1969 Jaguar E-type S2 road­ster £86,990

Re­stored and con­verted to right-hand drive, this vi­brant ex-florida road­ster looks to be good value, says Rob Sco­rah

Classic Cars (UK) - - Ads On Test -

This E-type has lived much of its life in more clas­sic-friendly Florida. It was im­ported into the UK in 1997 and has cov­ered 13,000 miles since, bring­ing its to­tal on the clock to 98,500.

You cer­tainly wouldn’t think this Jag had cov­ered the best part of 100k. It un­der­went a com­plete restora­tion (by Jaguar ap­pren­tices) and right-hand drive con­ver­sion in 2004. In May 2014 the car was stripped and re­painted again, this time in Sig­nal Red, and the cock­pit re­trimmed in black leather. A new wind­screen was also fit­ted. Con­se­quently, there’s lit­tle to fault. The paint fin­ish is con­sis­tent and swirl­free, re­tain­ing a high-gloss fin­ish. Look­ing down the ‘mouth’ and un­der­neath re­veals no dis­coloura­tion or sur­face cor­ro­sion.

The smart click of the doors open­ing and shut­ting sug­gest the tub is straight, as does the fuss-free open­ing and clos­ing of the huge bon­net. Re­as­sur­ingly, shut lines to the big clamshell re­main con­sis­tent along both sides. The long chrome strips and bumpers are free of pit­ting or dis­coloura­tion. Like­wise, head­light mount­ings are clean, smooth and bright. The MWS wire wheels (with EBC vented disc brakes be­hind) are in fine fet­tle – no cor­ro­sion or grime around spoke ends – and shod in new-look­ing Pirelli Cin­tu­rato tyres.

The re­fur­bished cabin is also hard to fault, the only ob­vi­ous anom­aly be­ing the faded hood cover. Seats are hardly bro­ken in and the cen­tre con­sole arm­rest looks to have never felt an el­bow. The only chips to the fin­ish ap­pear around the speedo mount and cen­tre con­sole ash­tray. The hood is in good or­der. An Aiwa stereo is the only non-pe­riod-look­ing item.

The car’s last owner was an en­gi­neer and his com­pany – York­shire En­gi­neer­ing Ser­vices – looked af­ter the car. The bay sug­gests a vig­i­lant at­ti­tude to­wards leaks, stains and flu­ids, and no ju­bilee clips or screw heads show signs of cor­ro­sion or dirt. There is a pair of size­able fans in the nose.

The straight-six fires up read­ily – helped by the high-torque starter mo­tor and up­rated dis­trib­u­tor – and set­tles into an even idle. Those three SU car­bu­ret­tors (Euro­pean spec rather than Us-mar­ket twin Strombergs) work nicely in har­mony. It doesn’t feel hugely quick, so per­haps it still has a Us-spec low-com­pres­sion head, but above all feels a well-sorted, bal­anced car on the road. Ped­als are light and re­spon­sive and the mo­tor pulls well. The smooth, pro­gres­sive clutch and pos­i­tive changes from the four-speed ’box are re­as­sur­ing, as is the play-free steer­ing. None of the gauges threw up any warn­ing sig­nals, and there were no groans, whines or grinds from body or driv­e­train.

Though it may have a higher mileage than some, this repa­tri­ated ex­am­ple’s con­sci­en­tious up­keep means it has many more miles to drive and it is priced keenly.

Hav­ing been re­painted four years ago, the S2 road­ster still looks lovely

Aiwa stereo de­tracts from an oth­er­wise per­fect pe­riod cock­pit

There’s ev­i­dence of scrupu­lous care un­der the long bon­net

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