What about buying a project E-type? True barn finds are rare and often come with wildly ambitious prices given the amount of work inevitably involved in fixing them up. Marcus well knows how much work can be involved: E-Type UK has just finished the total restoration of 1964 SI 3.8 fixed-head coupe which took 2,500 hours over 18 months. The UK car was found in a garage, not a barn, but it had sat there unused since 1979.
“At first look the car appeared well preserved and rot-free,” says Marcus, “but after sandblasting and a strip-down, the extent of the damage caused by 40 years of inactivity, coupled with previous cheap repairs, revealed a major challenge. Many areas of the floor and the inner and outer sills were beyond saving.”
Today the newly finished coupe is resplendent in the original Jaguar colour of opalescent silver blue, with oxblood red leather interior and fresh chromework – not forgetting the red outline around its “mouth”, racing Lightweight style, as the owner had requested. In typical E-Type UK style, this isn’t the only non-original modification. This car’s 3.8 XK motor features high-lift cams, a stainless-steel sports exhaust, aluminium radiator and header tank for enhanced cooling, and a new five-speed gearbox, all changes to improve driveability and reliability.
All this work would put a car restored to this standard – in many ways better than it was when band new – in the £200,000-plus bracket, says Marcus. A big ticket item for sure then, but imagine how totally chuffed this car’s owner will be driving around in it for the E-type’s 60th anniversary next year…