The leading restorer of the definitive classic sports car, E-Type UK, has recently finished a full refurbishment of a 1964 Series 1 FHC Jaguar E-Type.
A fixed-head coupe in left-hand drive, the Series 1 was a revolutionary car. It was ordered new with a gorgeous Pearl Grey finish matched with Dark Blue leather interior. The colors were inspired by the Norwegian mountains and the rare color combination makes the Series 1 E-type a really rare example.
The Series 1 went through an extensive restoration process under the expert hands of E-Type UK. The example was also given significant performance upgrades to bring the famed E-type into the 21st century.
A Legendary Body Shell Remastered
The 3500-hour restoration process of E-Type UK started with an examination of the body panel to check if there are any signs of rust to check absolute structural rigidity as well as chassis strength. Each body panel was sand blasted to remove the remnants that has accumulated for the last 50+ years. They were then primed to ensure that rust do not develop.
For this Series 1, they created brand new floors, rear chassis, sills, bulkhead, gearbox tunnel, inner and outer rear wings, as well as a new bonnet to ensure safety. After all the new panels have been mounted, aligned, and welded to the original chassis, the next stage of the meticulous restoration of the E-Type could begin.
Getting that Perfect Finish
After the metal shell of the 1964 Series 1 FHC Jaguar E-Type has been carefully restored, it is now easy to see the silhouette of the 1960s icon.
The metal shell then receives a filler process wherein the filler is carefully and meticulously applied to make sure that the dimensions of the example are perfect up to the last millimeter. They also ensure that all panel gaps are fixed. The exposed metal were given rust inhibitors, along with numerous coats of high-build primer. Then for the next several weeks, the body is left to rest to ensure that all the materials are completely hardened before they start the meticulous painting process.
After priming, it is almost ready to be hand-painted back to the rare and original Pearl Grey finish, but it is masked first before even the first spray of paint touches the car. They then apply a high-quality clear lacquer to prepare the body for a final polish. To give it the exquisite exterior finish that is worthy to be called a world-class restoration, the lacquer is polished for hours to show hat really flawless shine.
It takes great skill and a really fine touch to find the balance between keeping true to the marque’s original intent and upgrading one of the most iconic British sports cars.
The Series 1 was hailed for their advanced engineering at the time. It was given an IRS (independent rear suspension), securing the suspension and the rear wheels to the chassis, giving the driver low levels of road noise, harshness, and vibration. Providing for an overall smoother ride.
The main element of the restoration of the Series 1 was centered around a full rebuild of the innovative IRS system. It would also be given new bearings, brake lines, universal joints, and coil overs.
To create a reliable, usable, and supple end product, E-Type UK also fitted performance brake pads, 4-pot brake calipers, as well as a separate modern independent handbrake system.
With the Series 1 given these highly desirable upgrades, the IRS unit gives superior road performance and more dynamic driving. The upgrade also opens the possible for future subtle upgrades too, like installing front 6-pot brake calipers.
Modern performance, Classic feel
The E-Type UK team was entrusted to create an unrivaled high performing Series 1 Coupe by the owner. To this end, they did a full restoration on the 3.8-liter XK engine. It was completed with a full fast road specification and was given new high lift cams, gas flowed head, and balanced and lightened crank with lip seal conversion.
To keep the car’s period feel, the line between preserving and modernizing the gearbox had to be walked and they had to ensure that it was free from any historical drawbacks. Previously having a 4-speed gearbox, it has since been upgraded to 5-speed. The original 4-speed gearbox was restored for originality by E-Type UK to minimize engine strain. This also allows E-Type UK give a more precise selection of individual gears.
To really improve the performance of the newly installed 3.8-liter road engine, E-Type UK engineers also gave the Series 1 a bespoke straight-six fuel injection system. It has heritage throttle bodies with hidden fuel injects, to keep the period aesthetic look.
The EFI system and the E-Type engine bay was given an uprated alternator, high torque starter, electronic ignition, high and low-pressure fuel pumps, crankshaft sensor, air and coolant temperature sensors, and oil catch tank. They also removed the traditional distributor and replaced it with an uprated coil pack.
The Series 1 masterpiece can now boast of sharp B-road handling and grand touring.
The final step of the total restoration process is the sympathetic reconditioning of the interior of the Series 1 E-Type.
The example’s original Dark Blue leather specification has been recreated, matching with the Pearl Grey exterior of the Series 1 perfectly while also keeping true to its heritage.
The seats and dashboard were retrimmed using the finest quality leather as the cherry on top of the gorgeous cabin that has been finished with style expertise. This ensures that the driver gets a really comfortable ride with a functional driving position making it ready for any kind of journey.