1974 Jaguar  S3 E Type

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We came back from America in 1989 and at the time my ambition was to build up a small collection of sporting Jaguars. A lot has changed since then and some other marques have joined the household but in June ’88, while back in the UK on a visit, I found a two-owner V12 E type in Morton-in-Marsh. She was a little shabby but sound and in fairly original condition barring conversion to six, twin-choke Webers and an XK 120 silencer box. When I first started her up, my initial impression was Spitfire and I don’t mean Triumph.

The owner had recently returned from Tehran with a lovely Iranian wife and, as they had a small child, he had reluctantly decided that an E Type was no longer the right car. I paid a deposit and returned a few days later to pick up my trophy. With Kathleen, my wife, in the car beside me we said our final goodbyes. The owner and his wife were standing on their front steps watching us leave. I started the engine and the wonderful, raucous wail filled the air. It was too much for his wife who suddenly turned to her husband and burst into floods of tears. Up till then he had managed to control his feelings but his wife’s anguish and the loss of his beloved E type overcame him and tears began to course down his cheeks. Kathleen moved by this display of raw emotion also began to cry. That seemed my cue; I gunned the motor and we shot out of the drive. It was only seconds before the tearful couple were lost in the rear view mirror.

Over the years 492 D, a number plate acquired because of the non-standard tail pipes, has been faultless. I have done a bit of bodywork as she began to show signs of age and she has been repainted a metallic version of her original Regency Red. Apart from new springs, shock absorbers and a clutch slave cylinder nothing has been needed. She drives like a new car with just under 50,000 miles on the clock. Another possession I plan to keep until they take me away in a box.

Perhaps the least popular of the marque - the Series 3, V12. The power steering is a little light for it’s UK audience but, all in all, a great car.

Six, twin choke Webers looking regal under the bonnet

V12 Sound

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