1970 2+2 automatic
Update (and closing) report - August 21, 2002
Well, there's not much left of the old girl now (that's her on the right in a corner of the Jaguar Junk warehouse). Some of you already own part of my former E Type by virtue of various Jaguar Junk eBay auctions. In fact, a number of her component parts are going over the block as we speak - so use the link on the mainpage if you want to see what remains of Andy E Type....and perhaps pick up a part or two for posterity!
As you might gather from the following photographs, it would be a waste of time looking on eBay for the bonnet or the new steering wheel I got for Christmas!
My old E Type now lives in the Jaguar Junk warehouse....
Update report - July 18, 2002
As big Frank crooned many times "And now the end is near", this is the final episode of the Andy E Type saga. Some things in life aren't meant to be and it appears that the 2+2 and I were among them.
I had originally planned to sell the car but having got her back on the road and running beautifully I had talked with Dan and decided it was ridiculous to sell her given how well she was running and the fact that she only needed a few relatively minor upgrades to finish the project and have a really fine car that would be around for a long time. Add to this my love of the car which you have probably deduced in my previous ramblings. Of course this is where the law of SOD comes into the equation!
Which brings us to the fateful day. As the meteorologists among you will know Texas has been having monsoon weather for the past 3 weeks. On such a morning I was driving into work at a sensible and appropriate speed when a Ford 250 pick up pulled out of a side road about 30 yards in front of me. This left me with no options other than the old T Bone routine.
Pre impact thoughts:
1. My car is toast
2. I'm toast
3. Ford 250 v. E Type, ugly.
Post impact thoughts:
1. I'm alive
2. Nothing broken
3. See number 1 above
During the impact I had cracked the windshield with my head "Impossible to damage, owing to little or no content" and the wood had stripped of the steering wheel leaving me with a few cuts on my arms and legs. My steering wheel was depressed as indeed I was and that really was about it. Given the force of the impact I think you'll agree that I really was incredibly lucky. My guardian angel must have been on duty that day!
So off to Seaton Southwest in the ambulance strapped to a backboard and wearing a neck brace. I found this slightly amusing as the medic, who was incredibly professional and a very nice guy, kept asking me questions. I pointed out to him that it was difficult to talk wearing a neck brace which is almost strangling you! We had a laugh about that. Anyway routine check up and unlike Hotel California I did check out and left. A big thank you to all the hospital staff and the Sheriffs department all of whom were superb.
Telephone work apologise for the inconvenience, take pain killers and go to bed. So that is it folks but before I conclude and sign off forever under my handle of Andy E Type, one should consider this. They don't make them like they used to. If you examine the damage to the E Type and given the force of the impact, it really is a tribute to the build quality and design of the car that nothing penetrated the cockpit and that the engine frames did their job. The monocoque design absorbing the impact and preventing intrusion to the cabin and rememeber this was against a 250 pick up, hardly a fair match.
My final remark concerns State Farm insurance, who have been absolutely first class. A big thank you to them for their prompt and professional service during this incident. So that's it folks. I hope you have enjoyed my witterings over the past 6 months or so but alas they must come to an end. However I may reinvent myself with another cunning pseudonymn in the future, so keep watching. Until then I wish all our readers the very best.
Update report - June 29, 2002
Hello, Hello, Andy is back, Andy is back, Hello,Hello, Hello....
Yes the legend returns. Back on the road after the best part of 6 months but now bigger, faster and better. I'd forgotten the unadulterated pleasure of driving an E Type in the Texas sunshine. Except this is now a proper E Type with a stick and new CJ engine rebuild. A rather different animal to my original ve-hi-cul. I have just completed 1000 miles running her in at no more than 3000 rpm and she hasn't missed a beat. All credit to John Claydon for his hard work with the car. And a special thankyou to El Pres and Mrs. M for allowing the work to be done.
I drove the car home on Wednesday 15th April via the car wash where she received a well over due clean up, valet, facial etc. Then home and downtown to show her off to my friends at the local, where I have been known to partake of a small pint of the black stuff, followed by a drive home grinning from ear to ear and talking to myself etc, etc.
Since then I have driven the car literally every day and it has been a thrill every morning to walk in the garage and find her sitting there all sleek and curvaceous, climbing in and firing her up, followed by the drive in to CJ all full of myself.
