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
WHAT’S IT LIKE TO DRIVE?
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.
HOW’S THE INTERIOR?
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.
UNDER THE BONNET
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.
THE CCW VIEW
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.