[collectibles] xke before I die

. . . and I get older every day. My question regards XKE Jaguars
from the 60’s. Is there a good book that tells me where I should
be looking? I have pretty good ‘‘average’’ mechanical know-how( I
used to tune up my chevy back when you still could do it
yourself). I am not a mechanic. I would want to drive it. I
would want it to be right mechanically, though I would also like
reliability(I would want to drive it). Are the early model XKE
upgradeable to todays traffic standards? I’m talking 60’s
models. Thank your for whatever direction you can give.

Baldy–
Baldelvis
–Posted using Jag-lovers JagFORUM [forums.jag-lovers.org]–

At 02:02 AM 8/22/2002 +0200, you wrote:>. . . and I get older every day. My question regards XKE Jaguars

from the 60’s. Is there a good book that tells me where I should
be looking? I have pretty good ‘‘average’’ mechanical know-how( I
used to tune up my chevy back when you still could do it
yourself). I am not a mechanic. I would want to drive it. I
would want it to be right mechanically, though I would also like
reliability(I would want to drive it). Are the early model XKE
upgradeable to todays traffic standards? I’m talking 60’s
models. Thank your for whatever direction you can give.
Baldy
=============================
Baldy:

I received a similar question from a guy in Dallas, and here is part of my
response, which may help you a bit. There are plenty of good books on the
subject of E-Types, most of which are by Paul Skilleter or Phillip Porter.
Since you’re looking for a good driver, try not to get caught up in the
minutia-mania of E-Type restoration…it will drive you batty. I’m not at
my library, but there’s a good book called “E-Type: End of an Era”; I think
it was by Chris Harvey, but I’m not sure. But it’s a good book for sorting
out the 3 series (4 if you count the 1.5) of E-Types, and discusses
strength and weaknesses. Keep in mind that Sir William had no intention of
making these cars last as long as they have. There are some good original
cars around; some very nice restored versions, and some that are absolute
piles of junk that should never be driven or restored by anyone. My
apologies for the “range” dates below; I’m sure they are somewhat
incorrect…I was going by my feeble memory.

Obtaining an E-Type is naturally a good decision, but there are many things
to consider beforehand. You need to do a lot of research on the 3 main
series of E-Types; Series 1, 2, and 3. Also, coupe, 2+2, or roadster, air
conditioned or not, manual transmission or automatic. Although the E-Type
can be made reliable enough to be driven daily, I would not recommend it at
your primary mode of transportation.

The Series 1 E-Types were made from roughly '61 to '67, and Series one’s
have covered headlights (glass). The early cars were powered by a 3.8
liter, and later cars with a 4.2 liter. Both are robust 6 cylinder engines.
However the synchronized Moss gearbox wasn’t introduced until the 4.2 liter
came out. Of this era, the 4.2 liter OTS (open two-seater) is the most
“sought after” by enthusiasts. In '1966 or so, the 2+2 version was
introduced, and has a much higher roof line than on the conventional coupes
to allow headroom for the two rear seats (which is fine as long as the rear
passengers are 12 year olds!). Some say the higher roof line ruins the
classic lines of the E-Type, but to each their own. The series 1 cars had 3
SU carburetors (a good thing).

From '67 to ''71, the Series 2 cars were offered. The front and rear
flasher and parking lights went under the bumper. The 4.2 engine was
saddled with new US emissions devices, including only 2 Zenith-Stromberg
carburetors. The overhead cam covers changed from a gleaming piece of
aluminum to a black version with stripes. There were some other subtle body
changes, but for the most part, it is still an E-Type albeit somewhat
neutered. One of the most notable changes was that the headlights were not
covered.

In '71 to '75, Jaguar put a V-12 engine in all E-Types. Most that came over
to the US were fuel injected, however a few “normal” versions with
carburetors made their way out of the factory. These are very expensive and
hard to find. Needless to say, the V-12 is a very powerful and smooth
engine, but it is massive and can be a maintenance nightmare if it starts
to act up.

