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    Time for laser precision

    Car #1962-Jaguar-E-Type-FHC / #Jaguar-E-Type-FHC / #Jaguar-E-type / #Jaguar / #1966

    Owned by Phil Bell (phil.bell@drive-my.com)

    Time owned 9 years
    Miles this month 135
    Costs this month £0

    Previously Had the rusty heater box blasted and recoated, fitting it just in time for a run to Bicester sunday super scramble

    Last year I refitted my steering rack with polyurethane mounts in place of standard rubber parts that were allowing an alarming amount of movement, and while I was at it I added a pair of new track rod ends. Despite greasing the old ones at the factory mileage intervals the excess egress from the dust seals was starting to look rusty brown and the joints no longer felt smooth. I’d taken a great deal of care measuring the length of exposed track rod thread so that I’d end up with close to the same toe-in, but without being certain that it was spot-on I feared premature wear to my Dunlops, and they’re not cheap. To do the job properly you need alignment equipment. Normally I relish an excuse to buy more tools, unless they’re expensive and unlikely to see much action.

    Handily, #E-Type specialist E-conic, better known as Moss Jaguar, had recently relocated to nearby Letchworth and I was looking for an excuse to have a nose around. While Angus Moss showed me the charming Victorian building with its sawtooth roof and a dozen or so E-types in for work, technician Murray Simpson wheeled out a rack of modern laser alignment kit to check out my car.

    As well as the toe-in, he would give a verdict on all of the adjustable front and rear alignment parameters that can effect handling and tyre wear. Resetting everything is a fiddly process where adjustment in one dimension upsets another, so I awaited the results with some trepidation. As it turns out, only the easiest needed changing. The front track should toe in by between 1.6 and 3.2mm and mine was 3.8, so Murray wound the track rods out slightly to give a mid-range 2.5mm. My earlier DIY attempt had been a near miss. The front castor and camber were both within tolerances, as was the rear camber, which I’d had to reset with shims after the last differential rebuild and wheelbearing replacement. A normal person would be pleased that there was so little wrong, but I was disappointed.

    I’d hoped that everything would have been way out, and the healing hands of the doctor would transform my E-type into a Lotus Elise-like tool of precision. Or at least a bit less grand tourer on turn in and a bit more sports car.
    A step change in feel would require stiffer torsion bars, coil springs and anti-roll bars, but I’m not convinced that I want to go that far. Perhaps it’s better to enjoy the E-type for what it is and borrow my wife’s Boxster whenever I feel the need for something sharper.

    Would Murray’s professional kit betray Phil’s DIY tracking efforts? Laser tool allows four-wheel alignment. Rear scale checks steering is centred.
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    Before the #Boxster , #Porsche made its first mid-engine road car almost 30 years earlier. But is the underrated #914 a good alternative to its modern successor – or a #VW in drag?

    GIANT COMPARE BOXSTER VS. 914

    Can a classic be too successful for its own good and put the company that made it in jeopardy? Take the #911 as a classic case. Over the decades Porsche has produced equally worthy sports cars and GTs – some to replace the #Porsche-911 – but it all usually ends in failure simply because ‘it’s not a 911’ or ‘it’s not a real Porsche’ in the eyes of enthusiasts. The #Porsche-914 and the Boxster were not intended as replacements for this classic icon but instead viable, cheaper alternatives – and they still are. Okay with almost 30 years between them, nobody will deny that the Boxster is the better car – but would a 914 suit you better?

    WHICH ONE TO BUY?
    ONLY ONE IS A REAL PORSCHE

    Strictly two seats, engine mounted ahead of the rear axle in the best possible place for optimum handling and balance, plus a reasonable amount of luggage space in the nose and the tail. Could be either the 914 of 1970 or the current #Porsche-Boxster , but there’s one big difference – production 914 never carried the Stuttgart badge between its headlights! It’s been a cause for contention ever since. Was it a #Volkswagen , or was it a Porsche? In the USA it was the Porsche 914, marketed by the newly formed Porsche-Audi division. In Europe it was a #VW-Porsche-914/4 sold through another created joint venture, #VW-Porsche Sales.

    That Porsche badge appeared nowhere on any production car anywhere. On cars sold in the USA the lettering ‘PORSCHE’ was fixed on the engine grille immediately behind the rear window, and the hubcaps of steel wheel cars were blank; in Europe the grille was unadorned, but both the hub caps and the steering wheel boss carried the VW motif. In England there was an extra complication: the four-cylinder car was marketed as the #Porsche-914S .

    Because it never initially relied upon proper Porsche power, the 914 was always stigmatised and it was a lesson the company failed to learn when it launched the sports car’s replacement, the #Porsche-924 . Porker power did arrive, albeit late in the day and its 911-like prices resulted in few sales. That said, the improved 2-litre VW variant but breathed on by Porsche of the early 1970s isn’t a bad all rounder and carried the hallowed SC badge, which was unique to the UK market.

    The 1.7-litre version was boosted to 1800cc with fuel injection in #1974 . Most UK cars will be US imports, mainly from California, where the bulk of the originals were sold.

    When launched, the Boxster (the name is derived from the word “boxer”, referring to the car’s horizontally-opposed engine configuration) made the likes of a #TVR and Lotus redundant overnight. Here was a (relatively) affordable sports car that was part 911 (996) and some say had the feel and character of an old 911 combined with typical Porsche use-ability and reliability. Still in production after almost 20 years, successive updates have seen larger more powerful engines and better trim; it’s really a case of how much you have to spend. The second generation surfaced in #2005 (type #987 ) and the engine power was upped to match the newly launched Cayman. After another power hike in #2009 the third generation Boxster was introduced in #2012 .

    Majoring on the original Boxster #Porsche-986 for this twin test, a choice of 2.5, 2.7 and 3.2-litre engines were offered yielding 201bhp-250bhp with a choice of manual or Porsche’s famed #Tiptronic semi automatic transmissions. Sitting behind the wheel of any Boxster you could be forgiven in thinking that you’re in a #996 (911) as the interior is virtually identical!

    WHAT’S THE BEST TO DRIVE?
    PAUL DAVIES COMPARES THE TWO

    So, how do these mid-engine sportsters four decades apart drive? I well remember the 914S press test car of #1970 . Despite the meagre 80bhp (72bhp on the US version strangled by emission regulations) of the VW engine, but perhaps because of the primarily 911 running gear, it was a ‘nice’ car, mainly because that engine location meant the level of grip, despite skinny tyres, exceeded the power potential. You could not imagine getting into trouble in a 914 – unlike the mid-engine Twin-Cam #Lotus #Europa of the same period where power far exceeded grip!

