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Series I E type project

glemon

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I have been looking at a 1963 E type roadster project. I have owned all sorts of British cars, have had this list of desired cars from my youth and slowly scratched them off, MGB-GT/Check, TR4A/Check, Big Healey/Check, TR250/Check. Now a have a chance to buy an E-type, which has always been at the top of the list. The car is rough, seems complete, parked since the late 70s in apparently dry storage, needs most everything, rust in the rockers and floors, and a little in the left rear wheel well, but fairly solid otherwise (my TR250 was worse when I started). My financial reality is that if I want one it will have to be a project, and also I will do most all the work myself. I have done motors and body's and most everything else on the above cars, but I know those care are all relatively simple and based on common British sedan components. The e-type is really based on a 1950 Le Mans winner more than anything else, so I know it is a little different animal. The purchase would necessitate the sale of my very nice running and driving TR250, and because I have a full time job and am just not that efficient at welding and getting body panels perfectly smooth, will take me years, taking up a big chunk of my available free time. As you may be able to tell I am debating the plunge to be taken here, any words of wisdom from the been there done that crowd?
 

LarryK

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The E-type roadster is a complicated car. First there is the unibody design, and the engine frame that holds not only the engine , but the front suspesion. When you work on these roadsters you have to weld or bolt in braces when you remove the doors to protect the body from collapsing when you do the floor and sills. If the rear suspension mounting area is rust , again the car must be positioned to access the area and bracing is suggested. If you are not familiar with these cars it will be long and tedious work. That is why the are so expensive when restored. Your best bet is to buy a decent driver and go from there, especially with your experience. The Triumphs are body on frame and the structure when doing most work is not as crucial. I'd find someone you can trust that is near you and can either consult or help guide you. You can find them for the price of a good TR250, if you take your time to look for them.
 
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glemon

glemon

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In the not so urban part of the rustbelt I live in there certainly are a few e-types about, but not all that many. Yes, I know what you are saying about the body, the closest I came to buying an E was about fifteen years ago, series 1 coupe, forget the year but I think a 3.8. In preparation for restoration the DPO had cut the numerous rusted areas off the car and about a third of the lower body was gone. I didn't feel like I had a chance at that time of getting it back together straight. It actually looked like a pretty nice project other than that. Even at $3500 asking price I felt I had to walk away. At the time I didn't have a welder, a dedicated spot in the garage for the car, or the internet to use as a resource (at least not like it is today). If I get the car I am figuring 3-5 years on the restoration (TR250 took me a little over 2 years, it was as bad or worse than the jag, but I know the jag is a more complex car), it seems pretty solid despite the rust door shuts good. I have already figured I would need to fabricate a rotisserie/brace to do the restoration right.
 

Basil

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Be prepared to sink some serious $$ into this car! (I have a 67 EType Series I). BUt if you do it right, you will end up with a car for the ages! IMHO there simply has never been a car as beautiful as the EType, not before nor since.
 

Marvin Gruber

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I have a twin to Basil's E. I did a full restoration on it about 10 years ago. I liked building it more than any other car. Healeys are the hardest, Triumphs the easiest. Let me know if you buy it, I have a full drivetrain and other parts for an early S1, I thought I would find another one to build but the prices have gone sky high.

Marv
 

PAUL161

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Be prepared to sink some serious $$ into this car! (I have a 67 EType Series I). BUt if you do it right, you will end up with a car for the ages! IMHO there simply has never been a car as beautiful as the EType, not before nor since.


I agree 100%! The modern cars of today can't hold a candle to it for looks! My favorite car of all time, bar none! I personally like the hard top, but either will do. Probably be the only thing I'd trade the TF for. :glee: :greedy_dollars: PJ
 

Bob60

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I looked for literally 2 years for a series 1 coupe "project." But ended up paying a bit more and buying a very nice, although far from concours, 64 coupe. The cost of parts for these cars is in a whole different category than MGB and TR6 parts, and it became apparent than any "project," would cost far more in the end than a reasonably solid driver that only required cosmetics or relatively minor repairs. As people have already mentioned, the body, if badly rusted can be a massive challenge, even for someone that knows what they are doing.