Out of these three series, the series 1 and series 3 coupes and
convertibles are the most “sought after” and will cost more than the series
2. It’s just a matter of what style you want. One bit of advice: don’t ever
buy an E-Type basket case with ANY notions of fixing it up and making a
profit on it. It will cost you a lot of money to restore it just to
“driven” status much less concours, and you’ll probably put more into it
than what you can get for it. It is MUCH better to spend as much as you can
possibly afford on a car that is either original or one that has been
mechanically and cosmetically restored. EBay is full of clunker E-Types
that you can pick up for 10 grand, but you’ll be buying someone else’s
problems. Sometimes it’s just the luck of the draw. Also, don’t buy a car
from an auction. Rather, find your nearest Jaguar Club of North America
chapter and find out if anyone in the club has an E for sale. Odds are
better that the car has been maintained and well cared for. If you find a
car that has a filthy engine compartment and undercarriage, you can pretty
much count on it being a car that was driven hard and put up wet. Walk away
from it. JCNA website: www.jcna.com (go to affiliate clubs tab).

Whatever you do, be certain to have a qualified Jaguar E-Type mechanic or
enthusiast look at the car you’re considering buying, otherwise you won’t
know what to look for. The problem with an EBay purchase is that the cars
are from all over the country and you really need to inspect the car in
person…don’t EVER buy one sight unseen or from photos alone!!

I would expect you’ll spend about $20,000 for a good, well-maintained
driver. There are lots of parts vendors around, so availability of parts to
keep your cat on the road is not a problem. As an owner, you will be
required to do a minimal amount of preventive maintenance on the car. Check
under the battery for rust on the frame supports (all of this is in the
books). Don’t let oil or hydraulic leaks go…tend to them or else you’ll
get stuck somewhere!

Again, you need to do some research to find exactly what you want. There is
a web site known as Jag Lovers, a UK site. It is very comprehensive and you
should spend some time looking at brochures for the different models
http://www.jag-lovers.org

You should also see if you can even FIT into an E-Type as they are very
small cars. I’m 6’2" and can barely get into mine, and I cannot drive it
with tennis shoes on. So if you’re big…either tall or round…better try
the fit! And if you’re not mechanically inclined, I’d steer you away from
the E-Type…unless you can afford a breakdown from time to time (which can
happen with ANY car). You might also consider a later model car like an XJS
which you can pick up for a song. There’s even some nice XK8’s on the
market now at a good price. But if an E is your thing, then by all means,
go for it…but know what you’re getting yourself into!

Regards,
Patrick McLoad
Jaguar Club of Houston
1966 Series 1 E-Type, Right-Hand Drive, OTS #1E1.445

Hi Baldy,

Just one small addition to Patrick McLoad’s admirably comprehensive e-mail;
you asked about up-grading early E Types. You may like to know of a couple
of UK-based companies that specialise in this. Much depends on how much
originality you want to retain, but these guys can fit late series XK
engines, working aircon (the factory-fitted version only works when it feels
like it - and it usually doesn’t!), modern brakes, up-rated suspensions and
(v important for early E Types) up-rated cooling systems, etc.

Both companies are E Type specialists (and - no - I have no commercial
connection with either!). They are: Classic Motor Cars (website
www.classic-motor-cars.co.uk) and Eagle E Types ( website -
www.eagleetypes.com). There is also a road test of an Eagle E Type series 1
coupe at:
http://www.pistonheads.com/roadtests/index.asp?storyId=4176

Of course, there will be similar companies States-side - for example, a
mini-industry has grown up fitting US engines to E Types. However, I have
seen the high quality of the work of these two companies and know they have
both prepared US cars

So far as brochures, etc. are concerned, I have a whole stack of E Type stuff
coming up in my next postal auction. This has been disgracefully late in
arriving, but I am in the final stages of cataloguing and it should mail next
month. I am putting up-dates on my own website.

Hope that helps!

Ian Cooling
Jaguar Automobilia Collector
“On and Off the Track – The TWR Group is racing ahead” A slim and very unusual folder remining us of the wide span of engineering that used to be within the TWR group. | Jaguar Automobilia Collector Thu, 22 Aug 2002 02:02:06 +0200, Baldelvis wrote:

. . . and I get older every day. My question regards XKE Jaguars
from the 60’s. Is there a good book that tells me where I should

used to tune up my chevy back when you still could do it
yourself). I am not a mechanic. I would want to drive it. I
would want it to be right mechanically, though I would also like
reliability(I would want to drive it). Are the early model XKE
upgradeable to todays traffic standards? I’m talking 60’s
models. Thank your for whatever direction you can give.

