1965 Jaguar Series 1 E-Type Roadster shows what Classic Works can do

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You might have heard that England's Queen Elizabeth recently celebrated 70 years with a four-day Jubilee throughout London. You might also have heard about the Platinum Jubilee Pageant that stretched nearly two miles long, featuring thousands of performers and a whole lot of cars. More than a dozen of the vehicular contingent came from Jaguar alone; the brand has a long history with the royal family, Jaguar Land Rover being one of four automakers possessing a Royal Warrant to provide motorcars to the queen. And Jaguar wanted to highlight this participant among its phalanx, a 1965 Series 1 E-Type Roadster restored by Jaguar Classic Works.

It doesn't have any connection to the queen, but billed as a showcase of "the full capabilities of Jaguar Classic and ability to comprehensively update E-types," it could be taken as a small indicator of how much more the automaker could do for monarchs. A private customer went to Jaguar Classic Works with a request for an E-Type built the year he was born, the final product to be "relied upon for daily driving and be comfortable on Grand Tours while remaining authentic to the original."

First, fixers fanned out, locating an example built two days after the new owner was born. Its pathetic condition posed no problem for the restorers in Coventry, who didn't leave anything alone during the 12-month build. Going by the before picture, technicians started by swapping the original left-hand drive for right-hand drive. They bored the original 4.2-liter engine to 4.7 liters and undisclosed power, "optimised for road driving." The mill's output is sent through a sport manifold and exhaust and a custom five-speed manual transmission. The gearbox is an in-house Classic Works production originally created for the E-Type 60 Edition that delivers "a smoother, quieter and more refined driving experience." Wider wheels and tires, and more powerful brakes, are bolted to an upgraded suspension.

The cabin and sheetmetal received attention worthy of the mechanicals. The exterior is drenched in a custom blue based on the Union Jack that took months to perfect; in-the-metal pictures at Coventry Live show just how lustrous the paintwork is. The red interior recalls the red of British pillar boxes, their term for mailboxes. And the Classic Infotainment system puts 21st-century digital amenities like touchscreen controls and navigation behind a mask of classic knobs, buttons, and chrome that are just as discrete as the LED headlights in classic housings.

The Jubilee celebrations have concluded, but Jaguar Classic Works wants everyone to know that it remains ready to turn bespoke dreams into reality.

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