Friday, 5 October 2012

Is stretching an E-Type altering an icon?

A CLASSIC car specialist in Shropshire is about to do what some enthusiasts would call the unthinkable by stretching a Jaguar E-Type.

Classic Motor Cars Limited, based in Bridgnorth, said it is about to start work on a project which effectively involves making a 1968 4.2 litre Series 1 Roadster, but while it involves altering one of the best known sports car shapes of all time the company say they are keen to keep the preserve the E-Type's essence while making it roomier and easier to live with.

Nick Goldthorp, the company's managing director, said: "This is something that we have never been done before. Our client wanted the interior leg room of a Series 3 V12 E-Type but the aesthetics of a Series 1 car.

"We are going to add four and a half inches to the floor pan, which will give the leg room of the V12 plus an additional one inch if required. The V12 was actually nine inches longer than a Series I but a lot of the additional room was behind the seats as storage and is not required on our project. By adding four and a half inches to the length of the car we will be able to retain the overall look of the Series 1 and also turn this E-Type into a unique car."

The project involves not only stretching the left-hand-drive car by four and a half inches, but also fitting the Sixties sports car with modern technology, including air conditioning, power steering, upgraded brakes, a new five speed gearbox, better suspension and handling upgrades among other additions.

Paul Branstad, the American client who owns the car, said: "The stretched E-Type I have conceived sits between the Series 1 and the subsequent vehicles produced after the merger and formation of British Leyland, when the design of the cars underwent several transformations as a consequence of cuts in production costs and the need for more space that resulted in the Series II 2+2 and Series III V12."

While classic car purists would argue against altering aerodynamicist Malcolm Sayer's original vision for the E-Type's shape, the sketch included here, Life On Cars reckons, is sympathetic to the Jag's original styling, and could actually provide the tempting prospect of the earlier E-Types's looks with the creature comforts of the later V12 cars.

The stretched E-Type is expected to be completed in September next year.

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