By 1970 the American specified E-Type Jaguar was being outperformed by its competitors due to strict emission regulations which were strangling the 4.2 litre XK engine. The factory response was to produce a new E-Type, which had 5300cc of V12 under the bonnet.
The Series Three E-Type was a heavily modified version of its predecessors. The car was wider and longer, it had a 4 ¼” wider track, beefier wheels and tyres but most importantly, it had 285bhp on tap and could outperform most of the opposition with its 140+mph top speed, turbine-like power delivery and startling acceleration.
Unlike the S1 and S2, the S3 came in two, rather than three forms. You could either have a roadster or a fixed-head coupe, and both were built on the same wheelbase. The fixed head offered 2+2 accommodation and the roadster had, very useful, extra luggage space behind the front seats.
Inside the Series III there were few changes. Power steering was now standard and the car was equipped with a smaller, leather-wrapped steering wheel, rather than the wood-rimmed wheel of before.
The Series III E-type had a three-year run, with production ending in late 1974. The last 50 cars were all UK-specification, right-hand drive Commemorative models with chrome disc wheels and hardtops. A special plate on the dash read; “ This is one of a special series of right-hand drive cars built to identify the conclusion of manufacture of the Jaguar E-type sports car.” The plaque bore Sir William Lyons’ signature and the serial number of the car. One car was painted BRG for a customer, the other 49, as the example we offer today, were painted black. The very last car built, number 50, was retained by Jaguar for the Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust collection.
Chassis number 1S2859 was delivered to its first owner, a Mr A Hartle of Hartle International Machinery Ltd, Manchester, in September 1974. The twelfth-from last E-type ever built and one of the 50 Commemorative models, it was registered GPD 406N.
The car remained in Hartle’s ownership until 1988, when he sold it to Allen Lloyd to become an exhibit in his then 40-car collection. No ordinary collector, Lloyd was president of the Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust and his Jaguars at the time included the ex-Ian Appleyard Alpine Rally SS100, Broadspeed XJ12 Coupe, and an XKSS amongst others.
Although a low-mileage example, Lloyd had the car restored by XK Engineering at a cost of over £40,000 and re-registered it as 1 EXK. Forming a part of this important collection for eight years, Lloyd finally sold the car on to a Mr B Morrit and the registration number reverted back to GPD 406N. Again the car was used sparingly with Mr Morrit driving the car for pleasure during the summer months only for the next 13 years.
In 2009 the car entered the most recent chapter in its history when it passed into the hands of its most recent custodian who registered it with the appropriate number JAG 22N (although it has now had its original registration number reassigned). Although still a very low mileage example at this stage, the paintwork had become a little tired, so a thorough refurbishment was undertaken.
The Jaguar was stripped and repainted (absolutely no rust was found) and any brightwork that was not up to standard was re-plated. Mechanically the car was thoroughly checked throughout and any faults found rectified; even the instruments were stripped and cleaned. Five new wheels and tyres were fitted, along with a new exhaust and a new hood.
This most recent work, completed in late 2010, totalled a staggering £34,000, with all work carried out by Hilton and Moss of Stansted, Essex.
In the present owner’s enthusiastic hands ‘Number 38’ has been used only for Concours d’Elegance events and has been extremely successful, winning Best E-Type at the Jaguar Drivers Club International E-Type Day at Prescott in June 2010. That same day it also won ‘Car of the Day’ and was later being invited to be displayed at the Champion of Champions concours at the NEC in November 2010.
While the condition of this car is unsurpassed, it is no ‘Trailer Queen’ and the owner has found it to be totally reliable, running perfectly with no faults. Quite possibly the best Commemorative E-Type available, this example also has a superb and unblemished history from new. With a little over 35,000 miles covered in its lifetime the car comes with an extensive history file documenting its ownership and refurbishment from 1974 to date. It is also complete with all tools and handbooks and is MOT tested to 23rd March 2012.
Note: This outstanding example of a commemorative E-type can be seen on our stand at Beaulieu on the 10th -11th Sept. D17 to D19