World's First Stretched E-Type Jaguar Details:
- 1968 Series I 4.2L OTS
- Modifications done by Classic Motor Cars (UK)
- 4in added to floor pan, roof line raised 1.25in and trunk floor reshaped to fit 20-gallon fuel tank and wider spare wheel
- Air conditioning, power steering, upgraded brakes, five-speed gearbox and suspension and handling upgrades also made
Referred to as "The most beautiful car ever made," by Enzo Ferrari, it's difficult to take that car and alter it for the better. And yet that's what Classic Motor Cars in the UK has attempted to do to with the Series 1 Jaguar E-Type.
This 1968 Series 1 4.2L OTS (Open Top Sportscar) may look like a wonderfully restored stock E-Type, but look again. True Series I cars, which ended production in late 1968 before the Series IIs came into production, for example, did not have head rests. Also if we are to get really technical, this car is referred to by most as a Series I 1/2, which was not an official factory designation, but gave buyers and now collectors a way to distinguish between the changes through the Series Is production. For the most part, Series I 1/2s did not have covered head lights among other differences such as toggle switches in the interior, non-recessed inside door handles and twin carburetors as opposed to three.
Nick Goldthorp, Managing Director of CMC, said: "The car is phenomenal to drive. This is the E-Type that Jaguar Cars should have built. The extra space makes all the difference and actually alters the whole attitude of the car."
As the E-Type progressed in production, the car's size increased along with weight and engine size. The largest of the E-Types is the Series III, which features a V12 engine along with a 9in longer body. The customer who requested this E-Type wanted something with the room of a Series III that could go on long trips while still having the style of a Series I. This is made most apparent by the custom trailer built to accommodate extra storage for luggage and other items. This was achieved by using two E-Type rear ends joined together. The trailer is connected via a removable tow hitch, which locks into position through a reversing light aperture. When the trailer is not in use, the hitch is hidden by the reverse light.
Paul Branstad, the owner, commented: "The stretched E-Type I have conceived sits between the Series I and the subsequent vehicles produced after the merger and formation of British Leyland, when the design of the cars underwent several transformations as a consequence of cuts in production costs and the need for more space that resulted in the Series II 2+2 and Series III V12."
Along with the lengthened body, other upgrades were made such as the roof line being raised by 1.25in and the trunk floor being lowered and reshaped to fit a 20-gallon fuel tank and to allow a wider spare wheel. Additionally, air conditioning, power steering, upgraded brakes, a five-speed gearbox and suspension and handling upgrades among others were made.
Nick Goldthorp added: "This is something that we have never done before. Our client wanted the interior leg room of a Series III V12 E-Type but the aesthetics of a Series I car."
This car had even been given a name by the owner: "The Kaizen." This refers to the name of one of Toyota's founding principles, "Understand the imperative to make continuous improvements and then get to work."
Paul Branstad said: "As an idea, the Kaizen E-Type was a conceit of the imagination but the car itself has now become a reality by taking advantage of modern material and component technologies provided by CMC," he added "Perhaps this car would have represented the very last chance for Malcolm Sayer to apply his ideas for the E-Type."
Beyond the extra legroom, convenience of more storage and even the comfort of air conditioning and power steering, is the fact that this car is an icon. A vintage beauty beloved by many around the world. We are sure the extra room is nice, but would you change anything about a Picasso?