This 1965 Jaguar XKE Series I 3.8 FHC, Anthracite Grey, 100 point restoration, immaculate, former racing car, incredible provenance, 83,646 miles, #889293
What a car! The soul of Britain! An icon! Stunning! Beautiful! Every description and adjective imaginable has been used to define the legendary Jaguar E-Type or XKE, none of them seem to have done the car justice.
That was, until the Jaguar XKE Series I, was described by none other than Enzo Ferrari as, “The most beautiful car in the world”, then it’s hard to argue.
When the Jaguar XKE Series I was launched on an unsuspecting world in 1961, it caused a sensation. To this point, Jaguar had been known as making solid, rather heavy touring and saloon cars dating to their start in 1922 in Coventry, England under found William Lyons.
Jaguar caught on with the early SS100, XJ120, XJ140 and XJ160 sports car series along with Mark I and Mark II saloons under Lyons’ edict of “value for the money”. However, the E-Type with its long dramatic lines, light weight, snarling 3.8 liter, straight six-cylinder aluminum engine in both open top and coupe form represented exactly what the British car buying public wanted, an affordable sports car with all of the eye catching looks and 150+ MPH performance of rival British, Italian and German marques of the time for a fraction of the cost, the E-Type quickly became known as the working man’s supercar and a complete departure for the brand.
Jaguar Cars, Ltd had already established itself on the world stage winning the 24 Hours of Le Mans three consecutive years (1955, 1956 and 1957) with the revolutionary D-Type. The D-Type had an innovative chassis and frame which was bolted directly to the tub and a sub-frame holding the engine changed the face of the way modern racing and road going automobiles are constructed and was the basis on which the E-Type was built.
Jaguar took what it learned with its hugely successful D-Type racing program and created the XKE which is still recognized by many motoring aficionados among the most desirable sports cars of all time. The enduring, iconic design is still highly desired by collectors in its original form and kept alive through placement in notable films such as the “Austin Powers” movies and television shows like “Mad Men”.
Since you’ve read this far, you’re probably thinking “Spare me the lesson history boy, what’s the deal with this car?” Fair enough, good point…
This car has had, shall we say, a colorful past which we’ve cobbled together with the help of the previous owner. #889293 was originally delivered as a road going sports car and the car was introduced to the previous owner through past Jaguar Club of Florida President, Technical Advisor, and Chief Judge the late Tom Curren.
Mr. Curren had serviced other vintage Jaguars for Bryan and he had known to be one of the top technical advisors when it came to performance related Jaguars as he set no less than four speed records with E-types and multiple other racing related accomplishments.
The previous owner picks up the story from here, “Tom’s enthusiasm in this XKE caught my attention. He was offering the vehicle for sale from its long-time owner, who had reportedly raced it in period. First in road racing, and then after a catastrophic engine failure the owner transformed the XKE into a drag racer! The aging owner planned to restore this XKE to its former glory, but his health was failing and he could not complete the monumental task. Tom’s arrangement with the seller was a promise to restore the vehicle and not let it become a parts-car. This is where I came in.
“I purchased the XKE with the agreement that Tom would restore the car to original specifications. It was a complete mess. The body required extensive work following its racing days, especially since the last engine in the XKE was a blown V8 sticking out of the bonnet. The frame was in spectacular condition and found to have been reinforced for racing. All the original trim and glass was retained from new too!”
“We began our restoration journey by choosing not to rebuild a 3.8 but to utilize Tom Curren’s experience in XKE race cars and have him build a hot-rod 4.2 like his XKE-GT2 record setting engine. A gearbox was custom built by the same mechanic who had built me multiple racing gearboxes for vintage cars. The brakes, suspension, and cooling system were all matched for top performance. Our goal was to build the best road touring/rally XKE while keeping the cosmetics as stock in appearance as possible.
“Unfortunately, Tom Curren passed away shortly after completing the mechanicals. We turned to Paul Tsikuris of Lakeland, Florida to complete the XKE. Paul was originally hired to complete the bodywork but now given the opportunity to finish the car. He had completed a couple other British vehicles for me including a XK120SE for Pebble Beach (a class winner).
“Paul picked up where Tom had left off, often going backwards to move forward in order to ensure the best results.
“Given the significant number of original trim pieces being in outstanding condition we chose not to refinish every piece of this car. Original is only available once. Understanding that we could refinish or replace any part of this car at any time, most trim was left untouched. Some glass has scratches from being stored during its time as a race car. Some internal trim is pitted. These pieces are available in many places for replacement but we wanted the original parts to remain. The spare wheel is original to the car and was not refinished.
“Today the car has been driven approximately 1000-miles for shake-down and break-in. The suspension is adjustable any is currently set for a full load of passengers, luggage and fuel. There is a manual fan with toggle switch under dash left of steering wheel; forward-on, back-off. Save-a-Battery and disconnect are installed for storage.
“Total cost of restoration (was) in excess of $195,000 not including cost of vehicle”.
Given what this E-Type has gone through in its life from road going, to road racing to drag racing and back to original configuration, it is in remarkable condition. Since arriving at Curated, it has drawn superlatives from visitors to the showroom. Curren and Tsikuris’ restoration efforts under the guidance of the previous owner resulted in the phenomenal finished product which we’re so privileged to display today.
The E-Type starts and runs easily, no smoke, no leaks with that glorious snarling exhaust note. It comes complete with full documentation, images of the car throughout the restoration process and Jaguar Heritage Certificate issued in 2014. Simply a stunning restoration and ready for a new home. See it at Curated in Miami!