Jaguar E-Type specialist E-Type UK has created what could be the ultimate Series 3 V12 E-Type, with a stunning ‘RestoMod’. But is the restoration actually sacrilege?
The Classic Car world is a funny old place, populated by enthusiasts for every classic marque you can remember, enthusiasts with bank balances which range from the hand-to-mouth to rich as croesus, but all passionate about their cars.
Once upon a time the passion, particularly at the top end of classics, was for cars perfectly restored to ‘as new’, but lately classic car buyers seem to be going down the route of ‘Patina is best’, attempting to retain the wear and tear in a car without making it unusable.
For those, perhaps misguided, souls who want their classic to look old rather than fresh, what E-Type UK has done to create what they believe is the ultimate Jaguar E-Type V12 Series 3 will be sacrilege. But they have done a damn fine job.
Taking a 1974 example of the least loved E-Type – but perhaps the E-Type with the most potential for improvement, the Series 3 V12 E-Type – E-Type UK has created a V12 E-Type which is undoubtedly better than anything that ever left the factory.
Under the skin, the 5.3 litre V12 now becomes 6.1 litre V12 with a custom downdraft fuel injection system with Jenvy throttle bodies, an ECU and new wiring loom, creating a reliable 284bhp and sounding wonderful through a 12-branch stainless steel exhaust.
Extra stiffness is added with strengthened inner sills, new louvres and air ducting were added to the bonnet, a sports steering rack was fitted, there’s adjustable suspension and four-pot AP Racing brakes, a new 5-speed gearbox and custom 62 spoke 16″ wire wheels fitted.
The interior gets a new fully bespoke leather makeover, with lower seats (so you don’t have to be under 5’10” to drive in comfort) based on XJS seats, LED lighting, sound deadening, Bluetooth and a glowing red ‘Start’ button. It looks terrific.
It’s a glorious ‘Restomod’, even if half the classic car world will be up in arms about destroying a classic E-Type.
But although there’s a place for an original condition classic, why are we so precious about it? Do we object when Elizabethan houses have plumbing and heating, or newly discovered works of art are cleaned and restored? No, and nor should we object when a classic car is made better, especially when it’s done with real expertise, love and sympathy for the original.
We say well done E-Type UK.