    At the time I remarked, “the handling is superior to any car I have ever driven but, for the price, the performance is disappointing”. Back then the 914S cost a whopping £2260, compared with just £1015 for that #Lotus-Europa and £2502 for a #Jaguar 4.2 #E-type !

    Further memories of the 914 revolve around a rather rubbery gear-change (most likely because of the length of the linkage) the hefty pressure on the brake and clutch pedals (non-servo brakes, cable clutch) and the need to keep swapping cogs to maintain good speed. Back then I remarked that, with the limited power available, a four-speed gearbox would have been as good as a five. Oh yes, the heating system was the somewhat vague, and often smelly, blown air type that was also used on the 911 of that period.

    Finally, the 914 was only available in the UK in left hand-drive – although bodybuilder Crayford offered an expensive conversion and few were made – and, because of the almost bench seat layout, the handbrake was squashed between seat and door. But there was, briefly, a #Porsche-914/6 . Some 65,000 four-cylinder cars were manufactured against 3300 sixes, and few of these made it to the UK. With the 110bhp (911T) engine, the 914/6 was a darned-sight faster than the 914/4. Even better was the 210bhp #Porsche-911-Carrera-2.7RS engine, Gantspeed, version I drove not too long ago. Which brings us to the Boxster.

    Here we have a minimum of 204bhp (2.5-litre) to play with, and handling that surpasses almost anything else – apart from the later Porsche Cayman, which is – basically – a coupé version of the Boxster. Unlike the #Porsche-914/4 (or the 914/6) the Boxster is as quick and easy to drive on the road today at ‘real world’ prices. Like any modern Porsche, everything works just as it should.

    Unsurprisingly – because of the 40-odd years between them – the Boxster does just about everything better than a 914. It’s more comfortable, quieter, and extremely well equipped, even more so if the model you find has a handful of the many options Porsche offers. It’s also a true convertible (not a clumsy Targa top) which has the added luxury of electric hood operation.

    It should be easier to buy a Boxster than a 914 because there are so many more around. But care is needed, particularly because the cheapest may have been neglected and there’s always that recurring cracked block problem of the earlier Porsche water-cooled engines. Don’t fool yourself; running costs will be high if you want to keep the car in top order.

    Snags like this apart, the Boxster is now a sports car bargain and you’ll love every minute. My advice is don’t necessarily go for a bigger engine or S models, the 2.5 and 2.7-litre cars offer oodles of performance, and smaller diameter wheels with (relatively) high profile tyres give a better all-round ride than 19in rims on ultra-low profiles. Also don’t dismiss Tiptronic because it’s automatic – Porsche was well ahead of the game with the latest transmissions, and this one is very slick with steering wheel buttons.

    After Bjorn Waldegard’s wins on the Monte Carlo in both #1969 and 1970 in the 911S, the idea of a hat trick on the world’s most famous rally must have been appealing, and Porsche’s #Weissach competitions department was convinced the mid-engine 914/6 was the one for the job.


    Alas, the car was not easy to handle on snow and ice of the #1971 Monte. The best the big Swede, and his equally large co-driver Hans Thorszelius, could manage was third, behind a pair of (rear engine) Alpines. A few years ago Bjorn told me why he considered the rear-engined 911 a superior rally car: “The engineers at Porsche thought this was the ultimate car because it had near 50-50 per cent weight balance, front and rear.

    “I believed them, until I drove it. They were wrong; it was impossible to drive, so nervous. With the 911 you knew when the back end was going in a nice slide and you could control it. The 914 was very unpredictable,” he said.

    OWNING AND RUNNING
    BOXING CLEVER? NOT QUITE…

    According to Kevin Clark, registrar of the 914 at the Porsche Club GB (01608 652911; 914@ porscheclubgb. com), there’s around 175-200 cars in the UK, but not all are on the road. He admits it’s true that up until a few years ago, the general standard was at best average but this is quickly changing and there are now an increasing number of well kept examples.

    Spares are in the main not a problem and he cites reproduction panels from Canadian company, Restoration Designs, as being very good indeed.

    Prices for decent 914s start from £10,000 for a 1.7 version and between £12-16K for a 2.0, with the 1.8 somewhere in between, which is about half what a rare 914/6 would make if you can find one. It’s generally accepted that the 2-litre (SC) is the best all rounder, but as Kevin rightly points out due to their sheer rarity, it’s best to buy on condition rather than spec, be it a 1.7 or 1.8. On the other hand a truly top 914-6 can sell of well over £25,000 with ease, so 914 values are on the rise as a whole.

    In contrast there’s no shortage of Boxsters around and they can be picked up very cheaply too, from £3000 or less. However, that may well prove to be a false economy as certain repairs – especially to the Tiptronic transmission – can almost exceed the value of some models.

    It’s far better to buy the best you can and set a budget of around £6500-£9000 at least (depending upon model) for a good car. Support from specialists is very good which is just as well as the Boxster is hardly a DIY proposition even to diehard enthusiasts. It’s not simply because it’s a complex modern design but also the fact that the mid-mounted engine is well and truly tucked away out of sight.

    The 914 is still popular in the US so tuning options are plentiful – including fitting small V8s or Scooby Do ( #Subaru ) engines! The front suspension is early 911 while Porsche brakes can also be fitted. Same again for the VW brakes, which can be substituted for 911 anchors. Even if you like your 914 stock, fitting the later Porsche transaxle from a 930 improves the gearbox no end. There’s no shortage of tuning and custom bits for the Boxster.

    “The real appeal of the Boxster to classic fans is the fact they feel a bit like an old school 911!”

    AND THE WINNER IS…

    You tell us! The 914, despite its faults when new, was a bold, brave attempt to make a 911 alternative that some say is the more purist in terms of design plus boasts better handing. What scuppered the car when contemporary was its price that was too near the 911 to entice buyers. Today they make an interesting and cheaper substitute although, according to experts we spoke to, most are in a shabby state. The Boxster was the nail in the coffin for many traditional specialist makes, such as TVR, because it offered affordable Porsche ownership that two decades on is even more appealing as a used car/modern classic buy. Given the fact that they drive pretty much like older 911s used to feel what more can you ask for?

    Boxster looks best hood down. A hard top is available but pricey.
    911-like cabin is part of the Boxster’s charm.
    Access is bad but performance isn’t – even ‘slow’ 2.5 model!
    As modern classics go, the Boxster is one of the best and fi ne value.