At the weekends I drive around the lake and enjoy the sunshine and always get loads of compliments wherever I stop. (The car not me). She really is looking gorgeous. David has tidied up the interior and fitted the new centre console etc so the car looks great now both inside and out. In addition she is driving beautifully and you can feel the power of the new engine and of course the wonderful growl associated with the marque.
I recently had my parents over from England and they decided on their first evening that they must have one drive in the car while they are here. A brief resume of their medical history; Father, knee replacement, Mother, hip replacement. Ideal for an E Type then, so off we went. My parents had never been one before, not surprising really when you consider that in 1961 when they were launched at a cost of @ $4000, when you could buy a more than adequate house for the same price. In any event they thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Prising them out of the car was fun, particularly sliding my mother sideways off the back seat. Quite what anyone watching would have thought I don't know. My street cred wasn't high to start with so it's non existent now!
All this brings me to the sad but inevitable news that I am about to sell the car. I have only been in Texas for 6 months and the car is my primary transport. I have 3 children, family and friends who frequently visit from England and for all the joys and fun the E Type gives me it's not high on practicality. So, with great reluctance, I must offer her for sale.
$17,000 or there abouts buys you that rarest of all E Types - one you really can use as relaible transport every day.
has transformed the car!
Update report - May 13, 2002
This report is both good news and bad news. The good news is that my E Type is just about back on the road. The bad news is that I will almost certainly have to sell her and get myself something a little more practical for everyday use.
Rather than dwell on this sad aspect of my report, allow me to tell you what has happened since my engine digested a carb needle set screw a few months ago.
the original automatic
Well, I am pleased to report that the engine has now been completely rebuilt and is 100% new from top to bottom. Dan persuaded me to dump the automatic transmission and in its place donated a manual 4 speed to the cause. John Claydon rebuilt the four speed for me and installed the ensemble back in the car last week. We also added a Team CJ alloy flywheel, some Team CJ shock absorbers, a spin-on oil filter adaptor kit, a new clutch, some braided lines, a new Mallory dual point distributor, a carb rebuild (I was not allowed to assist)....and all sorts of other things which made sense and/or were difficult to resist while the engine was out. The net result should be a fantastic driving machine that I will be very sad to lose.
a day to labour time to R&R engine
Later this week we will put a few road miles on the car and I will ask David (trim man) to work his magic on my new centre console and to install new rubber seals around the doors and windows.
Dan tells me this is the most rust free unrestored E Type he has ever seen. It is also exceedingly pretty and mechanically awesome. My asking price will be in the high teens......unless I can work out a way to keep her.
Andy E Type
Report date: 1/16/02
Miles at close: 85,460
'Andy No E Type'
"Andrew McCreadie, you are charged that on Saturday 12th January 2002, you did without lawful authority or reasonable excuse, attempt some E Type carburetor repairs at your place of abode which resulted in a needle set screw getting into the cylinder head and mashing the pistons etc".
"How Do you plead to such incompetence"?
"Guilty My Lord".
As a result of the above negligence I have been sentenced to hard labour, to wit the removal of said cylinder head and block under stringent supervision (and vicious piss-taking) courtesy of El Presidente.
you to stop......
screw on the piston top...too cool
The engine now needs a full rebuild - that's the bottom line.
Funnily enough, I have also been banned for life of conducting or attempting to conduct any future D.I.Y.
I was going to commence this report with Happy New Year originally but as you can see that would not be accurate given the circumstances. However, don't despair. I'm in good spirits (Whisky) and I am looking forward to a new Team CJ engine sometime in the future and also a conversion to a manual gear box....and perhaps the addition of a third carb.
I will update you with developements on the project as they occur. Until then I will temporarily be operating under the handle 'Dodgey Andy' as I am driving the Guvnor's Dodge Ram truck.
Regards to all,
Report date: 12/30/01
Miles at close: 85,300
This week I have mostly been filling up with gas, anxious to avoid a repetition of the embarrassing events of last Sunday. Today's report is relatively short owing to the holidays and general lack of reportable event.
However...... on Wednesday 26th I arrived at work frozen solid and complaining about the temperature in my ve-hi-cul. The Guv’nor gave into my complaints and instructed Sam to “sort it” to avoid further moans and groans (constant whining - Ed) from a heavily wrapped up and thawing Andy E Type.
