Whilst the concept of the Jaguar E Type was without doubt one of the finest pieces of automotive design ever to be put into general production, one of the problems with its continued development was the inevitable weight gain. Throughout the 1960s ever more stringent safety legislation emanated from the USA and, as this market was a major breadwinner for Jaguar, it was perhaps unavoidable that the purity of the original design would be compromised to compete within it. Emissions legislation had forced the adoption of twin Stromberg carburettors on trans-Atlantic bound cars resulting in a reduction in power to 177bhp instead of the quoted 265bhp for European examples breathing through triple Webers.
However, the balance was to be redressed with the introduction of the Series 3 model powered by Jaguar’s new 5.3-litre, overhead camshaft V12 developing 272bhp. This resulted in a top speed in excess of 140mph with 0-100mph taking just 16 seconds, the fastest ever acceleration figures for the model. Revisions to the running gear included anti-dive geometry on the front suspension and ventilated disc brakes. Power steering was standard and flared wheel arches were incorporated to allow fitment of wider rubber to maintain grip. A deeper radiator aperture with chrome grille completed the restyle. With manual or automatic transmission options the Series 3 ensured the immortal E Type would survive into the new decade of the 1970s.
Back In 1971, Jaguar’s jaw-dropping E-Type had been in production for a decade. Despite continual improvements, new emissions legislation in the all-important American market threatened to strangle the big cat’s performance. Jaguar responded by giving its revered sports car fresh claws in the shape of a 5343cc V12 engine developed from the stillborn XJ13 Le Mans project car. The new engine was both effortlessly powerful and eerily refined. “The turbine-like smoothness with which the engine provides a sustained shove in the back is almost uncanny, the more so when one accelerates hard in top gear without even a gear change to interrupt one’s headlong dash into the distance”. (Autocar 5th July 1973) With some 272bhp and 304lbft of torque on tap, the Series III E-Type once again had 150mph in its sights. A revised wheelbase yielded better cabin space and together with wider tracks front and rear, new anti-dive front suspension geometry and fatter tyres gave improved road holding. Imbued with a more muscular stance thanks to its flared wheel arches, re-profiled wings and larger grille, it also benefited from vented disc brakes and a restyled interior.
This wonderful late E-Type was delivered to its first British owner in September of 1973, finished in Pale Blue (Jag 507) with Dark Blue leather interior and a manual gearbox.
With one owner for 35 years, the E-Type has enjoyed much care and attention over the years, to the tune of £40,000. Amongst other items the E-Type has benefitted from an engine overhaul at 60,000 miles, new brake discs, calipers, and brake pipes. The cooling system has been improved with new radiators, replacement hoses and a new water pump. The fuel system has been treated to an overhaul of the carburettors, and the fuel pipes replaced, and ignition uprated to an OPUS electronic system. Breathing is improved with a new exhaust manifold, and firing uprated with a new set of NGK spark plugs. The E-Type looks resplendent in its new retrimmed interior with new carpets, new bumpers and other chromework, replacement wheels and spinners and new headlamps.
Now showing 84,000 miles from new (which has been confirmed by the previous owner), the E-Type is offered with a new tool kit, folder of service history (much of it with specialist Southern Roadworks), and an MOT certificate valid until August 2018. All in all a cracking example of what has rapidly become one of the most desirable variants of the timeless E-Type.