    Square looks have aged well and the 914 looks pretty good to us.
    If anything, the cabin was better designed than a 911. Most LHD.
    VW 412 power meant the 914 was sluggish for a serious sportster.

    WHAT THE EXPERTS SAY

    Experts on 914s are thin on the ground yet in Essex two were just miles from each other! PR Services (www.prs356. com) ‘dumped’ the car because there was no money in looking after them. Mike and Paul Smith reckon the biggest problem are owners who won’t shell out for preventative maintenance and as a result end up with bills of £2500 just to prep the car for the MoT plus a service, adding that about 80 per cent of cars out there are pretty ropey. Sad because Paul is a big fan of the 914. Dave Dennett of DSD Motorwerks (07002 911356) broadly agrees and says it’s the cost of shipping etc which really bumps up prices to 911 levels and apart from the 914/6 (of which DSD is making a racing replica for a Belgium enthusiast), their values don’t encourage owners to spend serious money. But given the choice, Dave says he’d always take a 914 over a similar value Boxster because of its exceptional handling that surpassed a 911.
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    SUNBEAM HARRINGTON ALPINE

    On track in a #NART Ferrari-liveried British racer. A Ferrari by any other name. This is a fastback Sunbeam, Alpine yet it wears the Cavallino Rampante. John Simister unravels its compelling racing history - and tests it at Goodwood. Photography Paul Harmer.

    Sebring, Florida, March #1963 . In the NART (North American Racing Team) garage, being made ready for the 12-hour endurance race, is the usual cluster of red Ferraris. One, however, looks unfamiliar. It has tailfins and seems somehow lighter in build. Yet the prancing horse crest is present on both front wings, just as it should be, and the blue driver's seat is just like that of a nearby #250GTO .

    NART is synonymous with Ferrari, having been set up by the Italian company's US importer, Luigi Chinetti. But our be-finned red coupe is not a Ferrari at all. It's not even Italian. It's a Sunbeam Harrington Alpine, and therefore British, but owner Fillipo Theodoli was a pal of Chinetti's and also worked for the Gardner advertising agency, which handled the Ferrari and Alitalia accounts. Thus the Harrington Alpine became an honorary Ferrari.

    Driven by Theodoli and Bill Kneeland, a man with much experience of racing Alpines, the number-55 Harrington finished fourth in class, behind an #Abarth-Porsche and a #Porsche-Carrera , and 36th overall. Kneeland started the race and got away first from the grid, but it soon became clear that the newly fitted Weber carburettors made the drivers pay for the extra power with an unexpectedly heavy fuel thirst. So the Alpine had to pit earlier than scheduled to refuel, and there was no pit steward standing by to snip the filler cap's sealing wire.

    Richard Waite, one of the pit crew, tells how the team tried illicitly to remove the wire and ended up yanking off the entire filler assembly. After the fill it was re-sealed with duct tape, and naturally it leaked copiously all over the track. Masten Gregory spun his #E-type on the slippery petrol and had strong words with the Harrington crew after the race... but the result stood.

    That was the Alpine's last race. Its first was a year earlier, in 1962, Theodoli trying out his new toy in the Sebring 12 Hours as a works Rootes Group entry and wearing number 44. He and Freddie Barrette finished 33rd overall and tenth in class. For the pair's next outing, a four-hour SCCA event at Vineland, the #Alpine had to be entered in the modified class on account of its stripped-out interior, improved airflow to the engine bay, and the N ART-sourced seat and N ART-made 40-gallon fuel tank. So Theodoli got his Alpine experts, D&H Motors in New Hampshire, to add to the engine's already Stage Three tune as supplied by Thomas Harrington Ltd. This involved a hotter camshaft and that pair of Webers, replacing the original Zenith instruments, to feed the engine's increased appetite for fuel and air. Result? The Alpine ran as high as fourth but finished tenth.

    A month later, in September #1962 , it finished 13th at the Bridgehampton 400km. Theodoli entered both events privately, but next came that 1963 Sebring race under NART's wing. And that, as far as Harrington Alpine chassis number B9106097's race history is concerned, is that. Theodoli sold the Sunbeam straight after Sebring, via D&H.
    The new owner was Bob Avery, who traded in his Sunbeam Rapier and had his new toy converted back broadly to original Harrington road spec apart from keeping the racier camshaft. Those Webers and their manifold were valuable - D&H's asking price was $3800 with Webers, $2500 back on Zeniths - and Bob reckoned it was just fine on the lowlier carbs, with 'a beautiful warble at idle. When I stepped on the go pedal, it scooted!' Bob Avery kept the Harrington for the next 49 years, right up until he passed away.

    Guy Harman bought the Harrington in 2012, intrigued by its history. Also intrigued was Clive Harrington, whose father Clifford not only ran the Harrington coachbuilding arm - the Hove, Sussex-based company made some very handsome bodies for buses as well as being a major Rootes Group dealer - but also designed the Alpine conversion. We're with both of them at Goodwood today, the Alpine having just emerged from finishing touches, after various experts have recommissioned it, lightly restored it and rendered it back into 1963 Sebring specification. Bob had already restored it in the 1990s.

    'It arrived in pretty good nick,' Guy reports. He plans to race it, most glamorously in this year's Goodwood Members' Meeting, just as Bob had hoped would happen. Today is its first shakedown run, only four miles having passed under its wheels since it was driven out of the restoration workshop. So what, exactly, has Guy bought?

    As created by the Rootes Group, the Sunbeam Alpine was an open-top sports car with an optional hardtop. Seeing a gap in the market for a compact GT coupe, Thomas Harrington Ltd, with Rootes' approval, devised a fastback conversion to be sold through Rootes dealers. The new panels - roof and bootlid - were of glassfibre, with aluminium roof-gutters. It was launched in March 1961, based on the #Sunbeam Alpine Series II with an engine enlarged to 1592cc from the original 1494cc, and tuned to one of three possible stages by Rootes dealer and tuner George Hartwell, along the coast in Bournemouth.

    In all, 110 Harrington Alpines were made in the body shape of Guy Harman's car, plus some Series C hatchback versions and 250 examples of the Harrington Le Mans, introduced in October 1961 and built in parallel with the original version. The Le Mans lost the tailfins and instead had a downward-sloping tail; they were named to celebrate the Harrington's win in the 1961 Le Mans 24 Hours of the Index of Thermal Efficiency, driven by Peters Procter and Harper. Today that winning car lives in the US, having been owned and raced in the interim by Clive Harrington. An interesting footnote to the Harrington Alpine programme is that the company also produced the body panels for the Triumph Dove (always pronounced 'Dove') GTR4 conversion sold by Doves of Wimbledon.

