Reviving an exceptional Series 1 E-type
E-Type UK, leading restorer of the definitive classic sports car – has concluded a full refurbishment of the distinguished 1964 Series 1 FHC Jaguar E-type – rebuilt to a fine blend of originality and performance.
Revolutionary in its time, the Series 1 fixed-head coupe in left-hand drive was first ordered by its original owner in a stunning Pearl Grey exterior paint finish with Dark Blue leather interior. Sourced from deep within the Norwegian mountains, the rare combination of colours makes this particular Series 1 E-type example a truly rare find.
In the capable hands of E-Type UK’s team of experts, the Series 1 underwent an extensive restoration process, with supreme attention to detail down to the final bolt. Significant performance upgrades bring this automotive yardstick of the 1960s roaring into the 21st century.
Remastering a legendary body shell
The very first step in the car’s 3500-hour restoration process is to examine each body panel for signs of rust to guarantee absolute structural rigidity and chassis strength. After being sand blasted to remove remnants of material from the last 50+ years, each panel is primed to prevent any further rust from developing.
With this particular example, E-Type UK’s expert metalwork craftspeople created brand-new floors, sills, rear chassis, gearbox tunnel, bulkhead, inner and outer rear wings and a new bonnet to ensure it wasn’t just stunning to look at, but supremely safe, too. Once all new panels are mounted, accurately aligned, and welded to the original chassis, the body can then be lowered to the floor to allow for the next stage of meticulous restoration to take place.
Achieving a perfect finish
With the careful restoration of the 1964 Series 1 FHC Jaguar E-type’s metal shell complete, the unmistakable silhouette of the 1960s icon begins to take shape.
The filler process sees the shell receive a careful and detailed application of filler to ensure millimetre-perfect dimensions and panel gaps across the entire shell. Rust inhibitors are also applied to the exposed metal, alongside numerous coats of high-build primer. The body is then left to rest for several weeks to ensure all materials are fully hardened prior to painting.
Primed to be hand-painted in the car’s rare and original Pearl Grey finish, the shell is masked before being sprayed with the first of several coats of the striking colour. Secondly, a high-quality clear lacquer is carefully applied to ready the body for a final polish. To accomplish the outstanding exterior finish befitting a world-class restoration, the lacquer is subjected to hours of hand polishing to reveal a flawless shine.
Subtle enhancements to an established formula
To respectfully upgrade one of the most iconic British sports cars whilst simultaneously remaining true to the marque’s original intents requires a delicate and fine touch.
Renowned for their advanced engineering at the time, the E-type is fitted with an IRS (independent rear suspension), securing the rear wheels and suspension to the chassis and providing the driver with low levels of road noise, vibration, harshness, and a smoother ride.
A central element of this Series 1’s restoration involved a full rebuild of innovative IRS system, alongside being fitted with new bearings, universal joints, brake lines and coil overs.
Dedicated to forging a usable, supple, and reliable end product, E-Type UK additionally fitted 4-pot brake callipers, performance brake pads and a separate modern independent handbrake system.
With these highly desirable upgrades now fitted, the IRS unit not only provides the driver with more dynamic braking and superior road performance, but sets the stage for future subtle twists, such as an upgrade to E-Type UK’s front 6-pot brake callipers.
Modern performance with an original feel
Tasked with producing an unrivalled high performing Series 1 Coupe by the owner, the E-Type UK team conducted a full restoration of the 3.8-litre XK engine. The engine was completed to full fast road specification with a new gas flowed head, high lift cams, balanced and lightened crank with lip seal conversion.
Preserving yet modernising the gearbox was central to retaining the car’s period feel, without any historical drawbacks. Formerly a 4-speed, a new 5-speed gearbox was fitted, with the original 4-speed gearbox restored for originality, to ensure less engine strain and a more precise selection of individual gears.
To further enhance the performance of the newly installed 3.8-litre road engine, E-Type UK’s engineers proceeded with fitting the bespoke straight-six fuel injection system, boasting heritage throttle bodies with concealed fuel injectors, retaining the period aesthetic look.
Alongside the EFI system, the E-type engine bay is also treated to an uprated alternator, electronic ignition, high torque starter, crankshaft sensor, high and low-pressure fuel pumps, oil catch tank, air and coolant temperature sensors and removal of the traditional distributor, replaced with an uprated coil pack.
Thunderous grand touring and sharp B-road handling are now second nature to this masterpiece.
An exemplary interior, reborn
Sympathetically reconditioning the interior of this exceptional Series 1 E-type example marks the final step of the total restoration procedure.
With incredible depth of colour, the car’s original Dark Blue leather specification is recreated to perfectly compliment the newly painted Pearl Grey exterior, holding true to its heritage.
Retrimmed seats and dashboard with the finest quality leather finish off the exquisite cabin with finesse and style, whilst providing the driver with a comfortable and functional driving position for any type of journey.