• Year of manufacture 
  • Car type 
  • Drive 
  • Condition 
  • Exterior brand colour 
    Opalescent Silver Blue
  • Interior colour 
  • Interior type 
  • Number of doors 
  • Number of seats 
  • Location
    United Kingdom
  • Exterior colour 
  • Gearbox 
  • Drivetrain 
  • Fuel type 


• 1963 Jaguar E-type Series 1 3.8 FHC
• Recent full restoration by Merlin Engineers Ltd
• Original colours of Opalescent Silver Blue with Dark Blue interior
• Matching-numbers engine
• Brakes and cooling system subtly upgraded

Like so many Jaguar E-types throughout production, this Series 1 3.8-litre Fixed-Head Coupé was sold new in the USA, and it retained its original left-hand-drive layout during a recent restoration.

Built on 5 June 1963, chassis number 888785 was fitted with engine number RA 2348-9 and dispatched on 1 July to Jaguar Cars, New York. Its first owner, however, was based all the way across the country on the West Coast – American Plant Growers Inc of Lomita, California. Its first US registration was KIT 939.

State registration cards issued during the mid-1980s show that it was owned at that time by William Tharalson of Anaheim, on the south-eastern fringes of Los Angeles. In April 2005, however, it was brought back to the UK by Eagle Racing in need of restoration. It passed to a new owner in 2009 and was always kept in dry storage, and in April 2018 it was acquired by Merlin Engineers Ltd.

The company specialises in the restoration of historic aircraft and classic cars, and its owner brought those same exacting standards to the rebuild of his new E-type. The bodyshell was stripped to bare metal and chemically cleaned – thanks to its time in California and careful storage in the UK, it was found to be remarkably rust-free.

Even so, new floors and outer sills were fitted, plus door skins and the bonnet lower panel. Once the necessary metalwork had been done, everything was sprayed in the car’s original colour of Opalescent Silver Blue.

The engine was fully rebuilt and balanced, with most of the work being done by Ivor Searle Ltd. Upgrades include electronic ignition, the rear crank seal and a Dynator alternator conversion. The differential and Moss four-speed gearbox were inspected and rebuilt by A1 Gearboxes.

The mechanical components were all rebuilt and, where necessary, etch-primed, epoxy-primed and finished with 2K gloss top coat. Dull zinc was used in order to replicate the original cadmium plating, which is now obsolete, and the chromework was refinished by Vehicle & General Platers. The interior retrim, meanwhile, was carried out by GB Classic Trim in its original colour of Dark Blue.

A number of sensible modifications that are popular with E-type owners were carried out, including an alloy radiator with cooling fan, Coopercraft alloy brake calipers, a stainless-steel exhaust and wider wheels.

This beautifully restored Jaguar E-type is now in exceptional condition throughout and is offered for sale with an extensive history file that includes all of the receipts from its rebuild, plus a full photographic record of the work that was carried out. It’s just as ready to grace a show field as it is to fulfil its original brief as a high-speed Grand Tourer.

Model history

When the Jaguar E-type was launched in 1961, the breathless press coverage concentrated on two things: the achingly pretty Malcolm Sayer-designed bodywork and the 150mph top speed. Then there was the fact that Jaguar was offering both of those things at a price considerably lower than rivals from Aston Martin and Ferrari.

Beneath the skin, the E-type owed much to the Le Mans-winning D-type. It used a monocoque centre section with a subframe carrying the 3.8-litre six-cylinder engine and front suspension. At the rear, independent suspension was fitted at a time when many of Jaguar’s rivals still employed a traditional live axle. The marque had pioneered the use of disc brakes in the 1950s, and the E-type featured them on all four wheels.

‘It is an outstanding example of the racing cars of yesterday becoming the production car of today,’ wrote Basil Cardew in the Daily Express.

When John Bolster tested a Fixed-Head Coupé for Autosport in 1961, he wrote that it was ‘capable of whispering along in top gear at 10mph or leaping into its 150mph stride on the brief depression of the pedal. A practical touring car, this, with its wide doors and capacious luggage space, yet it has a sheer beauty of line which easily beats the Italians at their own particular game.’

The E-type was offered as both a Roadster and a Fixed-Head Coupé, and in late 1964 the 3.8-litre engine was enlarged to 4.2 litres. At the same time, Jaguar’s own all-synchromesh four-speed gearbox replaced the original Moss unit. A long-wheelbase 2+2 model was added to the range in 1966, before the heavily revised Series 2 was introduced in 1968.

The E-type soon became a cultural icon as well as an automotive one, and a symbol of the Swinging Sixties. Little wonder that its appeal remains as strong as ever, even 60 years later.

Classic Motor Hub Sales
The Old Walls
United Kingdom