One of the great things about E-type ownership has been the many nice people I've met along the way. Through this website Alan Hames left a message in the guest book and suggested I contact him.
It turns out that Alan has been a Jaguar car nut for most of his life and is the proud owner of a 1972 E-Type roadster. He ordered the car in 1971 from his local dealer, but as they had next to no allocation they could not say when delivery could be expected, eventually the car arrived in October 1972.
Ever since he took delivery Alan has showered many hours of his time and lots of money in making his pride and joy probably the best Series 3 E-Type in existence. The car has won numerous awards and at one ceremony while the then chairman of Jaguar Sir John Egan presented Alan with an award, he said “we didn’t build them this good at the factory” which must be the best compliment one can receive and speaks volumes about how good the car is.
Today I visited Alan at his home where I discovered just how enthusiastic he is and how fantastic his car is. His immaculate centrally heated garage has to be every classic car owner’s dream, it houses a custom made pit complete with strip lights, lifting beam and plenty of electrical points. The floor is laid with ceramic tiles and there is storage space upstairs as well as a bathroom.
From the day the car arrived Alan has preferred to carry out all the maintenance himself and has added various enhancements during his ownership. We went for a drive and the car is as sprightly as anything on the open road and certainly belies it’s age.
Take a look at the following snaps of a truly immaculate E-Type - one of, if not the best Series 3 out there.
Being a ex concours judge it was inevitable that Alan would want to see under the bonnet of Jagger.
If there is an area that lets the car down this is it, I keep meaning to give the engine bay a spring clean but I haven’t got around to it yet, maybe I’ll tackle that job during the winter months........
When the bonnet was opened we saw the header tank had sprung a leak and was not looking too healthy at all. Seeing the overall condition of it meant that to attempt a repair would be pointless. The only option was to purchase a new replacement which arrived today and fitted this afternoon.
This is what came off the car - it's fair to say there's not much more life left in that!
And here's the nice new shiny replacement all fitted up.
The next job will be to upgrade the headlamps. The original Lucas sealed beam units which are slightly brighter than a flickering candle, will be replaced with matching Lucas units fitted with changeable Halogen H4 lights. This should help us see where we're going while prowling around in the dark.
Like with most things Jaguar, this wasn't a straight forward swap due to the pilot light being situated in a different position on the new unit. It was necessary to cut a piece from the metal seating bowl in order to allow the altered electrical connectors to fit inside. With these minor adjustments made the new unit slotted home and that was it, job done - one down one to go.
It was a pity the pilot light holder was missing from the second lamp unit when it came out of the box, especially as this was a Sunday morning which meant the supplier could not be contacted. Undeterred, a search was made to find a local motor factor so to finish the job but in this age of Sunday trading apart from Halfords who couldn't help me, none were open. How times change, these guys could always be relied upon because they used to open on Sunday mornings, the most popular time we used to mess with our cars, ah well......
With no choice other than to call the supplier tomorrow to advise of the missing part it was time to close the garage door and hope the missing part arrives in the next few days.
With a new day comes the missing bulb holder and back to the garage to complete the job. We're now all fitted up so all that remains is a quick check to ensure the beam height is correct - don't want to blind any oncoming traffic with my new bright lights.......
And here we are with the final result, Halogen lamp upgrades instead of the original sealed beam units and who could tell the difference from looking at those lenses? No excuses now for getting lost in the dark :-)
In case that remark above regarding the cleanliness of the engine bay letting the car down has got you wondering, here's a pic I took today. Don't be fooled by looks, there's lots of grime in there.
5.3 litres of power,