Sam as usual did a thorough and precise job attaching some trick new silicone hoses, replacing a leaking heater valve and installing the invisible parts mentioned previously. The results of his labours were outstanding. I can only assume that the person who designed the heater in an E Type is the same as the one who designed the dash panel lights. The following words would not be used or found in a sentence when describing the heater: inferno, snug, boiling, burning, volcanic, efficient.....
Coincidentally, as in the case of the dash panel lights, the heater fan also has 2 settings: nominally, slow and fast. The fast is slow and the slow is sloooooow. It amazes me that a British car manufacturer could make a car without an efficient heater given the fact that in Britain we live in Arctic conditions for 6 to 9 months of the year! Still, I didn't complain as I rather suspect that "you get that with this model”...
Ok, I am exaggerating a little - and yes, I may be making a mountain out of a mole hill on this issue - but frankly I have nothing else to write about! Almost 500 miles this week and the car has barely missed a beat. Anyway, as we all know, you don't buy an E Type for the heater do you? I’ve had all sorts of compliments this week, the car, not me, as she had a good clean after the above work was carried out and was looking rather splendid.
Having complained (whined constantly - Ed) about having no heater for some time, I now find that I have nothing but continuous heat which I cannot turn off! It's just one thing after another! I thought that I had got through the week without further incident but on Saturday I noticed the oil pressure had dropped considerably and that there was a delay in power (a stumble) when depressing the accelerator. I rectified the oil pressure by putting in three quarts of oil and consulted Dan in relation to the other problem. It turned out that a small bushing had dropped off or simply rotted away (you get that with this model) where the accelerator slave shaft meets the firewall linkage. Anyway, I'll attend to that next week. In the meantime I'm off to enjoy the air conditioning in my new apartment, assuming it has more than one setting......
Well that's it until the New Year when I promise to keep you informed of my various motoring adventures.
A happy and peaceful New Year to you all.
Report date: 12/24/01
Miles at close: 84,834
Good morning fellow enthusiasts. Let me inform you that I am lucky to be able to write this report as I am suffering from hypothermia which I got this morning driving to work with no heater with the temperature at 29 degrees. In addition I have discovered since my last report that there are no rubber seals around the top section of the driver and passenger doors, which may explain why the car leaks when it rains! The other problem with the absence of these seals is wind noise. At speed the experience is similar to that experienced when flying a Sopwith Camel!
Anyway let's get down to business and discuss the weeks events concerning my ve-hi-cul, for correct pronunciation see the Sheriff in the James Bond film, “Live and Let Die”. At the outset of the week, the weather in Austin turned a tad Chile con carne. As a result I turned the heater on as you do to find it had one heat; ice cold. Additionally the battery ignition light was showing continuously. I reported these defects to El Presidente and after some expletives he instructed one of the CJ mechanics (Sam) to have a “Butchers” (Cockney rhyming slang; Butchers’ Hook = “Look”. Sam checked the battery connections and rectified a loose connection and then identified the heater problem. It wasn't connected up; no leads wiring, gubbins nothing! Can't expect it to work then can you?. So another job on the “to do“ list.
As a result of last weeks report I received a nice E-mail from the previous owner David, who coincidentally has a project running with CJ at the moment. When David sold the car to us it came with a full and interesting history, which I have greatly enjoyed reading. Amongst the documents provided are a complete set of registration documents and service history. David obtained the car from its original owner, a lady called Mary Ann Dean. The license plate of the ve-hi-cul then was MAD XKE, which I think is a very cool plate, so cool that in the future I may revert to this. Coincidentally Mary's husband was called James! You can't get much cooler than that! Whilst reading the history I discovered that the vehicle was first registered on 5/7/70 and provided to the Deans by a dealer named Fletcher Jones Chevrolet, situated at 444, South Decatur Blvd., Las Vegas, Nevada. One of the most interesting documents is the original Jaguar service booklet, entitled "Your passport to service“. On page 26 of the booklet dedicated to notes was a list compiled by the Deans titled: Complaints – 1000 mile check. They were as follows:
1. Clock not working
2. Air conditioner not working
3. Car overheats
4. Tool kit never there
5. Seat rip not fixed
6. Safety latch on hood
7. Brakes squeal
8. Noise in steering column
9. Right door lock sticks
As John Claydon the top mechanic at CJ is fond of saying “You get that with this model“ and given the fact that at least half of these faults still exist 32 years on, I'm beginning to think he's right. We have conclusive, documentary evidence that you indeed 'get that with this model'. Anyway the weather for the remainder of the week was glorious and I enjoyed driving the old girl around.