    Fillipo Theodoli came over from the US to Hove to collect his car personally. He arrived at a large and busy enterprise, the dealership (but not the coachbuilders) still going strong in the 1970s as the re-formed Harrington Motors when your correspondent, then a student at Sussex University, regularly patronised the parts department seeking pieces for a high-maintenance tuned Imp. (I got them to write me an engineer's report for my insurance company, too, and I well remember the grin on the mechanic's face on his return from thrashing JLL 251D along the A27. But I digress.) Nowadays there's a PC World on the site instead.

    Thomas Harrington Ltd listed a Weber conversion as an enhancement to the Stage Three tune, but it wouldn't fit a left-hand-drive car because there wasn't enough space around the steering box and brake master cylinder. Then D&H discovered that Weber itself had also developed a twin-DCOE kit, this one suitable for LHD, which was duly acquired and fitted. Gordon Harrington, Clifford's brother and head of the Rootes dealership, alluded to the subsequent #Weber fitment in his reply, dated 24 September 1963, to a letter from Bob Avery keen to learn more about his new purchase.

    As bought by Guy Harman, the Harrington was still in 'fast road' specification and showed little sign of its track record. A Sussex-based company, restorers and preparers of old racing and road cars, then set about returning it to its 1963 Sebring state. There was a little repair work to do on the lower rear quarters, and the standard front valance had to be cut off and replaced with one incorporating a large air intake mirroring the radiator grille aperture. The holes for the external petrol filler and the door light to illuminate an endurance racer's racing number had been welded up, so were reinstated.

    The NART parts - seat, fuel tank - had gone back to NART so replicas were created, along with the various period stickers. The scrutineering tag is original, though, having been safely filed away all those years. As for the engine, Guy has the original but has had a new one built with a lightweight steel flywheel, stronger connecting rods and a Piper 306° camshaft. When optimally set up with a better exhaust manifold, it should produce around 150bhp - nearly half as much again as the original engine made in period.

    It's newly installed in the Harrington, ready for me to add a few more miles to the four that have so far passed under the Sunbeam's new #Dunlop CR65 racing crossplies. It's a good thing that we have a dry day. 'They used to leak like a sieve,' Clive Harrington observes.

    I open the driver's door. The window is wound down and there's no quarterlight, so I make sure I don't poke an eye out on the slim, sharp, easily unnoticed pillar standing at the door's front edge. Now snug in the blue bucket seat, I face a giant chronometric tachometer through a vast wood-rimmed steering wheel. A hefty wooden knob tops a surprisingly long gearlever. Neither carpet nor passenger seat are present, but the Sunbeam seems otherwise fully equipped. There's a stout modern rollcage, too. The pedals are offset heavily to the left.

    The engine starts with a hearty bellow and settles to a steady idle. Time to head for the Goodwood pitlane and out on the track. There's no first-gear synchromesh in this Alpine - it came later, in 1964 - but the lever has the precise action I remember from a 1961 Rapier I once owned, marred only by a stiffness across the gate. There's overdrive on third and top but it's currently not working. Rootes' works racers got a five- speed #ZF gearbox but customers weren't given the option.

    I exit the pitlane, feel the engine's free-breathing revvability, and ready myself for the first bend. I didn't expect the Sunbeam to be a precision instrument in the way a well-set-up #MGB , say, can be with its alert rack-and-pinion, and so it proves. Through Madgwick and beyond, it's clear that the Harrington is all about broad brush-strokes, an approximate heading fine-tuned much more easily by throttle than by the springy steering that results from a steering box and a necessarily complex linkage. Rapid changes of a driver's mind are apt to go unnoticed by this Harrington, which prefers to cling doggedly to its trajectory of least resistance. You also have to make a conscious effort to move your right foot a long way leftwards when you want to brake. Otherwise you'll find yourself going unintentionally faster.

    So you have to work with this racing coupe, not fight it. Brake, aim, turn and feel the mass sit heavily on the outside rear CR65. There's now a touch of roll-induced oversteer, so you unwind the steering a little, let the Alpine settle in its attitude of lean and power through the comer in a broadly neutral balance. The rear lever-arm dampers are quite stiff, the resulting transient shifting of forces helping to tip the crossplies into the start of their slither-zone to counteract the initial hint of understeer, but you soon learn to trust their progressive loss of grip and gain in slip- angle.

    Ultimately there's more grip than you think there's going to be, and the Alpine relays in detail exactly how much is left.

    On the Lavant straight the speedometer needle, surely optimistically, passes the end of the scale (at 120mph!). I'm at 5500rpm and rev the engine no higher in deference to its newness, but the Harrington and I are cracking on well. Overdrive third would have been good at St Mary's, but there's enough torque to keep the momentum in direct top until Lavant Comer, taken in third, and the long sweep onto the straight.

    'The Harrington is all about broad brush-strokes, its heading fine-tuned more by throttle than steering’

    Then everything happens at once at the chicane. I want to snick into second after the braking and just before the leftward flick, but I don't give the throttle a big enough blip to reach the required pre-engagement revs and the tail performs a fine wiggle as I re-engage the clutch. This turns into a pleasing power-drift as I re-accelerate and the Harrington is momentarily dominated by engine output, not momentum. This is not an agile car, but it's a faithful one.

    Shortly after my drive, Clive Harrington tried the #Sunbeam-Alpine on a very wet day at Goodwood and reported back that it felt much as it should, and 'very much a Harrington'. Since then, Guy has had another new engine installed, and Chris Snowdon of CS Racing has fine-tuned the chassis set-up and softened the rear suspension. He has also rebuilt the gearbox and overdrive, so all the bugs found in my driving session should have been eradicated. Now it's in fine fettle for Guy to race in the Les Leston Cup at the Goodwood Members' Meeting in March. Prancing horses and all.

    THANKS TO Guy Harman, Clive Harrington and Goodwood (www. goodwood. co. uk).

