Rundown Land Rover Defenders and classic Mercedes models have had their dust covers removed and seen new leases of life over the months. But there is one vehicle renowned as the ultimate car when it comes to transformation, restoration and rebuilds and it’s the car that would top many wish lists too.
It is, of course, the iconic Jaguar E-type – the vehicle that took the sixties by storm and was ‘the’ car of the stars. Anyone who was anyone, from Frank Sinatra to George Best and George Harrison to Steve McQueen, owned one and it was a clear indication of a person’s status in its day.
This year, the E-type is celebrating its 60th anniversary. Yes, 60 years since it was unveiled to a huge crowd at the Geneva Motor Show and production lines struggled to keep up with the overwhelming instant demand.
With its beautiful curves, elongated bonnet and distinctive lights, the two-door E-Type became an overnight sensation and it always delivered on the performance front too. It is the one car that is guaranteed to stop onlookers dead in their tracks as it powers past and will bring out the green-eyed monster in the calmest of souls.
To celebrate six decades of glory, there is an insightful new book published by Porter Press that will make any restoration more rewarding and may even prompt a few classic enthusiasts into starting a new project.
Original Jaguar E-type – Restorers’ and enthusiasts’ guide to 3.8, 4.2 and V12, is a beautifully produced hardback book with 400 pages and more than 1,000 photographs offering a wealth of information.
The comprehensive guides were gleaned from extensive research and the attention to detail is remarkable, providing an accurate source to originality for all production E-types – Series 1,2 and 3. It is aptly described as ‘an invaluable resource for E-type owners, restorers and enthusiasts’.
Although the book would look simply fabulous gracing any coffee table reading list, it is far more likely to end up covered in grease stains in the back of a garage or converted workshop.
That’s because it offers vital in-depth information on the E-type’s engines, transmissions, brakes, suspension, steering, wheels, tyres, colours, options, fuel and ignition systems, along with practical help such as where identification numbers are located, summary tables of all the chronological changes made by Jaguar during production and information on tool kits and literature supplied by Jaguar.
The appendix even goes into such specific detailing as the types of original bolts that were used on the cars.
It is the ultimate package and go-to reference for any E-type owners or anyone with aspirations that one day…
Apart from all the technical detailing, the book is packed with historical insights, such as how the brief for the original E-type was to build just 500 to 1,000 models and how this led to major panic as the orders stacked up.
It is beautifully written and is an insightful and enjoyable read even for someone who is not particularly mechanically-minded, but simply shares a passion for the greatest-looking car on the planet.
Publisher Philip Porter, asked author Malcolm McKay to write the book because he is an E-type owner, has practical experience and the dedication to produce the best possible, most detailed book on the subject.
Malcolm has a history steeped in classic cars. He joined Classic Cars magazine in 1989 and was soon appointed Deputy Editor, a role he held until going freelance in 1998. He has since contributed to classic car magazines worldwide, as well as national newspapers, and was Editor of The E-type, magazine of the E-type Club, for 11 years.
In the book’s preface, Philip Porter said: “Malcolm has done a superlative job. He has combined assiduous fact-finding with detective work, practical research with perception and sheer hard slog.
“I speak from experience. It has been an enormous challenge for him but he has risen to that challenge. Not only is the detail breath-taking, but he has debunked much that has been written previously.”
The book was officially launched at Shelsley Walsh on June 12-13, when 400 E-types and their owners gathered for E-type 60 – a special celebration to mark the Jaguar’s anniversary.
Original Jaguar E-type – Restorers’ and enthusiasts’ guide to 3.8, 4.2 and V12 is on sale now priced at £65. To order a copy, visit https://porterpress.co.uk/