Saturday was a very exciting day. Dan had secretly ordered his lovely wife Justine, otherwise known as “She who must be obeyed“, a brand new X Type with full sports package in Silver with black leather. (That’s the car, not Justine). So we went to the Jaguar dealer in Austin to collect the car and while we were there Dan decided he had to trade in his XK8 for an XKR. They didn’t have one in stock so he ordered one in black on black with the full monty 20” Detroit alloy wheels. Anyway, adventures in relation to Justine’s car can be found on the “Our Cars” section under the “X Files”. Having picked up the ve-hi-cul we returned to “Chez Mooney” to surprise Mrs. M. Unfortuneately she surprised us by not being there. So Dan secreted the vehicle in the garage and placed a large red bow on it. (Sickly isn’t it?) We then hid in the garage with Matey Moon (Doggy) and 3 hours and innumerable false alarms later the lady returned. Needless to say she was gobsmacked! If that wasn’t enough excitement for one day Dan took me out and bought me my Christmas present. As you’ve probably gathered by now he doesn’t do things in half measures so an hour later I was the proud owner of a black Fender Stratocaster. I’ll be the only one at the beginners lessons with one of those!
On Sunday after a full English breakfast beautifully cooked by Mrs. M, Dan and I went to mine to wrap presents. On route he told me that the shocks needed replacing together with the rear wheel bearings. “You get that with this model”....... I’ll put those on the “To do” list, which is growing by the minute. Finally, later that afternoon with the fuel gauge still indicating the presence of gas and no warning light evident, (Yes you’ve guessed it, you get that with this model) I managed to run out of gas 100 yards from home.
What follows is an edited version of my call to Dan.
“Dan it’s me”
Dan: “What’s up mate”
Me: “I’ve run out of gas”
Dan: “ *****##************ idiot”.
Well there we have it, never a dull moment! May I take this opportunity of wishing all of you happy holidays and to steal a line from the Late Great:
Andy E Type
Report date: 12/17/01
Miles at close: 84,536
This is an everyday story of Andy’s E Type by Andy E Type. As some of you may know I recently took up employment at Classic Jaguar, here in Austin, under the guidance of my long time good friend Dan Mooney, formerly known as Desperate, now referred to as El Presidente or Guv’nor.
Before I embark on my motoring tales one should be familiar with the background and circumstances which led to my acquiring one of the finest cars ever made and the subsequent effect ownership had on my personality. Whilst here last time in September I had what could loosely be termed as an extended interview. During this period Dan lent me the aforementioned E Type, which is a 1970 2 plus 2, 4.2 automatic finished in opalescent silver blue with a genuine 84k mileage with two previous owners, in very good condition, as California cars tend to be.
Like anyone who drives an E Type for the first time I fell in love with the vehicle and became very attached to it, so much so that I bought it. On my return to England I began to buy lots of E Type books and literature and proceeded to bore my family and friends with all sorts of useless facts concerning the marque. Sound familiar? For example I began learning about the various prototype E Types, E1A, E2A and of course 77RW and 9600HP, blah, blah, blah. I know you’ve all done this and are quietly chuckling to yourselves, perhaps even blushing! This stage was followed by the acquisition of lovely little models of Jaguars for the mantle piece or office desk, Grace, Space and Pace posters, T- shirts, sweatshirts, mugs, ties, cuff links, followed by the inevitable visit to the Heritage museum in Browns Lane, Coventry and a feast of Jaguars including HDU 555N, an XJ 220 and a rather splendid F Type prototype, among others.
This brings us up to date and here I am at CJ reunited with my Jam Jar (cockney rhyming slang for ‘car’). I intend to use her every day and what follows is intended to be a brief diary of the pleasures (and trials and tribulations) of driving an almost 32 year old car every day to and from work.
In my absence Dan was looking after the car for me(!) and left it parked outside his house during which a storm of biblical proportions had swept through the state, leaving my pride and joy wet (inside and out). Dan attempted to start her but without success and this resulted in her being low loaded to Classic Jaguar. I thoroughly examined the car when she was on the ramp and was delighted to find no trace of rust anywhere. The car really is in very good condition.
