Jaguar E-type S1

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1962 Jaguar E-type FHC Owned by Phil Bell, ed­i­tor, (phil.bell@bauer­me­ Time owned Eight years Miles this month 58 Costs this month £0 Pre­vi­ously re­placed cracked coolant hoses

Sun­day morn­ing, crisp, clear and dry. No his­toric race meet­ings, con­cours or me­dia trips to re­port on. No re­pairs to the car or house that can’t wait. Too long since I last made it to the monthly clas­sic car meet at The Goat in Hert­ford Heath. All the plan­ets were align­ing, just one more needed – a fit and will­ing E-type.

Dis­con­nect my C-TEK bat­tery con­di­tioner, slide the choke lever all the way up and twist the ig­ni­tion key. And wait while the fuel pump tops up the SU float cham­bers. Thumb the starter but­ton. Whirru­rur, cough, si­lence. Again, whirru­rur, cough, stut­ter, do we have two, three, five, six cylin­ders? Bliss. As the bon­net edged out into the chill morn­ing air it was al­ready time to back off the lever a lit­tle, and once I was far enough down the road to tease the still-cold Moss gear­box into sec­ond the choke was done with.

Un­til the gear­box warmed I was stuck with sec­ond gear and an ear­ful of ex­haust noise – sorry, fel­low vil­lagers. Then the na­tional speed limit beck­oned and a chance to guide the gear­lever into third with a dou­ble-de­clutch and a 2,3,4 pause.

Thirty miles of test­ing switch­backs and fast A-roads popped me out at the green fronting The Goat. It was only 11am but I was lucky to squeeze a space in the pub car park. There wasn’t much room out­side ei­ther as a steady flow of new arrivals stalked the sur­round­ing roads. I was penned in by a Dodge Po­lara, a BMW 3 Se­ries drift car, sev­eral gen­er­a­tions of Mus­tang and a Sap­phire Cos­worth, then a Jaguar V12-en­gined hot rod joined the typ­i­cal ran­dom mix of Goat me­tal.

It was a chance to catch up with Goat reg­u­lars I haven’t seen in ages, like Kent who’s just switched from a 3.8 E-type fixed-head to a 4.2 and joined the grow­ing JD Clas­sics em­pire, and event founder Rod Leach who’s been com­ing here for more than 40 years. Around the green I found an As­ton DB5, a Lo­tus Ex­cel be­long­ing to Mal­colm Rick­etts, owner of the Lo­tus Elan in last month’s Life Cy­cle fea­ture, a re­cently-fin­ished Willys gasser and lots more. Time ran away from me and be­fore I knew it cars were slip­ping off into the af­ter­noon. Head­ing home I savoured the bright, dry con­di­tions and the foot-roast­ing flow of air from the E-type’s heater.

So there you have it, a com­plete Our Cars up­date free from any tales of E-type prob­lems and re­pairs. I’m sure nor­mal ser­vice will re­sume soon.

Phil en­joyed his first trip to The Goat in ages No room at the inn – DB5 had to park on the road

Capri­cious vis­i­tor – Jaguar V12 hot-rod turned some heads

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