Our trawl of great-looking cars begins with an E-Type, the best looking of them all. It’s a subjective judgement, of course, but Enzo thought it was at the time, so that’s good enough for us.
Our find is a Series 2 registered in 1969. The 4.2-litre 2+2 automatic was overhauled in the 1980s, with a rebuilt engine and sundry new panels fitted. A new speedo was also installed and the odometer currently shows 17,000 miles. The car has a heritage certificate confirming all of this.
Series 1 E-Types are the prettiest but Series 2s like this are more usable thanks to improved seats, ventilation and lights. They’re also cheaper. If we were serious, we’d be all over the engine checking for leaks from the head gasket, looking for smoke and feeling for lumpy running, which can be traced to worn carburettor diaphragms. The oil pressure gauge should read around 45psi. We’d check the automatic gearbox for fluid leaks and, on the test drive, slurred changes. Also feel for excessive steering play, rear-end creaks and a wallowy ride.
Our example was renovated in the 1980s, but that’s long enough ago for rust to have undone the good work. No part of an E-Type is immune: seams, valances, wings, engine supports, the floor – they all suffer. Did the rebuilders plaster it with filler? A magnet will reveal all.
If it all stacks up, the next thing is to check its original spec with jaguarheritage.com. For £50, it will provide the car’s build date and original colour and trim. It will also confirm whether this right-hand-drive car was always so.