Two Jaguar E-types that were both built on Aug. 21, 1961 on the production line at Browns Lane in Coventry have been reunited at Classic Motor Cars (CMC) of Bridgnorth in Shropshire, United Kingdom, to celebrate their 55th birthdays.
One E-Type was the first production inside bonnet lock right-hand-drive fixed head coupe; the other was the first production inside bonnet lock right-hand-drive roadster.
But these very early E-Types have lived different lives: the coupe is in pristine condition after having been restored by CMC; the roadster, a bit worn down, has been off the road for 20 years, forgotten in a barn in Ireland until CMC found it and purchased it. It will require a full restoration.
CMC brought the two cars back together on Aug. 24 and provided a birthday cake to celebrate the reunion.
Jaguar produced just four highly sought after external bonnet lock coupes in RHD form before switching to an internal lock arrangement.
Stuart Cardwell, owner of the E-Type Coupe Chassis No. 860005, brought it to CMC several years ago and embarked on a rolling restoration: mechanical first, he took it away to enjoy it and brought it back for a bare metal body restoration, then repaint and finally back for a full re-trim.
Subsequently, the car was entered to the prestigious Salon Prive event and concours at Blenheim Palace in September 2015, where it was awarded runner-up in its class.
Stuart Cardwell said: “This is the first time the two cars have been next to one another after they parted company 55 years ago. In the case of my car, it has been all over the world. It was dispatched to Jaguar Cars New York in September of 1961, sold to a Japanese collector in Tokyo in 1996 and repatriated back to the UK when I purchased it in 2012.
“CMC restored my car, which is now considered to be exactly as it would have left the factory in 1961 – no doubt they will do a stunning job bringing Chassis No. 92 back to life.”
The roadsters, on the other hand, went into production much sooner than the coupes hence some 91 outside bonnet lock cars were produced in RHD form and some 350 in LHD.
E-Typer Roadster Chassis No. 850092 was dispatched to a Jaguar dealership in Dublin and has spent all its life in the Republic of Ireland. It was brought to the attention of CMC’s Peter Neumark by a good friend in Co Navan, who was convinced it was Chassis No. 2.
E-Type Roadster Chassis No. 92 requires a full restoration but has never been apart and has very little rot. It is for sale as a restoration project with CMC.