As a lover of classic cars and in particular the Jaguar E-Type, I was delighted to see this beautiful 1964 Series 1 FHC Jaguar E-type restored to a superb blend of originality and performance by Kent based leading restorer of this classic British sports car, E-Type UK.
Back in the 1960s when it was first launched, the Series 1 E-Type fixed-head coupe was viewed as revolutionary. It was initially built for export only in March 1961 with cars for the domestic market coming four months later in July 1961.
This particular 1964 Series 1 FHC Jaguar E-Type was originally ordered in left-hand drive with a Pearl Grey exterior paint finish and Dark Blue leather interior. Having been sourced from deep within the Norwegian mountains, the rare combination of colours makes this particular Series 1 E-Type a rare find and a car worth preserving.
As a result, the car has undergone an extensive restoration process with incredible attention to detail, right down to the final bolt which totalled some 3,500 hours. In addition, significant performance upgrades have brought this beautiful Jaguar from the 1960s roaring back into the 21st century.
The first part of the restoration process was to examine every body panel on the car for signs of corrosion to ensure its structural rigidity. This involved sand blasting the chassis and body shell to remove any rust and remnants before each panel was primed to prevent any rust from appearing in the future.
Brand-new floors had to be fabricated by the craftspeople at E-Type UK, as well as new sills, a rear chassis, the gearbox tunnel, bulkhead, inner and outer wings and a whole new bonnet. This is necessary to ensure that the car is supremely safe for use on the road once fully restored.
Filler is then applied the car’s body panels to ensure a millimetre-perfect finish and panel gaps are checked and corrected where necessary. Rust inhibitors are then applied to the exposed metal, followed by numerous coats of high-build primer. The body is then left to settle for several weeks to ensure all the materials are fully hardened before the car goes to the paint shop.
At the paint shop the car’s shell is masked before being sprayed with the first of several coats of paint. A high-quality clear lacquer is then carefully applied before the body gets a final polish for a flawless shine.
This 1964 Series 1 FHC Jaguar E-type is the recipient of some subtle modern upgrades, something the team at E-Type UK are renowned for. The car is fitted with a fully rebuilt IRS (independent rear suspension), securing the rear wheels and suspension to the chassis which gives the car lower levels of road noise, vibration, harshness, and thus providing a much smoother ride. New bearings, universal joints, brake lines and coil overs are also fitted.
In addition, the E-Type is fitted with 4-pot brake callipers, performance brake pads and a separate modern independent handbrake system.
The owner of the car was also looking for improved performance and so the team at E-Type UK fully restored of the 3.8-litre XK engine. Building the engine to full fast road specification means that it got a new gas flowed head, high lift cams, and a balanced and lightened crank with lip seal conversion.
The original gearbox was 4-speed, but a new 5-speed gearbox was fitted to the car along with E-Type UK’s bespoke straight-six fuel injection system, which boasts heritage throttle bodies with concealed fuel injectors so as to retain the period aesthetic look of the engine.
The E-Type also received an uprated alternator, electronic ignition, high torque starter, crankshaft sensor, high and low-pressure fuel pumps, oil catch tank, air and coolant temperature sensors and removal of the traditional distributor, replacing it with an uprated coil pack as seen on more modern cars.
The final part of the restoration process was a full and sympathetic reconditioning of the E-Type’s interior to bring it back to showroom condition with retrimmed seats and dashboard made of the finest quality Dark Blue leather, bringing the car back to its original specification and complimenting the newly painted Pearl Grey exterior, thereby keeping hold of this stunning 1964 Series 1 FHC Jaguar E-Type’s heritage.
To find out more about the restoration work E-Type UK carry out, please visit: etypeuk.com
Simon Burrell is Editor of Our Man Behind The Wheel, a professional photographer and former saloon car racing driver.
Photographs courtesy of E-Type UK