    'The prancing horse is present on both front wings and the blue driver’s seat is just like that of a 250GTO’


    Car 1962 #Sunbeam-Harrington-Alpine (as raced in 1963)
    ENGINE 1592cc four-cylinder, OHV, two #Weber 40DCOE carburettors
    POWER Over 100bhp @ approx 6200rpm
    TORQUE Approx 100lb ft @ 4750rpm
    TRANSMISSION Four-speed manual with overdrive on third and top, rear-wheel drive
    STEERING Recirculating ball
    SUSPENSION
    Front: double wishbones, coil springs, telescopic dampers, anti-roll bar.
    Rear: live axle, leaf springs, lever-arm dampers.
    BRAKES Discs front, drums rear.
    WEIGHT 900kg
    PERFORMANCE
    Top speed 120mph. 0-60mph 9.5 sec
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    Car #Jaguar-E-Type
    Year of manufacture #1962
    Recorded mileage 6184
    Asking price £89,500
    Vendor Cotswold Collectors Cars, near Burford, Oxfordshire

    WHEN IT WAS NEW
    Price £2132
    Max power 265bhp
    Max torque 245lb ft
    0-60mph 6.3 secs
    Top speed 149mph
    Mpg 20

    This tidy coupé was restored by its then owner in 2004, and is in super driving order having covered only about 5000 miles since. Originally an American export, it has been converted to right-hand drive and wears Euro-spec triple SU carbs, but lacks the signature dustbin-style airbox and has sock filters instead. There are no leaks from the XK, which retains the standard radiator and fan, with coolant to level in the top tank, although it’s a bit murky. Its oil is clean and midway between the dipstick marks.

    The bodywork is lovely, with smooth and even paint. A concours perfectionist might quibble over the lack of factory spot-weld dimples under the rear pan, but this is a usable car not a trailer queen. The bumpers have had a nice rechrome and the wheels are recent MWS stainless-steel wires, covering Coopercraft front brake calipers and shod with decently treaded Michelins on the front and spare, and #Dunlop SPs at the rear.

    Door and panel fit is excellent and the leather inside is immaculate, although the hide is slightly baggy on the seat bases. The carpets are unworn and the rear load-bed vinyl is in fine order, too. There are only a few tiny scratches and dings in the aluminium centre-console trim and none on the dashboard panel. There’s an additional clip-in central storage box that, intriguingly, bears Stirling Moss’ signature on the lid, as well as a wood-rim Moto-Lita steering wheel and a period Motorola radio. Only the large and shiny wooden gearknob jumps out at you, but on the far end of the stick is a later all-synchro transmission from a Series 2 #E-type .

    It starts readily on the button and soon manages without the choke. Driving it is the best bit because this is a real honey, feeling supple, clonk-free and fully sorted with a lovely, taut ride. The car doesn’t pull or wander, the steering is wonderfully fluid, plus the gear synchros and brakes work well. There’s lots of oil pressure, with 40psi at warm tickover and up to 75psi running, which is exceptional for an XK, while the coolant temperature is just right at a steady 75ºC. The #Jaguar will be sold with a new MoT, a photo file of the rebuild and the original painted wire wheels.

    SUMMARY EXTERIOR
    Bodywork is spot-on, with lustrous paint and chrome

    INTERIOR
    Unworn and settling in

    MECHANICALS
    Drives sweetly; good oil pressure

    VALUE ★★★★★★★✩✩✩

    For Gorgeous, and dark colours really suit the fixed-heads
    Against Maybe that it was a lefthooker: not that you can tell

    SHOULD I BUY IT?
    No issues, sorted and ready to go. A new set of matching rubber could only make it even better.
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    Fuel-Injected 1961 #Jaguar #E-Type S1

    One modern company has harnessed a system that gives the E-type the fuel-injected edge Jaguar always intended. Injected energy!

    While fuel injection is taken for granted today, most systems were flawed in the Sixties when the E-type appeared. Fifty years on, one modern company has harnessed a system to give the E-type the edge that Jaguar always intended.

    Intention and implementation rarely converge with the best of ideas, falling aside in the wake of reality. Jaguar had disc brakes for the C-type but could not ready the system for general production until the introduction of the XK 150. Injecting fuel directly into the combustion chambers had been known for years, but manufacturing a workable system that could cope with the vagaries of everyday life proved more problematic.

    Jaguar in the Fifties must have been a very exciting place for any young designer with an insight into the future. Ideas flowed with the speed of their sports racers at #Le-Mans . Ideas such as multi-cylinder disc brake calipers and all-synchromesh gearboxes with five speeds all spent time on various drawing boards and most found their way into experimental. Fuel injection had the potential to unleash even more power from the #XK engine while at the same time improving fuel economy – music to the ears of the publicists of the day. However, where a conventional carburettor – in Jaguar’s case, generally SU – was dependable in most conditions, injecting fuel had its limitations. Jaguar had tried fuel injection, fitting experimental units as early as the #D-type , when various forms of independent rear suspension were also flirted with. Work had already begun on a new generation of sports cars that were suited to road use, and also a newly proposed production sports car race series.

    When this car appeared as the E-type in #1961 , nothing radical had happened on the power unit, which was just a transplant from the XK 150S. The car was so advanced, though, that only the designers felt let down. The world at large saw the most beautiful car ever made, with the allure of a potential 150mph. Who needed fancy five-speed gearboxes or fuel injection when this sort of performance was available with parts everyone was familiar with? However, it was essential to stay one step ahead of the opposition. Although Jaguar made some significant breakthroughs, most notably with an allsynchromesh gearbox and even better disc brakes, performance was not improved from the very first 3.8-litre engine. In fact, when legislation was introduced to control harmful exhaust emissions, power outputs of the venerable XK engine fell off the cliff. Without a workable injection system, fuel delivery was handed over to a pair of Stromberg carburettors and any thought of performance went right out of the window. The E-type became a boulevard cruiser. In #1963 , the scene was set for Jaguar to enter international racing with a purpose-built E-type – the lightweight – so-called because of its pound-shedding all-aluminium construction. The car also possessed an XK engine capable of producing some serious power figures; the version used on the Lindner/Nöcker Low Drag had the highest-recorded figure of 344bhp, making 170mph a reality. Harnessing the D-type wide-angle cylinder head and having fuel injection, performance of all lightweight cars was of the highest order. Sadly, the much coveted five-speed gearbox still eluded Jaguar and after abortive efforts at its own unit, Jaguar was forced into adapting the heavy and unsuitable #ZF ’box, as used by #Aston-Martin and #Alvis . This was soon abandoned with the arrival of Jaguar’s own all-synchromesh unit, albeit with the usual four ratios.

    While working well in race conditions, the Lucas mechanical system was not suited to the road. No matter what settings or combinations Jaguar tried, this particular form of injecting fuel could not better the existing carburettor set up for regular use. Quite simply, the technology was not around to provide the basis of reliability. Other manufacturers had systems on production cars, notably #Chevrolet in America, but a small company like Jaguar could not afford the risk. However, there were various aftermarket versions available including a certain Mangoletsi, a company already famed for its impressive inlet manifolds suitable for Weber conversions. Jaguar, though, would never be in a position to market an E-type with fuel injection. Even when planned from the outset on what many saw as the most futuristic car ever built, it bowed out of production with old-hat technology and it would not change until a new generation of owners sought modernity.


