Founded in 2008, E-Type UK is one of the leading authorities for sales, restoration, maintenance and upgrades for the iconic Jaguar E-Type. Simon Wittenberg caught up with Owner Marcus Holland to find out more about E-Type UK’s work in the year of this automotive icon’s 60th anniversary.
Luxurious Magazine: What inspired you to establish E-Type UK, and how did you become interested in this particular model?
Marcus Holland: E-Type UK is a business I’d say we have revitalised rather than established. My father Dominic and I took it over in 2016, having seen the enormous potential and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for us to really indulge in our passion not just for cars but for true British icons.
There was a very small restoration outfit and limited sales stock when we took over, but we’ve really focused on building out the offering to complete all restoration work in-house to world-class standards and with a much-expanded stock list of beautiful Series 1, 2 and 3 E-Types.
More recently, we’ve also responded to a desire for ‘restomods’ from our customers, setting up our Unleashed division to deliver modernised E-Types with upgrades like a 6.1-litre V12, side-draft fuel injection, electric windows, remote boot release, push-to-start, LED headlights and much more.
As with most people, we’ve always admired the beauty and cultural impact of the E-Type; it appears to be utterly timeless, and the response it gets on the road today is one of absolute joy from enthusiasts and non-enthusiasts alike.
LM: What is it that makes people fall in love with the Jaguar E-Type?
Marcus: There’s so much to appreciate about the E-Type, both from a casual perspective and from a real aficionado’s perspective – the more you learn, the more you love it. At its simplest, you can’t help but fall for its design; the aerodynamically honed shape and long bonnet have been recreated but never bettered.
Then you delve a little deeper and discover the incredible performance these cars offered in their era; 150mph and at a fraction of the cost of rivals from Italy and Germany. It was an absolute sensation.
Delving deeper still, you can appreciate the car’s evolution, from the purity of early Series 1s with external bonnet locks and flat floors to the V12-powered comfort of the later Series 3s, designed to appeal to the booming American market. It’s a fascinating snapshot of history.
LM: You currently have two immaculate examples of the E-Type in your showroom for sale. Please tell us more about them and what their price tag is.
Marcus: Our showroom is full of pristinely restored E-Types, but the 1965 Series 1 FHC, and an early Series 1, Chassis 407, are two of the very best. Chassis 407 is a particularly interesting car, as it was the 407th left-hand-drive roadster to roll off the production line in 1961.
With its ‘flat floor’ body, original 3.8-litre straight-six, Pumpkin Orange cylinder head, welded bonnet louvres, it is truly one for the E-Type aficionados out there. For this particular vehicle, it has an asking price of around £200,000.
The other highlight currently in our showroom is the 1965 Series 1 FHC, which has been treated to a no-expense-spared restoration by our team of expert engineers. Not a traditional restoration, the client approached us with the challenge of building a bespoke and modified classic, reliable enough to be driven in today’s daily traffic.
To achieve this, the original straight-six was finished to ‘fast road specification’ paired with bespoke fuel injection, upgraded five-speed gearbox, grooved and vented front disc brakes and AP Racing four-pot calipers as well as adjustable shocks and coilovers. It’s a truly amazing machine that you’ll struggle to find an equal comparison in today’s market.
LM: Is it difficult to find good quality examples of the Jaguar E-Type on the open market, or do many require significant restoration?
Marcus: Over the course of the E-Type’s life, the car changed significantly, sometimes in large and obvious ways, but often in extremely small and subtle features. Early Series 1 cars, for example, had marginally different suspension and a slightly thicker steering column than later Series 1 cars, not to mention the things we spoke about earlier; flat floor body, polka dot aluminium centre console, external bonnet locks, and more.
As a result, it can be very difficult for a restoration to be completed to a world-class standard unless you’re talking to a dedicated brand expert like us – these tiny details can be missed.
We see cars that have been restored by others arriving at our workshops all the time, and in some cases, it only takes a minute to build a list of issues that really shouldn’t be there; cars can look shiny and perfect, but they have a whole host of issues that haven’t been completed to the right standard.
LM: What should potential customers know about owning and running one of these cars? Is there a lot of maintenance involved?
Marcus: Many of our customers are used to minimal vehicle maintenance that comes with modern car ownership, and it’s something that we can help to replicate in an E-Type. With modern electrical systems, upgraded gearboxes and brakes, better cooling, and any number of other updates, you can have an E-Type that starts on the button every time, runs reliably, and should last you a lifetime with annual maintenance.
LM: Is your customer base global or mainly from the UK?
Marcus: We have clients all over the globe who come to us for a wide range of upgrades. The UK is still a hub of excellence for craftsmanship, especially in the world of E-Types, so we find customers in the Middle East, Asia, America and Europe want their cars restored or upgraded by us.
It may be more work than delivering it to their local garage, but they know that by coming to us, their pride and joy will be completed to a world-class standard.
I mentioned our Unleashed division earlier, and we’re actually on the verge of completing our latest bespoke build, which will be delivered to California. There’s already a large restomod scene established out in the States, and we’ve had enormous interest out there for our Unleashed offering.
LM: Who is your typical client?
Marcus: We have real E-Type aficionados, who already have a large and growing collection, but we also have the more casual automotive enthusiast that’s always pined after an E-Type. That’s the wonderful thing about the appeal of the E-Type; it’s extremely broad.
We can work on a perfect ground-up, very original restoration of a sought-after Series 1 for our expert customer, or we can offer an upgraded Series 3 with some non-original components that will allow them to have the E-Type experience with modern levels of comfort and reliability.
LM: What do you think are some of the best roads in the UK for the E-Type? Do you have any particular favourites?
Marcus: I love the roads in the north of Scotland around the North Coast 500 – they are truly breathtakingly beautiful and make for the best road trip that the UK has to offer. That being said, there’s nothing much better than driving a roadster around the Kent countryside on a summer’s day – we really are blessed to have this on our doorstep.
LM: What other plans do you have to mark six decades of the E-Type?
Marcus: As the year develops and our freedoms are a little less restricted, we’d love to celebrate at the showroom with our customers. The one thing that unites all of them is their enormous passion for the E-Type, and we’re certain that all of them would want to bring their cars for a big celebration to mark the Diamond anniversary of an automotive legend.
LM: What’s next for E-Type UK?
Marcus: We’ll continue to grow and expand our offering to customers all over the world and be dedicated to only the finest E-Type restorations and upgrades. Now that our Unleashed division has officially been launched with orders for the first ten builds going fast, we see this side of the business growing further. At the minute, the Unleashed division is only Series 3, but we have many more ideas in the pipeline about how to develop this further. Watch this space!
E-Type UK – Where and How?
E-Type UK’s showroom and workshop are based in Hadlow, Kent, but for those looking to find out more about E-Type UK, please visit www.etypeuk.com.