Baldy

Baldelvis
–Posted using Jag-lovers JagFORUM [forums.jag-lovers.org]–

Baldelvis wrote:

I would want to drive it. I
would want it to be right mechanically, though I would also like
reliability(I would want to drive it). Are the early model XKE
upgradeable to todays traffic standards? I’m talking 60’s
models. Thank your for whatever direction you can give.

Baldy,

The real problem IMO is the level of reliability that a 30-year-old E-Type
will exhibit. I simply don’t think you will find the average E-Type,
restored or not, to be a very reliable car, certainly not compared to
anything more recent.

As gorgeous and sleek as they are, E-Types were not paragons of modern
technology when they were new.

You will also find that E-Type parts are stupid expensive in many cases,
even if you are only trying to keep it on the road and not to compete on the
show field.

Just my two cents worth. I, too, lust for an E-Type but I would never
consider one for anything approaching a daily driver.

Best regards,

Gregory Wells 800-331-2193 x103
Coventry West, Inc. - Atlanta, GA www.coventrywest.com
New, Rebuilt, and Used Jaguar & Land-Rover Parts

My wife’s flat floor "62 is used most every sunny day here in the Toronto
area…with good reliability…with the right mechanical work, an E-type (in
our experience) is a good driver…maybe not every day, but on the sunny days
when you want to enjoy the car.

Now, with that said, our driving season is only about 5 months long…

And, I spend probably a couple of hours each week on mechanical / cosmetic work
to keep the car in fettle. Simple things like replacement of points/condensers
with electronic “breakerless” ignitions will go a long way to increasing
reliability…

So, in my experience (over 20 years) with E-types, I feel that with the proper
maintenance these cars CAN be reliable drivers. But don’t expect that they are
low maintenance vehicles.
Tom Owen

56 D-type replica (good driver)
62 OTS (daily summer driver)
66 3.8S (in need of resto)
70 OTS (bare tub, in resto process)
85 VDP ( occasional driver/fully restored)
91 XJ-40 (grocery getter)

Gregory Wells wrote:> Baldelvis wrote:

I would want to drive it. I
would want it to be right mechanically, though I would also like
reliability(I would want to drive it). Are the early model XKE
upgradeable to todays traffic standards? I’m talking 60’s
models. Thank your for whatever direction you can give.

Baldy,

The real problem IMO is the level of reliability that a 30-year-old E-Type
will exhibit. I simply don’t think you will find the average E-Type,
restored or not, to be a very reliable car, certainly not compared to
anything more recent.

As gorgeous and sleek as they are, E-Types were not paragons of modern
technology when they were new.

You will also find that E-Type parts are stupid expensive in many cases,
even if you are only trying to keep it on the road and not to compete on the
show field.

Just my two cents worth. I, too, lust for an E-Type but I would never
consider one for anything approaching a daily driver.

Best regards,

Gregory Wells 800-331-2193 x103
Coventry West, Inc. - Atlanta, GA www.coventrywest.com
New, Rebuilt, and Used Jaguar & Land-Rover Parts

http://www.brownslane.com

(snip)>

Just my two cents worth. I, too, lust for an E-Type but I would never
consider one for anything approaching a daily driver.

Best regards,

Gregory Wells 800-331-2193 x103
Coventry West, Inc. - Atlanta, GA www.coventrywest.com
New, Rebuilt, and Used Jaguar & Land-Rover Parts

Well Baldy…having read that an E-type is not a daily driver.I just had to
stick in my $.02 worth. I have a 70 Roadster which I have owned since new.
I have driven it daily (no winter snows). I have redone the interior 2
times, upgrading certain items such as instruments, more durable carpeting,
electric windows, 180watt CD/Cassette/AM/FM sound system ( you need huge
sound while cruising top down - part of the fun).I have performed no more
“normal maintenance” on the E than on my wife’s variously owned American
sedans. Of course this means that in 30 years I have replaced almost all of
the moving parts in the running gear and as I have done so I upgrade to
“modern” items ( urethane vs rubber for example - stainless fasteners
always) The odometer has passed well over the 200,000 mark. 2 years ago I
retired the old 4.2 and replaced both it and the 4 sp box. I installed a
Ford naturally aspirated 325hp 302HO and a matching 5 sp box. Of course I
had to highly modify the front frame assys, but it was worth it. I thought
the old E could move. There is absolutely no comparison between the old E
w/4.2 and the newly Ford powered E. While top speed is not much improved,
the getting to 150 or so is vastly quicker. I dearly love driving thru
Montana ( no speed limits) when going to visit friends in Washington. I can
easily be up over 100 before the end of the entry ramp on the interstate and
can cruise at that speed till the next gas stop (about 20 mpg at that
speed). And moving from 35 to 75 or so happens almost faster than you can
think about it. Passing a slow moving car or truck on an old 2 lane now
takes place in the wink of an eye. Don’t get the wrong idea here, my normal
speed is about 5mph over the posted limit and I do not use a radar
detector -cause I don’t need it and I have only received 3 speeding tickets
in those same 30 years and one was in my Jeep. So…don’t let anyone
convince you that the E type can not be used as a fun daily driver. Nothing
beats “top down , summer in the city” or on the open road.

