THE CAR AND ITS OWNER
1972 Jaguar V12 E-Type roadster owned by Eric Marziali
WHAT MAKES IT INTERESTING
Fifty-one years after its debut, the Jaguar E-Type is still considered one of the most beautiful cars ever produced. And during a 14-year production run, its power, handling and braking outclassed much of the competition. But that wasn't enough for Marziali and noted Jaguar V-12 restorer Stew Jones. They found a solid car needing restoration and transformed it into a mechanical and styling masterpiece.
The Series III E-Types were produced from 1971 to 1975, with the centerpiece being the 282-horsepower V12 engine. Jones has cranked that up to 522 horsepower and 555 lb.-ft. of torque in a package weighing just 2,800 lbs. He's stuffed the "Jag" with a host of other upgraded parts and deleted bumpers and other trim from the British Racing Green exterior to give the feline roadster an even smoother look.
HOW LONG HE'S OWNED IT
WHERE HE FOUND IT
Jones bought the car from an upstate New York friend, the second owner.
Jones' mechanical modifications include the engine management system, exhaust, manual transmission, clutch, front and rear disc brakes, and new wire wheels with performance tires. He says some parts were prototypes from specialty manufacturers, were built by him or were "generally available, cutting-edge parts used on the Jaguar V12 for the first time. The modified car is easy to drive, with electronic fuel injection, a special clutch, power brakes and power steering, and it is very gentlemanly until the 'loud pedal' (accelerator) is engaged."
TIPS FOR OWNERS
"When purchasing an E-type, the body condition is critical," Jones advises. "Purchase the best car that you can find with the color and options that you desire, unless a full restoration is intended, in which case you have your choice of all details."
Marziali and Jones decline to value the Jaguar. The NADA Guides places an "average retail" value of $53,400 on a 1972 E-Type roadster without modifications.
"The Jaguar E-type was originally conceived as a pure sports car, fast and tight," Marziali says. "Over the years, Jaguar shifted their focus to a grand touring car, but at the end of the E-Type production, it acquired the infinitely expandable V12 engine. My E-Type has been upgraded to match any modern, high-performance car and the unsurpassed E-Type shape has been purified to reflect the original Jaguar design without the encroachment of light standards, bumper standards and the chrome glitz of the 1970s." The roadster can be seen at the NY International Auto Show from Apr. 6 through Apr. 8 at the exhibit hosted by LeMay-America's Car Museum.