Jaguar E-type

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - This Week - Nathan Chad­wick

EN­GINE 5344cc/V12/OHC POWER 272bhp@5850rpm TORQUE 304lb ft@3600rpm MAX­I­MUM SPEED 143mph 0-60MPH 7.2sec FUEL CON­SUMP­TION 14-16mpg TRANS­MIS­SION RWD, three-speed au­to­matic MoT 12 months from sale MILEAGE 56,000 miles


Fir­ing the V12 up to a bur­bly thrum is pure art. This is ob­vi­ously a cruiser (it has a three-speed au­to­matic gear­box) but it’s an en­gag­ing car to drive. There’s enough low­down torque to keep up with mod­ern traf­fic and brakes to stop it with too. Turn-in is in­stant and though that long nose does di­rect mat­ters in sharper turns, it’s easy to build up to a nat­u­ral rhythm on sweep­ing A-roads. There are no pe­cu­liar clonks or rat­tles through the sus­pen­sion or the driv­e­train and the auto ‘box shifts through the ra­tios seam­lessly. Ride com­fort is very good, and plenty of in­for­ma­tion is re­layed through the slen­der steer­ing wheel.


The Pale Prim­rose paint looks fan­tas­tic – it’s hard to be­lieve that this is an un­re­stored car. There is no colour mis-match be­tween any of the pan­els and the chrome is free from pit­ting or mist­ing. There’s no cor­ro­sion and all the pan­els are as Coven­try in­tended. The wire wheels are spot­less and it’s re­cently re­ceived fresh tyres, so there’s plenty of tread re­main­ing. The panel gaps are ex­cel­lent, too.


The in­te­rior is in great con­di­tion, with plenty of room for taller driv­ers. There are no ma­jor creases or cuts in the tan leather and the head­lin­ing is in great con­di­tion and prop­erly at­tached. The dials all work but the rev counter and speedome­ter nee­dles are best de­scribed as en­thu­si­as­tic, if not ter­ri­bly ac­cu­rate.


Open­ing the vast clamshell bon­net re­veals a me­chan­i­cally beau­ti­ful and sound V12 en­gine. There’s no cor­ro­sion and all the flu­ids are up to the max­i­mum mark. The his­tory file for this car has to be seen to be be­lieved – it’s so huge that it re­quires two hands to carry it. It was orig­i­nally sold by Henlys of Lon­don to a UK diplo­mat, who im­me­di­ately shipped it out to Saudi Ara­bia. It sub­se­quently changed hands there and re­turned to the UK in 1989, at which point it was reg­is­tered. Its time spent in the Saudi cli­mate goes a long way to ex­plain­ing how an un­re­stored UK car man­ages to look so good. The pa­per­work also points to dili­gent care over the years, with the ven­dor spend­ing around £7000 on main­tain­ing this big cat’s al­lure.


This car has clearly been cher­ished by all of its own­ers. The mileage is low for a car of this age, but not so low that you’d need to worry about it hav­ing been sat around for too long. The pa­per­work proves that it’s been used spar­ingly, but main­tained to an ex­tremely high stan­dard. It’s hard to think of another un­re­stored V12 E-type that we’ve seen that comes close to this one. Highly rec­om­mended.

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