Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - Buying Guide -

The good news is that the ma­jor­ity of E-types will have been re­stored at some stage, so check the pa­per­work to find out the ex­tent of any work that’s been car­ried out. Look for un­even panel gaps that give away signs of a bodged job. Look too for signs of over­spray and for hastily used filler – it’s handy to take a mag­net with you to check.


Even re­cently re­stored cars can rust if they’ve been ne­glected. Grot spots to watch out for in­clude the bases of the B-pillars, around the sills, along the rear whee­larches where mois­ture can seep into the dou­ble­skinned pan­els and on the rear valance. If you’re look­ing at a cheap run­ner with a cou­ple of body­work is­sues or one of the many project 2+2s we’d rec­om­mend tak­ing a spe­cial­ist to look at it with you – those re­pair costs can quickly mount up.


The 2+2’s pop­u­lar­ity in the US mar­ket means plenty of cars have been repa­tri­ated. They of­ten rep­re­sent big sav­ings and it’s easy to con­vert them to right-hand­drive, but be­ware for­mer US cars mas­querad­ing as UK cars. Look at the chas­sis num­ber – if it be­gins with a 2 or a 7 then chances are it was orig­i­nally a left-hand-drive model.


The XK straight sixes are fairly ro­bust units but look for cracks on the block and lis­ten out for lin­ger­ing tap­pet noises, which in­di­cate the tap­pet guides need re­plac­ing. The V12s are also fairly durable, but can suf­fer from over­heat­ing prob­lems, so leave it on idle for a few min­utes and watch for any wor­ry­ing fluc­tu­a­tions in tem­per­a­ture. If an af­ter­mar­ket elec­tric fan has been fit­ted on these mod­els that’s a good sign.


Even E-types with su­perb body­work can fall vic­tim to grime and salt if they’re not well cared for, so get yours up on a ramp and look for signs of cor­ro­sion, par­tic­u­larly around the rear ra­dius arms and the front chas­sis frame. Check the brakes are work­ing cor­rectly too, as the mas­ter brake cylin­der has a ten­dency to stick.


The good new is the vast ma­jor­ity of the E-type’s trim and in­stru­ments can be sourced eas­ily from spe­cial­ists, so it’s not the end of the world if yours isn’t quite per­fect. Look at the leather trim on both the front and rear seats for signs of scuffs or rips, feel un­der­neath the car­pets for in­di­ca­tions of damp creep­ing in, and watch for signs of sag­ging in the head­lin­ing.


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