    JD-Classics is a company of world renown able to seemingly fulfil whatever whim a customer might have, be that a top-level race or rally winner, prestigious concours, or simply a decent car able to operate in any conditions. Recently, the company was tasked with engineering an E-type that could operate in one of the cruellest environments on earth, New York City.

    Leaking carburettors and fragile ignition systems were out of the question so, keeping in line with the original manufacturer’s mindset, JD looked at fuel injection, a five-speed gearbox and multipot calipers. It might well be assumed that with myriad five-speed systems on the market, that side of the proposal would be easily met. In truth, the quality of many of them is at best questionable, and fit a random notion. This is one reason why JD Classics took the long-term view of using only the best available and, if nothing suited, then it would develop its own.

    Starting with an excellent example in opalescent light blue, the 4.2-litre Series 1 open two-seater would be bespoke-built to exacting requirements. The gearbox issue had been eliminated and the proven ’box used. Brakes were the efficient AP Racing aluminium calipers with slotted and grooved ventilated discs. Experience and development had led to a suspension system based around the original torsion bars with tailored adjustable dampers. The engine and fuelling, however, would need serious consideration.

    John Mangoletsi decided retirement was not a place he liked to dwell. The family business of producing inlet manifolds was ticking over quite nicely, but surely there was room for improvement? In a weird turn of fate, the technical advisor to the Jaguar Enthusiasts’ Club, Ken Jenkins, directed him to me. John and I spent a day discussing the need for a revised Jaguar inlet manifold suitable for Weber carburettors. It was apparent to me that the real need was for a dedicated fuel-injection manifold, rather than using a version built for Webers but adapted to suit. John immediately responded to the challenge and set off with notes, scribblings and ideas. We now joke that, 47 versions later, he finally has what he considers to be the ultimate manifold.

    It was not an easy journey as pressures outside of the basic manifold design had to be coped with. Porting is an important issue and with the standard throttle throttle housing in the way, (on RHD cars), any attempt at a direct feed would always be a compromise. So, John redesigned the throttle pedal assembly. He not only engineered a space solution, he came up with a much-improved system too, which he then adapted for use on SU carburettors. Using cables instead of rod and levers, he designed a smooth system that, with tiny rose-jointed connections, solves the problems with simple efficiency.

    When using Weber carburettors, a vacuum take-off to supply a conventional servo added to the end of the manifold is the simple and accepted way of doing things. However, when using separate throttle bodies with fuel injection, pulsing occurs due to the imbalance in the manifold, as vacuum is taken from a single point. Mangoletsi overcame this by designing a vacuum rail, cast into the manifold, taking vacuum from each port and equalising the suck. Not content with that, he also looked at the standard coolant thermostat and deemed the design not fit for purpose. With a background in mechanical engineering, powerboat racing and race craft (John formed the FIA sportscar championship after the Group C days and manufactured his own car with the name BRM under license. Results were impressive given the limited budget), he was ably qualified to make this judgement. His heavily redesigned thermostat housing is a great improvement over the original.

    With the Mangoletsi inlet manifold and throttle pedestal, the engineers at JD Classics had a good platform on which to base their injection system. Selecting the right throttle bodies proved relatively easy, after all, JD Classics has done this many times. The real issues were in programming the ECU for smooth-running, usable power across the range and, perhaps the biggest stumbling block, cold start and cold running. Choosing the most efficient air filter seemed like a breeze at the end, as that was mere work on the dyno. The resultant system ideally suited the 4.2-litre XK engine. Coil packs supply the perfectly timed spark for each cylinder, just as the fuel is injected. A program is installed to alter the fuel delivery for cold start and running situations. Obviously, this is not as easy as it seems, as despite a seemingly ideal program, it still has to be checked on the road and altered as deemed necessary.

    With the development of the system apace, time had to be allotted to sorting out the interior. The basic dash layout was to remain standard – and that included the appearance of the original radio. Seats, though, were open to discussion. They could be altered but had to be comfortable and suit the car. #JD-Classics sports seats do not look out of place in an E-type despite their modern design and construction. With built-in head restraints, the backs do sit slightly above the natural waistline, but in no way hinder the fluid lines. As for the sound system, this was simply altered by modern internals into an original head unit with iPod/MP3 connectivity in the glove box.

    In a short window of opportunity, I take off for rural Maldon in Essex. As the doors of one of the seven showrooms are opened, it is left to me to start the engine. I want to experience the cold start for myself, but am unprepared to find how comfortable the throttle pedal is. It is usually awkward on left-hand-drive cars, requiring a degree of contortionism to operate, but the adjustment given by the Mangoletsi system offers considerable improvements. The engine fires at first hit and settles to a gentle tick-over.

    After clearing the pretty town, I have the roads to myself. Power proves prodigious and delivery smooth, but it is the constant unbroken availability that impresses me the most. It matters not that we creep through town traffic or are let loose on the open roads, the behaviour is impeccable.

    Cornering was expected to be of a high level, but it’s the way the throttle can be juggled when feeding in power that enhances the driving. Flat out of the bends proves intoxicating as every available ounce of power is unleashed, and the desire for more is sated only by the arrival of the next bend and long straight. I know that I am soiling the car with autumn mud, but I cannot help it. Excuses will be humbly delivered later. For now, I just want to exploit what is on offer and I am not denied.

    I almost overlook the comfort of the seats and do not even consider listening to the sound system, so immersed am I in the moment. A quick reality check makes me aware of this car’s designated task, that of driving New York. Maldon could never be Fifth Avenue, but there are shops, pedestrians and traffic. After the frenetic thrash, I sit with other road users enjoying the contemplative calm of my surroundings, while all gauges read normal. Heads swivel and I am aware that the E-type factor has been engaged and I try desperately not to smile. I fail! But I am privy to the secret. JD Classics has realised the dream that Jaguar had had all those years ago, and the E-type is now fully dressed for the streets.
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    USER MANUAL - XJ-S MANUAL

    With the F-TYPE manual recently announced, we drive the last sporting Jaguar to feature a manual gearbox, the XJ-S.
    Following the recent announcement of the #F-TYPE manual, we take a drive in the last sporting Jaguar to have the option of a clutch, the XJ-S.

