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Jaguar E-Type V12

Jaguar E-Type V12 Published: 7th Feb 2018 - 0 Comments - Be the first, contribute now!

Jaguar E-Type V12
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Old bottle, new wine, but what a terrific vintage and while that V12 completely changed the character of the E-type, a much better car lurked under that now portly skin. A different animal to the earlier E-type but there’s increasing interest into the S3, and not simply due to better value.


Yes, the V12 is a completely different animal to the XKs and is definitely more a softer tourer rather than the out-and-out sports car early 3.8s were. Yet, that’s not to say that owning an S3 means you’ve accepted second best. That magnificent V12, for example, certainly gave this cat back what it had lost over the preceding decade – and a bit more albeit delivered in a different manner. The V12 became a twogear sports car and its party trick remains an ability to start from walking pace in top and power all the way to just over 140mph, small wonder then that most are autos.

Where early ‘E-typers’ notice the difference is in the handling, which had softened and, compared to, say, a 911 of that era, the S3 is a bit soggy. While that longer wheelbase care of the 2+2’s platform does the S3 no favours style-wise, it means a much roomier cockpit.


Not long ago, the V12 represented the best value because prices always lagged handsomely behind the XK models. But the gap has fast shrunk as top roadsters make easy six figures and according to E-type UK ( some truly showroom specimens are even in danger of nudging the £200K barrier – V12s are coming on strong! Fear not, as decent Coupés (generally half the price as a manual) are still attainable from £30,000 with LHD models even cheaper. Transmission choice don’t generally affect values adversely, however although, purists still want their manuals.


1971 S3 V12 is launched, Using the 2+2’s platform, with a massive 10-inch wheelbase stretch, chassis boasts antidive suspension, wider wheel arches and cooling ducts for the inboard rear brakes but an increase in weight of 270kg over the original; engine kicks out 276bhp

1972/73 A steering lock was fitted and in January 1973 a cleaner twin-branch exhaust look replaces the previous far too boy racerlike four-pipe appearance

1974 In February the fixedhead is discontinued, leaving the roadster to soldier on. The fuel crisis of that year, saw sales dwindled to double figures

1975 In December ’74, the final cars were built. Just 50 of these were made, known as Commemorative editions, which are coveted

Best models


E-types are always preferred as dropheads although the 2+2 platform gives the S3 a strange look albeit with roomier cockpit


At half the price of a drophead the Coupé is the one with the value as well as practicality, a fair number sport sunroofs for best of both worlds


As many went overseas, there’s no shortage and, unlike the XK models, the engine wasn’t strangled by de tox gubbins

Top five faults


Beware ex-US cars changed to right-hand drive; the quality of such conversions can be patchy, plus values will be lower than for a car which left the factory with right-hand drive


V12 sees 200,000 miles with ease and rarely needs a rebore. However, poor maintenance leads to overheating, and block and heads can distort due to high temperatures. Because the V12’s block and heads are alloy, anti-freeze levels must be maintained. If they’re not, internal corrosion is guaranteed


Lift the fuel filler flap; if it’s immaculate, all bodes well. That’s because many quick restos leave bare metal and even rust here, indicating a skipped job

Running gear

Check for rear axles leaks (soaks brakes). Poor rear handling points to a IRS overhaul looming BODY The rear of the monocoque also rots badly, especially the B-posts and chassis strengthening rails; sills are remarkably durable but check for past filler repairs. Underneath look for rot everywhere especially the rear radius arms

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