The E-type Jaguar took the world by storm when it was unveiled at the Geneva show in March 1961. However nothing is perfect and the car was constantly improved over the following years.
After the first 500 cars were built, the floor pan was changed to accommodate larger (read ‘normal size’) drivers. The 3.8 litre engine was enlarged to 4.2 litres in 1964 and a 2+2 joined the range in 1966 with a longer chassis and more vertical screen.
The Series 2 appeared in late 1968 and featured a number of styling changes including larger indicators and tail-lights, a larger ‘mouth’ at the front, and slightly higher headlamps with no covers. Twin fans were added for better engine cooling and the brakes and the gearbox were improved.
The interior gained slightly more leg and headroom with more comfortable seats, while the dashboard had revised switchgear with rocker switches rather than toggles to meet new safety legislation in the vital American market. The engine remained the same magnificent 265bhp XK 4.2 twin-cam but with ribbed cam covers in place of the original smooth ones, again to promote cooler running.
The result was a better car all round, though purists will still say that the Series One was the more handsome machine. There are many who also think that the iconic E-Type profile looked at its best as the original two-seater Coupe, the lines working better at the rear than the Roadster and the raked screen and lower roofline looking more integrated than the 2+2.
A total of 4,857 S2 Coupes were made before it was replaced by the V12 S3 in 1970, 1,071 in RHD and 3,786 in LHD, mainly for the booming American market.
As the accompanying Heritage Certificate confirms, this particular Coupe was built on 22nd May 1969 and was despatched to British Leyland, New York, on 4th June. It was finished in Light Blue with a Dark Blue leather interior, manual transmission and left-hand drive.
Nothing is known of the subsequent history of the car until it was brought back to the UK by leading Jaguar parts suppliers, SNG Barratt of Bridgnorth. A few months later they sold it to a customer who was planning to restore the car but sadly he passed away not long after and the car was put into storage where it was to remain for the next 27 years.
Recently retrieved from its long-term resting place, the E-Type is being sold here with no reserve and strictly ‘as seen’. The car is clearly missing several components (including both doors) and what you see is what you get. On the plus side, all the missing parts are readily available from suppliers such as SNG Barratt, and we are told that the car is a ‘matching numbers’ machine that retains its original engine and is also in its original paint colour.
With E-Type values seemingly on a relentless upwards trajectory of late, it should amply reward the remedial works now required and could be converted to right-hand drive if desired using a kit of parts readily available from specialists.
It comes with the aforementioned Heritage Certificate plus import papers from 1989 to show that all duties have been paid, so getting it UK-registered should be straightforward with the requisite DVLA form.