Now…if you want to talk high maint, stupidly expensive parts…let’s
talk about my winter driver, a 63 Series Land Rover 88 soon to be sitting on
a new CJ Jeep frame & running gear.

ED----- Original Message -----
From: “Gregory Wells” greg@coventrywest.com
To: collectibles@jag-lovers.org
Sent: Thursday, August 22, 2002 7:06 AM
Subject: RE: [collectibles] xke before I die . . .

Ed,

I said “I simply don’t think you will find the AVERAGE E-Type, restored or
not, to be a very reliable car, certainly not compared to anything more
recent.”

I respectfully submit that your car (even before the V8) is not indicative
of the “average E-Type.” Didn’t you mention that you upgraded a number of
things for more reliability?

Yes, I do know several folks who drive their E-Types as daily drivers, but
they tell me that the level of reliability is not what they would like. I
assume you read the other post from the lister who indicated he spent 2-3
hours per weekend keeping his E-Type “reliable.”

We’re going to have to agree to disagree on this one.

Don’t get me wrong: I like E-Types. And my opinion in regards to the
reliability of almost any 30 year old car (not just an E-Type) would be the
same.

I should also tell you I have a friend who drives a 1915 Model T Speedster
(or his 1914 Model pickup) to work every day in Huntingdon Beach, CA. But I
still wouldn’t recommend this practice to anyone who asked me if they should
do the same thing!

Best regards,

Gregory Wells 800-331-2193 x103
Coventry West, Inc. - Atlanta, GA www.coventrywest.com
New, Rebuilt, and Used Jaguar & Land-Rover Parts

Ed Dinsmore wrote:

Well Baldy…having read that an E-type is not a daily driver.I
just had to
stick in my $.02 worth. I have a 70 Roadster which I have owned
since new.
I have driven it daily (no winter snows).
(snip)

Thanks Mike, I stand corrected…no series 3 E’s were fuel injected, but I
probably should have known better. I must have been thinking of XJS models
that were fuel injected. I’ve looked at too many engines! My apologies to
all you V-12er’s out there!

Patrick McLoad
'66 S1 E-Type OTS

Patrick gave a lot of good information, including his book recommendations.
If you read those books you will find that Jaguar NEVER made a fuel injected
E-Type. All V-12 E-Types used 4 Stromberg carburetors.

Also, for what it’s worth, the Jag-Lovers server is in Norway. Go figure.

Mike Eck
New Jersey, USA
'51 XK120 OTS
'62 3.8 MK2 MOD
'72 SIII E-Type 2+2

Date: Wed, 21 Aug 2002 22:36:53 -0500
From: Patrick Mcload mcload@ev1.net
Subject: Re: [collectibles] xke before I die . . .

In '71 to '75, Jaguar put a V-12 engine in all E-Types. Most that came
over
to the US were fuel injected, however a few “normal” versions with
carburetors made their way out of the factory. These are very expensive
and
hard to find. Needless to say, the V-12 is a very powerful and smooth
engine, but it is massive and can be a maintenance nightmare if it starts
to act up.

Again, you need to do some research to find exactly what you want. There
is
a web site known as Jag Lovers, a UK site. It is very comprehensive and
you> should spend some time looking at brochures for the different models
http://www.jag-lovers.org

Regards,
Patrick McLoad
Jaguar Club of Houston
1966 Series 1 E-Type, Right-Hand Drive, OTS #1E1.445
www.mcload.com