Bob
'64 E-Type Coupe
'72 MGB GT
'65 AH 3000
'69 Land-Rover series 2A
 
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Deleted member 8987

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I didn't see it mentioned....but might have been.....if you see any rust at all, it's bad. They rust from the inside out.
Sills, you'd best be ready, ain't gonna be cheap or easy...and they are what holds the car together.
Another thing....the panels were spot welded and leaded.
They tend to crack out the paint at those spots. You need to use a torch and melt ALL the lead out, and fully weld those panels, the fill to smooth.
Dave
 

MikeP

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It can be a great thing to own one of these, my 63 is slowly going back together. But you do a restoration because YOU have the skills to do most or because the specific car means something to you. If money enters into the equation, then you get the best you can afford and let someone else drop the cash for the rebuild.
 
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glemon

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Mike, you hit it on the head, always wanted one, will do most all of the work myself, though the specific car is not special to me, it is series 1 3.8, which has the most appeal to me (although I wouldn't turn my nose up at a 4.2). In a weird fluke when I was digging through the car and various bits I came across a card, Earl Zimmerman Jaguar, Belleville, Ill. All of my extended family is from Belleville, we used to visit the grandparents there twice a year. Anyhow, owner doesn't know what he wants for it, wants to do some research, guess we will see where it goes....
 

drambuie

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I have been this route before, to make it simple you just have to ask yourself and be very honest! In the end, Will the amount of money and your time equal or excede what it will cost to just buy a good solid driver that is already in decent mechanical and structural condtion you can drive and enjoy now! In my humble opinion, Talking from my personal experience, Find a good solid driver and over time bring it to the level you want it to be! Another reason is, If you need the money and you are faced with having to sell the Jag, At least you have a good running car you can sell instead of a basket case in boxes you will lose money on. Michael IL.
 

LarryK

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glemon: I hadn't hear the name Earl Zimmerman in 30 years. I met him in his shop in Belleville on Washington St. when I saw a couple Jags sitting by the door. I traded him a set of 3.4 main and rod bearings for a spare Mark 1 wheel. He had just finished restoring a Maroon Mark 1. He had an engine on a stand in the shop which he started and ran for me and the wife. Couple months later he turned in front of someone by the Old Post Office and YMCA at A Street on his way back to the shop and was hit in the right front fender. It affected him badly, as it was totaled. I thought it could be saved, but he said no. A week later he closed down and was gone, never heard about him again. Thanks for the memory!
 
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glemon

glemon

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Larry, thanks for the background on Earl Zimmerman! No idea if the car was sold there or just serviced, but I thought it was kind of cool coincidence that the car had been there, my family lived in the area since the early 1800s.
 

Basil

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Mike, you hit it on the head, always wanted one, will do most all of the work myself, though the specific car is not special to me, it is series 1 3.8, which has the most appeal to me (although I wouldn't turn my nose up at a 4.2). In a weird fluke when I was digging through the car and various bits I came across a card, Earl Zimmerman Jaguar, Belleville, Ill. All of my extended family is from Belleville, we used to visit the grandparents there twice a year. Anyhow, owner doesn't know what he wants for it, wants to do some research, guess we will see where it goes....

I used to be stationed right there - at Scott AFB, IL
 
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glemon

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This was of course St. Louis across the river from Belleville, but I remember tracking the progress of the Gateway Arch being built in the 60s when I was growing up, the old Admiral riverboat, and the massive old bridges across the Missouri River.
 

LarryK

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Earl's shop was on the North West corner of 2nd and Washington across intersection from the Post Office. Was an old commercial building, which has been gone for quite a while. He did restorations and repairs mostly and sold some Jags that were restorable, never saw anything sold as new. When O.C. Joseph lost the British Leyland dealership it went to St. Louis with Continental Cars on Watson then when B.L. seperated the Jags went to Moore on Manchester and Rovers went to Plaza on Olive, the MGs, Austins and Triumphs vanished. Now this last year the Jags went to Plaza as Moore went to receivership after Ford sold Aston Marton, then Jag and Land Rover.
 
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