The crazy 'Kaizen': World’s first stretched E-type
Look closely at the above photos: notice anything unique about this particular ‘E’ (besides that magnificent trailer, of course)? This stunning duo is the responsibility of Jaguar specialists at Classic Motor Cars of Bridgnorth (CMC) who, in extensively restoring the Series 1 Roadster, actually extended the floor pan by a sizeable four and a half inches.
Preserving the essence
The car (and its trailer) was tailored for its USA-based owner, Paul Branstad, who wanted the prettier Series 1’s looks, while gaining the extra cabin space of the later British-Leyland-built Series 2 2+2 and Series 3 V12 models. He’s christened the project ‘the Kaizen’ after one of Toyota’s founding principles: to constantly evolve and improve its products. Despite the modifications and modern materials implemented in the car, Branstad was keen to preserve the Jaguar’s essence – and we think he’s managed this with resounding success.
Included in a raft of other modifications – all aimed at making the E-type that little bit easier to live with – is a roofline raised by 1.25 inches above the driver’s head, power steering, a 20-gallon fuel tank custom-fabricated in the boot, and air-conditioning.
Sufficient luggage space
The E-type’s beautiful rump certainly makes for the best looking trailer we’ve ever seen, too (we never thought we’d be saying that). Built from two separate E-type rear ends, the nifty trailer connects to the car via a removable tow-hitch hidden in a clever aperture in place of the rear-reversing light. While the trailer’s not attached (advisable for notoriously pedantic classic car circles), the light simply fills the gap, ensuring those timeless lines are left unspoilt.
The car is said to be ‘phenomenal’ to drive – the extra space apparently altering the whole attitude of the car. CMC’s managing director Nick Goldthorp goes as far as to say that this is the car that Jaguar should have built. Whether or not you agree, CMC’s E-type is sure to be in high demand before next summer’s road-trips begin.
Photos: John Colley, courtesy of Classic Motor Cars Ltd.