The latest restoration by E-Type UK, the Kent-based firm known for its concours-winning original specification restorations of early models and class-leading upgrading of later models, has now been delivered.
Though the number of customer commissions on Series 3 models has grown for E-Type UK, such as the much celebrated top-spec special edition, it is not often that the 2+2 coupe models are chosen by customers for a full top-level restoration and upgrade programme.
The owner of this E-Type, however, was seeking an example that was reliable with some subtle modernisations, improved driving characteristics yet retained that classic E-Type personality. Rolling off the production line in 1973, this original right-hand drive Series 3 Coupe had lived a pampered life but had seen better days, and was brought to E-Type UK with a brief to not only perfectly restore but upgrade to the highest standards.
But, before the curated selection of E-Type UK upgrades could be fitted, the team had to get to work fully stripping the car. This thorough process exposed some shoddy previous repairs, an unfortunate reminder of a time when these models were unloved and undervalued, such as inner arches patched up with layers of tin. Once all the metal work was repaired to original specifications, a bespoke aluminium bonnet was fabricated to reduce front-end weight. Then, it was time for a concours standard repaint in the stunning shade of Opalescent Gunmetal.
The original engine was fully rebuilt and fitted with a combination of engine upgrades synonymous with E-Type UK: electronic fuel injection with larger throttle bodies, aluminium radiator and header tank and the all-important 12-branch tubular stainless steel sports exhaust system to allow the V12 to sing. E-Type UK are experts in electronic fuel injection on these models having developed systems for a number of years, with this car benefiting from improved performance, reliability and efficiency as a result. The uprated cooling system maintains an ideal operating temperature, while the larger throttle bodies for increased air flow and free-flowing stainless steel exhaust ensure the engine sounds as great as it performs.
Under that now perfect body, the suspension was heavily revised for improved handling and ride with all-round adjustable suspension, including sports torsion bars, anti-roll bar and uprated bushes. This combination of suspension upgrades is transformational for the handling, and also allows customers to choose their exact preferred suspension settings. AP Racing brakes replace the stock units, with larger diameter discs, aluminium calipers and an increase from three to four pistons, increasing stopping power while reducing weight. 16-inch Turino wire wheels were chosen not only for aesthetics but also as they allow the fitment of modern tyres for improved traction, as well as reducing corner weight further due to aluminium rims and stronger stainless-steel spokes than standard units.
An uprated 5-speed gearbox completes the revised drivetrain package, with gearing such that both long motorway drives and quick-changing country lane jaunts are a pleasure. Additions within the fully retrimmed Oxblood Red cabin include: 15-inch wooden steering wheel to make the most of the car’s spritely handling, bespoke classically-styled inertia reel seat belts for improved comfort and safety, and an LED dash light conversion to improve visibility on evening drives. A period style stereo system, hiding full modern internals including Bluetooth capability, finishes the interior in fine fashion.
E-Type UK have had the pleasure of restoring, refining and revising a number of Series 3 models, and can say with some confidence that this is one of the finest 2+2 examples out there. Whether viewed as a sign of the times in the E-Type world, an exercise in perfection or simply a top-notch restoration, this S3 is undeniably something special.
Founder Marcus Holland commented: “We treat every model of E-Type with the same respect whether in for service, restoration or sale, and seeing this 2+2 completed to such a standard is incredibly satisfying. Like our clients, we are big believers in using these special cars, so it is a real joy knowing that this on-the-button E-Type will be regularly on the road with that cavernous boot full of luggage.”