Last post on Apr 18, 2002 at 7:57 PM
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Jaguar, Coupe, Convertible
Feb 20, 2002 (3:13 pm)
Only once every 10-20 years does a car have the impact that the original E-type did on the general public.
Yes, it's true that we who are car nuts will get excited over new models today, but it's pretty rare for people who generally could care less about cars to flip over an automobile. Maybe the last car to do that in modern times was the Audi TT. But even that "buzz" was nothing in comparison to the E.
Not only was it radically beautifully to just about everyone, but it was a bargain for the price. Maybe not quite as fast as a Corvette 0-60, but once you let it out over 100 it had much better handling and brakes than a 'Vette.
The Museum of Modern Art in New York immediately put one on display and it may still be there for all I know.
My favorite is the early 4.2. The early coupe is okay but I personally think the 2+2 coupe is not an attractive car. Most buyers agree with me and these cars often go begging at low prices. Couple a 2+2 with an automatic transmission (why would anyone do that ?) and the car is practically sale proof over $8,000.
The V12s are nice but no longer sportscars. They are heavier, not as attractive (due to US bumper regulations) and pretty difficult to throw around gracefully. So the last E-Type were more GT cars than sports cars (as Jaguars are today GT cars).
I've had 120s, 140s and a 150 but never quite made it to an E-Type. Now with the base price for a decent one starting at $20,000 and the nice ones going at $35K and up, it looks like it may be out of reach for me as a hobby car.
And believe me, it's not a car you want to buy rough and "fix up" as you go! They are difficult restorations, especially the body work.
#6 of 34 The Museum of Modern Art and the Jaguar XKE
Feb 20, 2002 (4:52 pm)
It's still there, and it's still the most beautiful design in the museum. I saw it during my visit there a few months ago. Every piece on the Jag from the door handles to the exhaust tips is both functional and beautiful.
Still, I couldn't resist. I stooped down a little and looked under the car. There was a stain on the floor from leaked engine oil.
#7 of 34 Oil leaks are designed into the car....
Feb 20, 2002 (5:31 pm)
E-Types were notorious for rust, so the engineers designed the rear main seal on the engine to coat the suspension with oil, thus preventing rust (at least on that part of the car).
#8 of 34 Mr Shiftright
Feb 20, 2002 (6:17 pm)
I agree, that tempting though it might seem, restoring a rough example would not be the way to go.
I know that the earlier convertible models are considered more desirable, but it's just a quirk in my nature that I find myself drawn to the last of the V12 coupes. I've always thought of them as a long legged, long distance tourer, and with that mindset I could even be comfortable with the autobox. From what you say, that should work to my advantage in terms of pricing at least.
Do you, or anyone else, have any information on the availability of spares and general maintainance parts? I know that virtually everything is available for the MGB, for instance, but I rather doubt that things are the same for the E-Type.
Feb 20, 2002 (6:18 pm)
Italians did that for years. They would mix ordinary road dirt with oil and paint it on the chassis. Worked pretty good for them during the "hard" years, the 50s and early 60s.
The E-Type is, of course, a monocoque, so any rust in a structural area is deadly. Also, fitting that huge bonnet after a collision is really hell. Easy way to spot an E that's been "kissed". A clutch job requires the engine AND trans to be pulled (groan!) and to replace the rear brake rotors you need to drop the entire rear axle assembly I believe (it's been a while).
Some folks forget how great the Jag 6 engine really is. It was in production longer than just about any engine I can think of...lemme see...well over 40 years, which beats the Chevy "stovebolt" 6 and the other contender, the Alfa dohc, which I think stops at around 39 years, maybe 40.
Feb 20, 2002 (6:42 pm)
I was, of course, joking about using motor oil from the engine as rust prevention. Still, Coventry did little in the way of rust prevention when they painted the cars, and they are notorious for oil leaks, so....
There's unconfirmed rumors about the later Jag XK engines having bad machining on the main bearings from the factory, because the guy who made them for 40 years retired, and his replacement didn't have the experience on Jag's old, worn machine tools to make the engines right. I kinda doubt that, though, because only one guy making all those engines for 40 years straight seems a little unlikely to me.
Feb 21, 2002 (11:13 am)
He'd have been a very busy man, yeah, LOL!
Every now and then you see a Jaguar with a Chevy V-8 stuffed in it, and while I don't care what people do to XJ6 sedans, I would personally consider it a complete ruination of an XKE.
It's funny. Jaguar engines are about the best part of the car, and people throw them out and think they have a better car.
As with most British cars, some extra attention to good electrical connections, and some radiator work, and you can vastly improve reliability without discarding the very heart of a jaguar--its engine!
I have a very rare step by step rebuilding manual for the E-Type engines, so one of these days...
Feb 21, 2002 (9:33 pm)
They were (The XK engines) used for 44 years.
Came out in 1948, the last one was put in a Daimler DS420 Limo in 1992 or so.
Feb 22, 2002 (10:28 am)
That's the longest lived 6 cylinder engine in the world, right? Porsche engines have changed too much I think to be considered the "same" engine for all those years.
Feb 22, 2002 (10:15 pm)
I think it has to be...
Although regular mass-production of the engine ceased in early 1987 whenthe last 6-cyl Series 3s were made. Still, even that was 39 years.
Well... hasnt the BMW "Small-Six" basically been around a looong time? Still, not even close...
Or what about the old Blue Flame 6 by Chevy? How long did they make that for?