decided, which include a 12-branch tubular stainless steel exhaust system helping to emphasise that mouth-watering V12 soundtrack.

the aesthetic

While the engine bay is built up and with the interior being wired in, the exterior is fitted with all its original and freshly re-chromed brightwork and fixings. The team start from the back installing the rear lights, bumpers, over riders and E-type badges. As the technicians make their way down the car other exterior fittings are attached to the E-type, such as glass, window frames, door mirrors, handles, headlights, cross-slated grille and that all-important centre Jaguar emblem.

The interior is finished off with the installation of all electrics, gauges, upper steering column and retrimmed dash. The windscreen glass is fitted to the E-type and all final chrome is finished off. With the exterior of the S3 completed its time to make the interior look as good.

a match made in heaven

Before heading off to the trimmers the E-types cockpit is layered with sound damping Dynamat to reduce road noise for a more comfortable and immersive driving experience. With this now complete the Coupe is off, later returning finished in a jaw-dropping Oxblood red interior with period correct black centre console and retrimmed black vinyl. Paired with the freshly painted Gunmetal exterior, the car's colour combo is one made in heaven. 

refreshed Grand tourer

The E-type is now complete. Taken from a loved but well used 2+2 Series 3 in need of a refresh, this Coupe is now a head-turning example of what got the automotive world rumbling in the 1970s. Finished in a complimenting and industry loved colour combo of immaculate Gunmetal and beautifully retrimmed Oxblood red leather interior. This Big Cat tourer is now set to go cruising with the family or spend hours tearing up the south-eastern countryside.