Here are a few photos of my 1964 E-Type OTS, chassis no. 881444. It is one of the last 500 3.8 liter E-Types built by Jaguar. As a late transitional model, it benefits from the more sophisticated interior typically associated with the 4.2 liter E-Types while retaining the racing heritage of the 3.8 liter drivetrain.
The car was purchased in 1986 from a fellow in Blue Bell, Pennsylvania. At the time, the car was a "fright pig" (a term familiar to those of you who subscribe to Sports Car Market). Purchased by the seller in an estate sale after the car sat in a barn for over a decade, he sold it to me after several years of trying to get and keep it running by fixing parts as they broke, which I was told was as often as the sun setting in the western sky.
The car was a perfect restoration project. All the numbers matched and all other components on the vehicle were original and intact. It even had the original fiberglass hardtop which to this day I regret leaving with the seller as part of our deal.
However, the car was probably several hundred pounds heavier from all of the paint-on-paint jobs it suffered over the years. In addition, the front rotors were "wafer thin," the rear brakes were frozen solid, the engine, which looked like a large bar of brown butter, could not go above 3,000 rpm, and the trunk floor provided flow-through ventilation for the rest of the vehicle which at the time was a term used rather loosely.
The bulk of the mechanical restoration was performed in 1986 by Tom Reinsmith of Emmaus, Pennsylvania, a true craftsman and Jaguar afficianado. Since then, regular maintenance and simple repairs were and are performed by yours truly. Major items are addressed by Ed Miller of Stormville, New York, a superb mechanic and noted Jaguar expert.
The car was re-painted black, its original color, in 1991 by a fireman in Wantagh, New York, using Diamont base and clear coat polyurethane. The finish, polished and waxed every year, has yet to show any signs of age.
For the final phase of the restoration, after I prepped the car, the interior was installed in 1992 by British Auto USA in Manchester, New Hampshire. The original color scheme (red interior with black hood) was retained. To describe the job they did as perfect would be classic British understatement.
The car, though not shown often, has nevertheless won several awards (1993, JCNA - First in Driven Class; 1996, Greenwich Concours E’Elegance, Chief Judge’s Award (selected by David Brownell of Hemmings Motor News); and 1997, JCNA – First in Driven Class, to name a few). The car is entered as a driver because that is exactly what it is. Other than a small pancake fan added to the front of the radiator, the car is correct, mechanically and cosmetically, all the way down to its Dunlop SP series tires.
I currently garage the car in Connecticut and still get goosebumps every time I push the starter button and hear that motor growl.