In Brief

Pictures: 1964 Jaguar E-Type restored to perfect condition after 40 years sat in garage

The classic has been transformed with a number of modern upgrades

A 1964 Jaguar E-type Series 1 3.8 FHC has been given a new lease of life after gathering dust for more than four decades. 

The classic car was discovered in the previous owner’s unused garage in southeast England, where it had been parked since 1979. 

British specialists E-Type UK had the task of restoring the barn-find to its former glories. Following an extensive sandblasting and a three-day strip-down, the extent of the damage caused by 40 years of neglect was revealed - signalling a major challenge ahead.

Nevertheless, E-Type UK finished and delivered the car to its new owner before the nationwide lockdown. The company’s founder, Marcus Holland, said: “A restoration like this is a real challenge for our team - 40 years of inactivity takes an enormous toll on every single part of a vehicle.

“But customers come to us to make their dream car a reality, so we will take it apart piece by piece, clean and improve everything we can save and replace everything that we can’t with better-than-original quality. 

“Not only are we delighted to have delivered our client a car they’ve always wanted, but we’re honoured to have played a part in keeping this piece of British motoring history on the road, and being used regularly, for many years to come.”

The Jag is finished in period with an Opalescent Silver Blue exterior and matching blue interior, but the new owner opted for a new Oxblood Red leather interior and a number of other choice upgrades.

A barn-find 1964 Jaguar E-type Series 1 3.8 FHC was restored by E-Type UK

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How the E-Type was restored 

Metalwork

E-Type UK started by identifying and replacing sections that were too rotten to save. The workshop team found that many areas of the floor and the inner and outer sills were beyond saving, so replaced them completely while also strengthening the body elsewhere. Every suspect piece of metal was eliminated to ensure the structure is even stiffer than the day it left the factory.

Bodywork, paint and reassembly  

After the metalwork was completed, the E-type was introduced to the filler room, where bodywork technicians set out to restore the seamless 1960s lines. The entire car was cleaned and skimmed, then block-sanded to obtain the perfect straightness and contours, with long hours spent fine-tuning the perfect gaps and apertures.

To achieve the original Jaguar colour of Opalescent Silver Blue, the car underwent a long process of painstaking preparation. Due to the silver pigments in the paint, errors are often unavoidable, frequently leading to a cloudy finish, but expert skill this time round meant the final result is sparkling and even.

Reassembly started with fitting this E-type’s uprated independent rear suspension, which included improved brake calipers and brake pads. At this stage, the front suspension was also fitted to create a rolling shell, making the car easier to manoeuvre around the workshop.

Performance and usability upgrades

The original 3.8-litre XK6 engine was fitted with high-lift cams, a balanced and lightened crank and new seals - all of which will help with driveability and reliability. A new five-speed gearbox for tighter shifts and more refined cruising was fitted too, along with a new full stainless-steel sports exhaust and an aluminium radiator and header tank for enhanced cooling.

Finishing touches

With much of the work complete, the finishing touches were applied, including the newly trimmed Oxblood Red leather interior, along with fresh chromework and headlight surrounds. In a nod to examples of the rare E-type Lightweight (of which only 12 were originally completed), the new owner requested the addition of a new red vinyl bonnet mouth, setting off the look perfectly. 

In pictures: 1964 Jaguar E-type Series 1 3.8 FHC

A barn-find 1964 Jaguar E-type Series 1 3.8 FHC was restored by E-Type UKA barn-find 1964 Jaguar E-type Series 1 3.8 FHC was restored by E-Type UKA barn-find 1964 Jaguar E-type Series 1 3.8 FHC was restored by E-Type UKA barn-find 1964 Jaguar E-type Series 1 3.8 FHC was restored by E-Type UKA barn-find 1964 Jaguar E-type Series 1 3.8 FHC was restored by E-Type UK

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