    1986 XJ-S Cabriolet 3.6
    Engine 3590cc straight six
    Power 225bhp
    Torque 240lb ft
    Max speed 134mph
    0-60mph 7.3 secs
    Transmission 5-speed manual
    Price new £19,467
    Value now £10,000

    It’s no secret within my family that I’m useless at DIY. My shelves are as wonky as a three-legged donkey, my painting skills would make Michelangelo weep and in my hands flat packed furniture wishes it had stayed so.
    It’s ironic, then, I prefer sports cars with an manual 'box so when I change gear I do it myself. The feeling of blipping the throttle, dipping the clutch and then changing down in readiness for a corner is an art form in itself. Following the recent announcement that the F-TYPE V6 will have an option of a six-speed manual gearbox Jaguar obviously feels the same way. It will be the first sporting #Jaguar with a factory fitted manual gearbox since the XJ-S. To remind myself what such a car feels like I’ve arranged to drive an XJ-S Cabriolet 3.6 fivespeed that should be better to drive than my skills with a paintbrush.

    The XJ-S had the option of a manual gearbox from the start of its production in #1975 . It was the same four-speed, all synchromesh gearbox as fitted to the #E-type , although suitably modified for the additional torque. But this was the start of the company changing direction into Grand Tourers rather than pure sports cars meaning the option wasn’t a popular one and just 352 manual XJ-S V12s were built before the gearbox was dropped in #1979 .


    When the 3.6-litre straight six was announced in #1983 a Getrag five-speed manual ‘box was standard since the #ZF automatic that was originally scheduled for the engine was taking longer to develop than expected. Giving the driver more control, it helped turn the XJ-S into more of a sports car, especially the Cabriolet that was revealed around the same time. When capacity of the AJ6 straight six was increased to four litres in #1991 (which in turn was replaced by the 4.0 AJ16 in 1994) the manual option was retained, continuing until the car came to an end in #1996 . Since its replacement, the X100 XK8, never had a manual gearbox and neither did the subsequent X150, the XJ-S remains the final sporting Jaguar where you can experience the art of changing gear manually.

    This blue #1986 #XJ-SC is a typical example of the breed. After driving so many models with an automatic gearbox the round gear knob looks out of place compared to the auto version's traditional thin T-bar handle. The rest of the interior is familiar including the fabulous barrel dials of a pre-facelift #XJ-S as well as an abundance of leather and veneer that help make these cars so popular. Although the clutch is light meaning it's not difficult get this large car moving it's soon obvious that the addition of a manual transmission hasn't turned the XJ-S into a blue blooded sports car. With the travel between each gear longer than my commute to work it doesn't encourage fast driving like crisp and snappy changes do. Plus, thanks to the engine's huge amounts of torque and the long ratios between the last three gears especially you don't even need to change down for a corner. I instead leave the 'box in a high gear and it still accelerates from relatively slow speeds. The car's owner, Gary, tells me he's gone from 30mph to over 100mph in fifth.

    Yet there's still something very enjoyable about having more control compared to an XJ-S auto. The #Getrag box might not be the sharpest stick in the forest but to manually change down as I enter a corner, feeling that surge of torque build, before accelerating hard out of the exit feels great. Get it right and you start to feel the car's pedigree hidden beneath its GT surface.

    Of course, the biggest issue that’s stopping the XJ-S feeling like a genuine sports car isn't the gearbox but rather its bulk. This isn't due to the XJ-S' length – at 4,870mm its only 40cm longer than the F-TYPE – but rather its weight. Thanks to the Cabriolet’s steel construction it weighs a substantial 1,651kg (unladen) and it feels it too. Changing direction isn't too dissimilar to doing so in an oil tanker. Grip is good for a rear wheel drive car with no driver aids, although owner Gary has swapped the original 15in alloys for later, wider 16in versions which he says has made a huge difference.

    I'm in no doubt the six-speed F-TYPE will be everything a manual sports car should be, mainly fast, controllable and agile. The scant details Jaguar has so far released about the option – that its short-travel gear lever has a throw of just 45mm and the 'box has closely spaced ratios – certainly sound exciting. Yet just as I always finish any DIY job I start (albeit badly), so the manual XJ-S gets the job of having fun done.

    Above: Despite its bulk the #XJ-SC still handles well, although the later 16in alloys fitted to this car help. Far right: Having driven plenty of autos, the manual gearstick looked unusual to Paul. Below: The handsome lines of the XJ-S Cabriolet.
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    Driving Jaguar E-type

    The #Jaguar-E-type was streets ahead of the rest back in #1961 but you have to bear in mind that was almost 50 years ago and anyone stepping out of, say, an #XJ-S or the later #XK8 into one will – initially at least – find it (to put it politely) ever so slightly antiquated… The handling is soft, steering heavy (or too light and lifeless in PAS form) and even with the Jag rather than the old Moss ‘box the actual change hardly #Porsche slick.

    But once you adjust your hat and put a few miles in to gain familiarity you will soon discover that all they say about the Jaguar E-type is largely true.

    A good one is a joy. Okay, so the handling is hardly Porsche precise but you can make it that way with suitable upgrades if you want. The purist will love the sharp, alertness of the 3.8-litre XK engine. The 4.2, although lustier, doesn’t rev quite so sweetly even if it is a more usable lump for the majority. The V12 is a truly wonderful piece of engineering and the E-type becomes virtually a two-gear car, such is the amount of torque on tap; small wonder many came saddled with automatic transmission.

    Whether or not the #E-type was a true 150mph sportster is open to question but, in proper tune, it still feels mighty quick even today, offering GTi like pace in a straight line. A good well sorted one (perhaps with suitable accepted upgrades) is a great drive with handling that can be brought up up to modern standards. The bad thing is that well over half them on our roads aren’t that well sorted… Every journey in an #Jaguar -type is a real thrill but you’ll have to put up with those rotten seats, poor heating and ventilation, heat soak from the engine and transmission and feeble headlights (on early faired in models anyway). But with looks and sex appeal like no other you’d forgive this Jaguar anything, as most of us do!
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    History #Jaguar

    The #E-type was the star of the Geneva Motor Show in #1961 when it burst upon the scene, although the car was an open secret for years before. Designed as a replacement for the venerable XK sporsters, it was available in two-seat roadster or sleek coupe guises, the latter boasting a then unique semi hatchback facility. Unlike the XK, the E-type was a moncoque with a novel tubular subframe for the engine and front suspension assemblies.

