Purists will think this a sacrilegious abomination of design. A 1968 Jaguar E-Type has been unveiled as the world's first stretched example -- with a matching trailer -- and will go on display at a coming UK motoring event.
The US-based owner has had his left-hand drive car stretched 4.5 inches by UK's Classic Motor Cars, whose managing director described the result as being what the storied Jaguar brand should have done with their design.
“The car is phenomenal to drive. This is the E-Type that Jaguar Cars should have built. The extra space makes all the difference and actually alters the whole attitude of the car,” Nick Goldthorp said.
Owner Paul Branstad had CMC rebuild the car after a front end crash, and stretch it during the restoration. He also had them build a trailer from two E-Type rear ends to tow behind it -- with a removable tow hitch and a hitch mechanism hidden behind the car's reversing light.
Branstad said he's named the
abomination creation The Kaizen, from the Toyota principle of “understand the imperative to make continuous improvements and then get to work” -- adding he thinks the E-Type's designer Malcolm Sayer would have approved of the changes.
“The stretched E-Type I have conceived sits between the Series I and the subsequent vehicles produced after the merger and formation of British Leyland, when the design of the cars underwent several transformations as a consequence of cuts in production costs and the need for more space that resulted in the Series II 2+2 and Series III V12,” Branstead said.
The extra length gives the legroom of the Series 3 V12 E-Type (which was 9 inches longer than the Series 1, with the extra space largely going to rear storage), while the roof has been raised 1.25 inches and the boot floor dropped and reshaped to accommodate a 20-gallon tank and wider spare wheel. CMC have also upgraded the airconditioning, power steering, brakes, gearbox and suspension.
“The four and a half inches added to the Kaizen E-type could make the car even more beautiful than the original Series I edition,” Branstad said. “Perhaps this car would have represented the very last chance for Malcolm Sayer to apply his ideas for the E-Type.”
This reporter is on Twitter: @KarlaPincott