1963 Jaguar 3.8 Litre Series I E-Type RoadsterSOLD
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Engine Type: 3.8 Litre DOHC Inline 6 Cly
Engine Number:RA2920-9
Color:Primrose / Black Leather

Reference Number 45778

as of 6/25/2009

Overview
Car 1963 Jaguar 3.8 Litre Series I E-Type Roadster
VIN 878936 
Mileage 6,677 miles 
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Known History

 

1963 Jaguar E-Type OTS Roadster

s/n 878936 engine no. RA2920-9

Primrose with Black Interior

 

The E-Type was unveiled in March of 1961 at the Geneva Motor Show, following the famous 11th hour disorder (one of the cars was driven to the show from England with just hours to spare). The car was an immediate sensation: its specification was state of the art, its bodywork arrestingly gorgeous, and the price surprisingly affordable. It embodied William Lyons` values beautifully and it is no surprise that the E-Type has become such a legendary part of automotive history. The specification clearly demonstrated Jaguar`s racing experience and included independent suspension all around (at a time when Ferrari was still using live rear axles), disc brakes all around (inboard at the rear to reduce unsprung weight), and of course Jaguar`s legendary twin cam inline-6. The cars were continuously developed, however, the arrival of American safety legislation and the twelve cylinder engine made later cars less attractive and less sporting, making the series I cars the pick of the bunch.

 

This particular example is matching numbers and has a high compression engine. It was restored in 1989-1991, and then shown a few times before being placed in storage in 1992. The car was not driven for many years, until its current owner acquired it in 2006. The car was recommissioned at that time to include complete engine and gearbox rebuilds, which were completed about 5400 miles ago. Many other jobs were also performed at this time, including new clutch, ancillaries, master cylinder, water pump, blower motors, hoses, etc. The speedometer, tachometer, and clock were also rebuilt at that time. The car has been fastidiously kept since the work was performed, with many other jobs performed in early 2009, including replacing the head gasket, replacing various body seals, u-joint, motor mount, fuel pump, and performing a tuneup.

 

The major mechanical work was performed by the highly regarded Mike Wilson’s Restorations, and the car is a pleasure to drive. Also worth noting is that the car has a syncromesh gearbox from a 4.2 liter E-Type. The car is impressively documented, with hundreds of pages of receipts going back to the 1980’s. There are also two binders full of photographic documentation of the restoration, in addition to two workshop manuals, a tuning manual, and the original handbook with pouch.

 

The car is in fine cosmetic condition. The restoration was done to high standards, and has mellowed nicely. It is clear that the car has been loved and carefully stored in the years since the restoration. The paintwork was completed to very good standards and remains in nice shape, with the occasional blemish but nothing that significantly detracts from the overall impression of the car. The only noteworthy shortcoming on the exterior of the car is the panel fit, which is satisfactory, but not perfect. The body is straight and solid, above and below. The chrome is in very good shape, with only light scratches, and the wheels are excellent. The glass and lights are in fine shape as well.

 

The interior has a nice even patina and is in great overall condition. The leather has aged gracefully, and the dashboard, instruments, and switches are very nice throughout. As an early 3.8, this car has aluminum dashboard trim, which brightens the overall feel of the interior, and the period Motorola radio is a nice touch as well. This car has been fitted with a slightly smaller diameter steering wheel with a thicker rim, which provides a bit more space while also giving a more modern sporting feel. The wheel retains the classic aesthetic of the E-Type steering wheel and is in beautiful shape.

 

The engine compartment is very tidy and correct. It is quite clean, with only a few signs of use. The engine is a matching numbers (both head and block) high compression unit, and the subframe is straight and retains the chassis number stamp. The trunk was included in the restoration and is very nice. The correct upholstery is in place, and the spare tire well is solid and tidy. The spare wheel has been restored and is very nice.

 

This particular car is a sweetheart of a driver. The car starts easily, runs smoothly, and is properly tuned. It tracks straight, both on and off the brakes, and the chassis has a nice solid and composed feel that is not always present in these cars. The car is not temperamental and is a pleasurable reminder of why these cars are so well loved, and why they were such a sensation when first unveiled.

 

This is a terrific opportunity to acquire a tidy and mechanically sorted E-Type roadster. It is a perfect example to use, thanks to its excellent cosmetic impression and wonderful driving experience. It is not so nice as to preclude its use with a clear conscience, making it a great candidate for an event car. The fitment of a syncromesh gearbox adds further to the appeal, while the high compression engine is another desirable feature of the car. It is extremely complete with several manuals, photo documentation of the restoration, car cover, and original steering wheel.