1974 V12 roadster

Report date - August 20, 2004
Mileage - 17,240

Not much to report after another relatively uneventful (but highly enjoyable) week driving the CJ fleet V12 roadster. An annoying front brake squeal was cured very simply with some anti-squeal paste applied to the back side of the pads. Fuel consumption was a little better on this tank of gas at 12.25 mpg - which I attribute to running the AC less as unseasonably cool (cool being a relative term) weather settled over Texas for a few days.

Total reliability with zero maintenance expense in the last 2 weeks - the perfect daily driver!

Report date - August 11, 2004
Mileage - 17,100

With the new Pirellis installed, the car has been transformed. The dodgy high speed wobble is gone and the car feels much more secure and user friendly around the twisties. Pirelli are constantly changing the designation and spec of their tyres and the latest version of the P4000 is actually designated a WR....whatever that means. Anyway, they represent excellent value at 90 odd bucks a wheel and a new set should be on every E Type owners Christmas list.

A couple of very minor issues have been sorted out in the last few days. The voltage regulator has been adjusted (it had been over charging slightly and we over adjusted the regulator so that it was barely charging). The gauge is now showing a healthy charge and all seems well with the electrics. Yes, I really did say that!

The right hand indicator didn't want to stay on, so we adjusted the plastic switch collar which was not centered on the steering column. The exhaust muffler (an ancient, mild steel system) is obviously starting to disintigrate internally. The exhaust still sounds OK, although there is an annoying metallic rattle coming from within the muffler whenever you drive over uneven ground. A complete stainless system would seem to be in the car's future.

Fuel consumption: I don't do much stop and start driving, only having three or four junctions and a couple of sets of traffic lights on my daily commute. Tapping the calculator on the desk in front of me, it would seem that my average speed on my journey to work is about 52 MPH. For what it's worth, my fuel consumption to date has been 10.64 MPG (remember US gallons are somewhat smaller than UK gallons)......which really doesn't seem too terribly bad when you consider the size of the lump under the bonnet.

That's about it for now! Other than the tyre replacement, there really haven't been any major issues so far. I consider some of the minor repairs we have done so far to be part and parcel of the fun of driving one of these great old cars on a regular basis. With a little more tweaking and fettling, this particular car should end up being one of the best driving E Types on the road.

Report date - August 3, 2004
Mileage: 17,021
Fuel smell tracked down to a loose
fitting where fuel line enters filter
A slight fuel odour that had been bugging me turned out to be nothing more than a loose fitting in the boot area where the line enters the filter up inside the RH rear wing. Once tightened up, the fuel smell disappeared.

In the last couple of days, I also picked up a pretty good wheel wobble at anything above 60 MPH (in other words, most of the time). Initially I thought I might have lost a balance weight from the rim, although it turned out to be a pretty good sized bulge in the front left tyre. A new set of Pirelli P4000 ZR rubber is on way, although I will use the spare on the front left in the mean time.

I had a passenger in the car the other day who commented on the fuel left/right switch on the right hand side of the centre dash panel. The car obviously picked up an XJ6 panel at some time in its life, although unfortunately not the second gas tank! Speaking of gas, with the carbs nicely tuned, I will be testing the fuel economy over the next couple of days. I suspect my right foot is slightly heavier than the norm, although I expect to see MPG in double figures. Watch this space!

Bulge an excuse for a new set of
Pirelli P4000ZR tyres
Does this E Type have twin tanks?
Unfortunately, not!

Report date - July 31, 2004
Mileage: 16,934

I am delighted to introduce you to the latest addition to the Classic Jaguar fleet, a rather handsome 1974 V12 E Type roadster. I am currently using this car for my daily commute and, in doing so, I hope to prove that a properly maintained E Type can be used as a primary means of transport.

In choosing a V12 roadster for such a test I have admittedly chosen one of the more refined E Types, complete with air conditioning, power steering and power brakes, although I really believe that any E Type can be pressed into regular service given careful maintenance and some basic common sense caution.

Over the years I have been fortunate enough to drive a number of exceptionally nice cars, although I have still never driven a car that attracts quite so much attention and positive acknowledgment from fellow motorists as an E Type Jaguar. In a world seemingly full of cloned commuter vehicles, where body lines are more a function of wind tunnel numbers than an artist's pen, it is refreshing to drive a piece of automotive art that can also be an extremely competent road warrior.

Impact bumpers
If you see me on the road, give me a wave!
I have never been a fan of the ugly US impact bumpers that afflicted so many cars in the early 70's, the E Type included. Having said that, I believe that any E Type, whatever the year or model, remains one of the most striking cars on the road. Resplendent in Signal Red with Biscuit hides, this particular car attracts admiring looks where ever I take it.

When you drive an E Type frequently you learn to allow a little extra time on journeys where you have to leave the car unattended. Whether you are at the grocery store, the gas station or the gym, you will invariably find people admiring your car when you return to it. Of course you tend to get asked the same old questions each time - and you will learn that everybody once had a relative that once had an E Type!

E Type cockpit really didn't change that
much over almost 14 years of production
Will it really do 160 MPH, mister?
So far, in the first 150 miles or so, the only problem I have encountered has been excessive condensation on the AC dash unit. I will take a look at that when I get back to the shop next week.

I promise to give you an honest account of how I get on using the E Type as a regular mode of transport. I expect things to go wrong - the car is now over 30 years old, after all - but I hope to show you that such a car really can be used frequently, reasonably economically, and of course be an absolute blast to drive!

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