Home

Chairman's Christmas Message

2014 has been a great year for E-Types.  We held a very well attended second instalment of the E-Type Workshop at Gaydon on April 6th.  Please look for details  of the THIRD instalment of the E-Type Workshop  which will, again, be held at Gaydon on Sunday, April 5th 2015 with five or six E-Types inside the lecture hall with us.

Then we were at Goodwood again on May 5th for another wonderful Jaguar Track Day at this World renowned venue.  And to make it extra special the weather was glorious.  The emotive side of this is that we use the same hallowed surface as that of the really well established Goodwood Revival Meeting held annually in September.  At the time of writing (October) we are awaiting confirmation of the date, Bank Holiday Monday, May 4th 2015.

Then we mustn’t forget the friendly drinks, dinner and accommodation on Sunday May 3rd – and the hotel is no more than two miles from the Goodwood venue.  Booking forms for this event will be sent out early in the New Year.  Why not come and join us?  If you are a potential or hopeful first time participant please contact Petronel (01962 777321 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ) for further information.

Rest assured, everything is run to prevent damage to drivers and Jaguars – and please remember that ALL Jaguars are welcome, not just E-Types –  and is taken at your own pace to suit your experience.

At this event there is no competition.  It is fully marshalled and instructors are available on the day to show you the best use of the Track, should you so wish.  All drivers must attend a Briefing and drivers and passengers need to sign Indemnities.  Seat belts must be worn where fitted and helmets are compulsory (we will have a limited number of helmets for hire on the day).

E-Type Day at Prescott has to be the best annual Jaguar party of the year.  In 2014 we had an extra presence amongst the Jaguars consisting of Maseratis, a number of Austin Healeys and a few other interesting Sports Cars.  We have dates for the next two years at Prescott, so please put them in your diaries now.  They are: Sunday, June 14th 2015 and Sunday, June 12th 2016.  For the parties the night prior to these dates the Rising Sun Hotel on Cleeve Hill  (where Norman Dewis has joined us in the past and regaled us with stories of his fantastic experiences, and hope he will be joining us again) has been booked by the E-Type Register for the occasions on Saturday, June 13th 2015 and Saturday, June 11th 2016.  Again, please contact Petronel (as before) for details of the event and availability at the hotel.

For E-Type Days, drivers and passengers will need to sign indemnities.  Seat belts must be worn – where fitted – and arms must be kept inside the car.  The event is fully marshalled and is called a ‘Cavalcade’.  Cars are sent off the Start Line when the previous car is half way up the Hill and you can take the whole thing at your own pace.  Then, when you have learned the course, you can try a little harder – that is what it is all about!

Our new, ‘up-market’ gazebos, featuring large E-Type images, made their impressive debut at the 2014 Silverstone Classic where they were clearly visible across the whole infield.

It is just left for me to say that all members of the E-Type Register Committee wish everyone a Very Happy Christmas and a Prosperous New Year.

All That Glitters Is Not Gold

I have shown a number of pictures of two very different E Types in the same geographical setting, although in slightly different lighting conditions. The V12 fixed head has recently been cleaned, whilst the soft top is dirty and appears somewhat neglected. The V12 has gleaming paint work which would immediately attract the novice buyer. The Series 1 soft top has poor paint with different shades of carmen red on the various panels of the car. A previous owner has attempted to convert the interior from sandy beige to black. The technic used was seat paint!

The obvious result is that the paint is coming off revealing the true colour of the leather. The other act of stupidity in respect of the soft top is the use of underseal on the underside, which the bright spark who applied it thought should also cover part of the sills. This was a common practise in the 60’s and I remember my father’s first new car purchased in 1966 was undersealed in a similar fashion. This was the 6 cylinder 1600 Triumph Vitesse.

Of course cars from that period had rust built in through the stubborn refusal of the British Motor Industry to use zinc coating and the perverse habit of parking new cars in fields prior to sale. Sadly the Triumph Vitesse went the way of all flesh, but the soft top E Type shown in the photographs thankfully spent no time pending its first sale in a field. For those of you who don’t know the problem with underseal, is that it is virtually impossible to get a perfect seal, and even if you do any moisture on the metal is sealed in. Subsequently as the underseal dries out, moisture gets behind the underseal, where in the cosy environment thus created, rust attacks even more vigorously than had undersealed ever been applied. I learned this hard fact of life many years ago, painting the underside of my early minis in old engine oil.

 

Returning to the two E Types, it will be seen on closer examination of the V12, that despite the gleaming paintwork the driver’s seat is clearly heavily used as a result of the car not being garaged and having dried out through the temperature extremes in that setting. The other tell-tale sign of neglect is the poor quality chromium plaiting which may not be apparent from the photographs. Take it from me that this is the case.

Turning now to the soft top, here the car is all of a piece. It does not pretend, despite its obvious faults, to be anything other than an original Series 1. The car in fact is mine being first registered in March 1963. I can report that although the rust has had its way on the driver’s foot well, because the car has been garaged for most of its life, it is otherwise sound and rust free. It was interesting to see at this year’s E Type work shop at Gaydon, it was not to the gleaming restored models that the crowds paid their first attention, but to the Series 1 soft top. The car is largely original with the exception of horrible oversized radial ply tyres and the fitting of a thermostatically controlled electric fan. These items were fitted in my days of ignorance before I met John Burton.

 

The V12’s gleaming paintwork hides the fact that the car was originally very rusty, particularly in the driver’s door and the rear off side wing. Beware though the glittering paint work that is out of step with the condition of the chrome and the leather interior. I appreciate soft tops attract higher values than FHC, but I can well understand the inexperienced buyer drawn to the V12 having rejected the better car, namely the Series 1 Coupé.

Memory & Action

I am aware that a number of emails received by me have not received a response. The most notable subject is the recognition of Norman Dewis for his contribution to the motor industry through his development of various models in the Jaguar range, most notably the E Type and, through his major contribution to the development of the disc brake.

Can I reassure all of you, and I mean all of you and not just those who have emailed me, that this subject has not been forgotten, but that there are times when public debate must cease when private action proceeds. In respect of other subjects, I hope you will bear with me as my efforts on this page have to fit in with the responsibility of my work.

However I have a long and thorough memory and no subject worthy of space on this page or of receiving an informed response from me will be neglected. I am two or three years away from retirement and am attempting to prepare my life for my third career. The present period in my life is very much given over to my continuing career and those preparations. However on starting my third career as I prefer to call it, I shall be able to devote more time to the Register. So please be patient with me. It is not always easy to find interesting subjects at this time of year, so please send me your ideas and your photos to help me make this page more interesting.

Looking Ahead to 2015

Your committee has been beavering away throughout the summer planning fun events for you all starting in early April next year with the E Type Workshop at Gaydon. The dates will be published both here and in the magazine once they have been confirmed.

In addition to the workshop there will be the Goodwood Track Day, the Prescott Hill Climb, the Silverstone Classic and the National Day in August at Wroxall Abbey near Warwick. Once I have all dates confirmed I will let you have them along with costings, so please leave a space in your diary in early April, the first bank holiday in May and the second week in June.

And in 2016...

Remember that the 55th Anniversary of the E Type is 2016 when a new edition of the International E Type Register will be published and a tour organised to Geneva.

Pot Holes

I have included two photographs to demonstrate the dangers of driving an E type with your eyes closed! Pot holes are to be avoided at all cost. If you don’t these are the consequences!

As you will see both manifold and exhaust needed replacement.

Additional information