World's First Stretched Jaguar E-Type May Upset Purists
- A British restoration firm has created what may be the world's first stretched Jaguar E-Type.
- Classic Motor Cars Ltd. added 4.5 inches to the E-Type's floorpan to provide additional legroom for the driver and passenger.
- Other modifications include additional roof height, a larger fuel tank, air-conditioning and power steering.
BRIDGNORTH, England — British restoration firm Classic Motor Cars Ltd. (CMC) has created what it believes is the world's first stretched Jaguar E-Type.
CMC, which bills itself as "The World's Premier Jaguar Restoration Company," started with a crash-damaged 1968 E-Type left-hand-drive roadster and, at the request of American owner Paul Branstad, added 4.5 inches to its floorpan to provide additional legroom for the driver and passenger.
And that's not all.
During the course of the major "restoration," the car's roof was raised by 1.25 inches, the trunk was modified to hold a 20-gallon fuel tank (up from 16.75), air-conditioning and power steering were added, brakes and suspension were upgraded and a five-speed manual gearbox was installed in place of the original four-speed.
As if that weren't enough, Branstad also wanted a matching trailer custom-built to match the car. For that project, CMC joined together the rear ends from two other E-Types and installed a removable tow hitch that disappears behind the tow vehicle's back-up light. The company calls it "another first for CMC and the world of Jaguar."
The question is: Why mess with an icon? After all, when the E-Type was introduced at the Geneva auto show in 1961, Enzo Ferrari — himself no stranger to stunning automotive design — called the Jaguar "the most beautiful car ever made."
The answer: Branstad intends to use the car for touring, and he wanted more comfort, more room and increased practicality.
One alternative might have been to buy a later model E-Type. The Series 3 cars, those built from 1971-'74, were 9 inches longer than earlier models and had improved brakes, power steering and a more powerful 12-cylinder engine.
But many Jaguar enthusiasts feel the Series 1 cars, those from 1961-'68, are the best-looking E-Types and the ones that most personify the vision of its designer, Malcolm Sayer. For the stretch project, the intention was to retain as much of that vision as possible.
As Nick Goldthorp, managing director of CMC, said in a statement: "By adding four and a half inches to the length of the car we were able to retain the overall look of the Series 1 and also turn this E-Type into a unique car."
Branstad said he believes the modifications "could make the car even more beautiful than the original Series 1 edition." He added: "Perhaps this car would have represented the very last chance for Malcolm Sayer to apply his ideas for the E-Type."
Edmunds says: Next up: Restorers add a mustache and glasses to the Mona Lisa.