My E Type story is pretty simple:
I had an 82 XJ6 which was a money pit. My mechanic got to know it so well he bought it from me. I thought I could spend the same money and have a car that will maintain it's value a bit better, one I could keep for a long time. Hence the E Type - a real classic. What I bought was a 1970 FHC. It was the 52nd last Right Hand Drive FHC to be built.
At this point I'd like to gloat about the fact that I can have a SII car, with the better brakes, and many nice features which improved useability, with triple SU carburettors that are completely standard. No Strombergs and cross-overs etc here because Australia had no pollution controls at that time at all. OK, OK so Americans pay half what we pay for an E Type. I Like to think of my car as the ultimate progression of the original FHC launched in 1961. Yet somehow all those disparaging remarks about SII cars still seem to have an effect. I like those big bumpers!
Unfortunately I didn't do what I now recommend - buy the best one you can find even if it is just outside your price range. I bought the first E Type I had a really good look at. At least I had an experienced Jag. mechanic/restorer with me. I figure I paid about $3,000 too much. My car had been off the road for 6 years. The previous owner bought it in 1991, intending to restore it but health problems caused him to sell 5 years later with no work done on it, and a loss of $10,000. The car had to have a fair amount of mechanical work done - front end stuff mainly, nothing too serious. The body work has been the worst. While not terribly rusty, it had been badly repaired so I've had most of the worst fixed. The rust had happened in the usual spots but had been caught fairly early, repaired (badly) but the car had been rust-proofed also. This probably stopped some bad structural rust from occurring. It really needs a full respray but I'll progressively get the remaining bits fixed (roof and bonnet have moisture blisters from bad quality work).
I'm touching wood while I write this but the car has been very reliable apart from some initial minor electrical problems. I drive the car daily for work but try to avoid too much peak hour stuff. The engine runs at over 40 PSI oil pressure and idle when warm at just under this. The car has plenty of power but I haven't compared it to other E Types. I'll do this one day. It starts first time, every time and the front and rear end seem fine. Brakes work well too. I have had very few of the mechanical problems so many listers have had. The car has Koni shocks on the front, set to the maximum hardness and the back has some non standard Orange coloured shocks, I don't know the make. It handles well but the settings are a little too stiff for Sydney roads. I'm sure the car will now promptly fall to pieces now that I've said all that.
Unfortunately I almost never drive the car for recreation or on weekends as my wife and I have a new baby. My wife doesn't like the car anyway. Sometimes I wish I had a 2+2. I try, as much as my wife will allow, to tinker with the car on weekends.