    It used the XK150s 3.8-litre engine, rated at 265bhp, but with all round #Dunlop disc brakes, rack and pinion steering and a great independent rear suspension set up that’s only recently been dropped by Jaguar! To say that the E-type caused a sensation in the motoring world is an understatement and such were the crowds at Geneva that the police were called to keep order. The very first cars (500 odd rhd and over 2000 exports) featured what is known as a flat floor; ‘heel wells’ were added for extra space thereafter for added comfort.

    With the vast majority going for export to the US, E-types were quite rare sights in the 1960s and contrary to popular belief, the bulk of buyers went for coupes not roadsters. The Series 1 cars lasted in their purest (and some say best) forms up until October #1964 when the ‘Series 1/1/2’ was launched. This car addressed some of the problems the original suffered from: uncomfortable seats, inadequate rear brakes, overheating and so on. But the most critical changes were to the engine and gearbox where the former was stretched to 4.2-litres and the latter changed from the old Moss ‘box to a somewhat slicker Jaguar design.

    The beefier engine was originally intended for the gigantic #Mk10 only but US customers demanded more torque from the sports car, too. The 4.2 certainly provided that but it was not so sweet or rev happy in return. Indeed, numerous high level Jag engineers were pretty disgusted by this #XK lump because it was a bit of hotch-potch upgrade that was done on the cheap.

    Less than two years later and again American influences forced a change to the E. The 2+2 derivative was aimed at owners with young families although folklore has it that this version was always envisaged by Jaguar right from the start. Nine inches added to the wheelbase and a higher body style just about managed to accommodate a rear seat that was suitable for kids and such like.

    Another sop to Yanks was the option of a three-speed automatic. By the late 1960s the #Jaguar-E-type was showing signs of a mid-life crisis. Added appointments and improvements were gradually taking the edge off the car’s great performance. When the ‘proper’ Series 2 cars surfaced in #1968 , Federal demands across the Atlantic really sullied the whole Jaguar E-type experience. Gone were those lovely faired in headlamps (now moved further forward, too) and the small open mouth grille was now enlarged by almost 70 per cent (although it did help cooling).

    That cute little rump was replaced by a tarty and flashier rear end with new relocated tail lamps (also used on the Lotus Europa, incidentally) slung underneath new wrap around bumpers. And those triple wipers were cut to two although the windscreen rake on the bloated-looking 2+2 was altered to give a smoother line.

    Changes inside saw that classic toggle switchgear arrangement now replaced by uglier rocker switches and more crash padding, although the improved seats did now recline as standard and there was also the option of air conditioning, which as anybody who has suffered in the heat soaked cockpit of a fastdriven E-type will welcome!

    Mechanically, superior higher performance Girling brakes replaced Dunlop hardware and power steering became an option. That lovely XK engine now featured fluted #XJ6 - style cam covers but US anti-pollution laws saw the adoption of twin Zenith-Stromberg carbs and power was reduced to under 180bhp on Stateside cars.

    Once one of the best cars ever made back in #1961 , the Jaguar E-type was becoming seriously outdated by the turn of the decade. Although more refined and reliable, that rawness and speed had gone. The Series 3 #V12 E-type launched in #1971 is perhaps the nicest and best model of them all even if the car’s character had changed. With a rousing 276bhp under that massive bonnet (and with only a 60lb weight penalty over the old XK lump too) performance was back to original standards. But now the E-type was fatter and softer plus a lot uglier than ever as a consequence, making this fat cat more a sugar daddy GT plaything than the serious sports car it originally was.

    Times had moved on and in the ten years since the E-type’s launch, sports car and owner expectations had moved up a few notches, too. The aging Jaguar was longer the cat with the cream and sales started to dwindle big time as a result and to just handfuls in some months.

    The global Energy Crisis of #1973 really sealed the thirsty V12’s fate and the E-type finally bowed out in February #1975 when only four were delivered to customers in the UK! The last 50 were marked by special commemorative edition but the cat that started life with a bang ended it with a whimper and a legend died along with it. Jaguar has spent the past four decades looking for a proper replacement… But we reckon the company found it with the current #XK .
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    Driving #Jaguar #Mk10 and #420G ( Jaguar #Mark-X )

    At around two tons and the size of a Ford Transit van, the #Mk10 is no #E-type to push around. You need a lot of road space when driving this big cat hard.

    The Mk10 is best as a superb cruiser and it can match an #XJ6 and even a Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow but at much less cost. Certainly a good one is as comfortable and cosseting and with similar refinement levels. Even with those brawny E-type engines employed, performance from this big battle cruiser is nothing spectacular (although the Daimler V8 development ones were reputed to have been astonishingly quick…) but more than adequate for modern motoring.
    Not so pleasing is the Mk10’s massive thirst, due to those overworked #XK engines.

    At best expect little more than 16mpg and probably much worse if age and mileage have taken their toll on the engine and fuel system. Unlike so many more modern Jags, you can’t really quibble over the cabin space in a Mk10. There’s acres of well appointed room to stretch out in genuine luxury and the boot is well sized too – for a Jag at least!

    On a purely practical note, can you drive a car so big and wide where you live (taking one down a rural road is an adventure) and what about parking and storage outside the average semi?
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    History #Jaguar #MkX

    The Mk10 was introduced in #1961 and breaking away with Jaguar tradition it followed Mk2 practice by ditching the old chassis/ separate body design in favour on a modern monocoque and very sleek clothing, although compared to the #MkIV even at 4171lb the Mk10 was quite a bit heavier and, at well over 16ft long, the largest big cat yet unleashed. Mechanically the #Mk10 used a good deal of E-type in its make up, including the famed #XK engines (initially 265bhp 3.8-litre) and the superb independent rear suspension. The cabin was lavishly trimmed in wood and leather and at around £2500 new, was quite remarkable value.

    By 1964 the #Mk10 gained the torquier 4.2-litre #E-type engine (with an alternator), a better all-synchro gearbox and a variable rate Varamatic power steering in place of the original lifeless PAS set up. V8 versions using Daimler’s splendid 4.5-litre V8 (taken from the underrated Majestic) were experimented with at the same time.

    A year later the already huge Mk10 gained a limousine offshoot but less than 50 were built. The Mk10’s last revamp came in 1966 when Jaguar’s ageing flagship was refreshed and rebadged the #420G (the outgoing #S-Type became the plain 420 with a Mk10-like nose).

    The advent of the all-new #XJ6 and the subsequent long-wheelbase versions spelt the end of the 420G, which bowed out at the turn of the decade although its spirit lived on in the stately #Daimler #DS420 limousines, right up until #1992 .
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