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Buyers Guide to:

Jaguar E-Type Series 3

Useful Info


1971 to 1975

Fuel Type


Engine Size


Engine Type


Drive Configuration


Jaguar Enthusiasts Club

Jaguar Drivers’ Club

Just Kampers

01256 862288,


The term ‘iconic’ is often over-used when it comes to cars, but it surely applies to the Jaguar E-Type. When the original was launched in 1961, Enzo Ferrari was said to have called it the most beautiful car in the world and it’s been a hugely admired classic ever since. The Series 2 was launched in 1968 but the car we’re interested in here is the Series 3 that arrived in March 1971. With revised styling and a wider track, it was also the first model to get Jaguar’s V12 engine, and came with power-assisted steering and front disc brakes as standard. However, sales had begun to decline and with the XJ-S waiting in the wings, production of this legendary sports car ended in 1975.

  1. 1. Bonnet
  2. 2. A-posts
  3. 3. Door bottoms
  4. 4. Sills
  5. 5. B-posts
  6. 6. Rear wings
  7. 7. Rear wheel arches
  8. 8. Tailgate

The Checklist

  • Every inch of the bodywork for corrosion. As well as the hotspots listed, examine the front bulkhead around the battery tray, and the box sections adjacent to the scuttle – they rot from the inside out and repairs are time-consuming and costly
  • Underneath, looking for rust in the oor and chassis rails. Restoration costs are huge, so if it’s been done previously it’s vital to establish the quality of the work
  • The panel gaps as they are a good indicator of structural issues, or shoddy repair work.
  • And check the condition of exterior trim; if the chrome or Mazak parts are damaged or badly pitted, the cost of restoration/refurbishment will soon mount up
  • The V12 for any signs of overheating. The alloy construction means proper anti-freeze levels are vital to protect it from internal corrosion. Head gasket failure will be very expensive to sort
  • That coolant hoses and pipework aren’t perished. There are around twenty hoses in total and changing them all is time consuming as other parts – such as the carburettors – need to be removed so ensure they’ve not been ignored. The correct speci cation is vital, too, as the cooling system runs at a higher pressure than six-cylinder models
  • For oil leaks, especially from around the crankshaft rear oil seal; oil pressure should be at least 50psi when warm. A complete engine re-build can exceed £5000 at a specialist so be wary of a tired unit
  • That fuel hoses haven’t become perished, leading to leaks and the risk of fire
  • That the engine revs cleanly with no hesitation or at-spots. Worn carburettors can cause problems, and the originals may have been replaced with SU items
  • The 4-speed manual gearbox for an obstructive shift or worn synchromesh between second and third gears
  • That the Borg Warner 12 automatic – a popular tment on the Series 3 – changes gear smoothly, with no jolts or hesitation
  • For noticeably vague steering that indicates a worn rack. If wire wheels are tted, it’s important to check the condition of the hubs, splines, and spokes as they are prone to wear and will require specialist attention
  • The suspension for worn or perished joints, and for signs of corrosion around the mountings for the anti-roll bars and rear radius arms. Creaks from the rear suspension can be due to lack of regular greasing
  • That the brakes haven’t become corroded or seized through lack of use, especially at the rear where the inboard location hampers any work. And check the handbrake as it often proves weak
  • For oil leaks from the differential. They can be very time consuming to cure as the diff will need to be removed, and oil may have contaminated the rear brakes
  • The condition of interior trim. Cracked or torn leather seats will need the services of a specialist re-trimmer, and while most parts are available a complete overhaul won’t be cheap
  • Whether you are looking at a genuine right- hand drive car, or an import. Plenty of examples are arriving from America and the conversion from left-hand drive isn’t too dif cult, so make sure you know the car’s history

Everything Check Out?

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