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Jaguar XKE E-type Restoration: Driving before stripping for body and paint work – thinking about next project….

Once the power steering rack was back in the Jaguar I wanted to drive it for a month or two and make sure everything was working well before I stripped all the glass and chrome etc. and took it into the body and paint shop.  With my luck – if I did not make sure all was well mechanically I would get it home bright and shiny and then have to take it apart to fix something.  It is better I thought to give it a shakedown.  So, far it has been running fine. Starts up easy with the choke on and runs and shifts well.  I have to say that the automatic transmission and power steering strip some of the power that you get with the 4-speed cars. However, it is still nice, fast and smooth.  The power steering is by modern standards vaguer then would be wanted – but it is not as bad as some people feel they are, particularly the Series III cars which have a slightly different rack than the Series II cars.

In any case, while driving the car one’s mind begins to drift towards the next project….  after some discussion we thought maybe a mid to late 60’s Ferrari 2+2. Now this would be really crazy in terms of upfront costs and restoration costs – but they have style and I believe are undervalued.   I think that it is safe to say that rebuild costs due to parts availability and machining precision required could run as high as an order of magnitude higher for one of these V-12 machines than for an E-type.

Vintage Ferrari – next project???

After more thought we came to the conclusion that it would be fun to have a nice classic car to go out with other people in.  The Alfa, Porsche and Triumph are definitely just for 2. The jump seat on the Jaguar – or a Ferrari 2+2 for that matter are not really meant for adults.

We decided that a Jaguar Mark II sedan would be fun as they can seat four or five in comfort and style and the XK engine and various other components are familiar. My wife and I looked at several of these beautiful cars and cannot say enough about them – just lovely and with good parts availability. What is not to love???

But…. for some reason we found ourselves drawn to two related makes of cars that each have interesting and distinguished histories and very distinctive grills….. How about a vintage Rolls Royce or…. Bentley. Now that would be crazy -wouldn’t it???

Hmmm – a Rolls Royce for a next project???

Or maybe something a little more sporting… like a Bentley?

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