Anyway, after a battery charge and a routine oil and filter change I was on the road again. On the journey home it became dark so I fumbled to select the light switch and was surprised at the power of the headlamps. I had of course forgotten that there was a separate switch for the dash panel, which offers the choice of dim or bright. I can only assume that the person who designed this had a sense of humour, because the bright is dim and the dim may be discernible during a total eclipse. The result of this blinding light is the guessometer when it comes to having any idea as to what speed your travelling at. However this is a minor point as I don’t normally concern myself with such trivia. On route home (actually, I was going to Dan's) I stopped at the supermarket to obtain essential provisions, such as Shiner Bock and Cabernet Sauvignon, and I was reminded of the joys of driving an E Type when a number of people complimented me on the car. On my return to the vehicle a couple of people were standing admiring her. I find this one of the most rewarding aspects of owning an E Type and it really is amazing that they can still turn heads forty years after their first appearance. There really are few cars in the world capable of doing this.
The rest of the first week passed without reportable incident. However this was not the case at the end of week 2. On Saturday the 15th I had arranged to go into CJ and meet Dan and it was raining cats and dogs. On route I was running low on gas and filled up. On arrival at the shop Dan and I decided to pull out the spare wheel and examine both it and the boot area which as you will be aware is a notorious area for rust. Well we were delighted to find no trace of rust but not so delighted to find a not inconsiderable leak from the pick up plate on top of the gas tank. This leak was serious enough for us not to be able leave the repair until Monday in case the building burnt down. So..... El Presidente told me we were going to embark on my first experience of hands on maintenance. It was apparent that this had been a long standing problem as someone had attempted to stem the flow of fuel with an inappropriate dollop of Gorilla snot, around a couple of the bolt heads. (See photograph 2 below).
Before we could embark on removing the bolts from the pick up plate Dan complimented me on having being able to fill a 12 gallon tank with 16 gallons of fuel. So we decided it was necessary to syphon a couple of gallons off before we could start. Not being experienced in the art of stealing petrol, I was amazed to see Dan start to drink some through an old piece of hose! (He complained about the taste, but I reminded him that in our past we had drunk worse!) In any event, we managed to remove four gallons then set about removing the eight securing bolts from the pick-up plate (being careful not to allow any debris to enter the gas tank). We then removed the fuel line banjo bolt and lifted the pick-up assembly free of the tank. Next we scrupulously cleaned the mating surfaces, making sure to remove all traces of gorilla snot and old gasket. Having done this we then coated both sides of the new cork gasket with Permatex RTV silicone sealer and reinstalled the gasket. Using eight new bolts (doused in thread sealer) and reinserted and resecured the pick-up plate. We then resecured the fuel line banjo bolt which completed the process. I then took the vehicle for a test drive (any excuse) which revealed the problem had been rectified.
On my return Dan commented that the idle was way too high. He then spent five minutes under the bonnet (don’t ask me what he was doing). I assume he was tuning the carbs but whatever it was, it worked. Instead of idling at around 1200 rpm it came down to 750 in park and 650 in drive. I then took it for another test drive (I like this bit) and found it was running significantly more smoothly.
Anyway..... at this stage we were on a roll and Dan suggested that we change the steering wheel on the vehicle as it had been giving me splinters. Dan had very kindly given me a replacement previously as the wheel on the car was the original and in poor shape - oval to be precise. It would be wrong to say it was difficult, but it is not straightforward. First of all you have to remove the horn push. This is attached by three small grub screws on the underside. Dan informed me that many people are unaware of this and try to force the horn push off, causing it to break. Having successfully removed the screws the horn push lifts out creating access to a 1 inch nut. Once you remove this there is a washer which has to be removed then the wheel will lift off.
You have to be careful when removing it as there are 2 half moon clips which are easy to drop/lose as the wheel is removed. Once you have done this you have to separate the hub from the old wheel, which is riveted on. To do this you have to use a 1/8" drill to drill out the rivets, leaving the holes free. You then install the new wheel to the old hub using the nuts and screws provided. When reattaching ensure that the wheel is placed on when the wheels are straight so that the Jaguar motif is displayed correctly, which is something we forgot to do initially. Having successfully reattached the wheel I went for another test drive and it was a pleasure to turn corners without the splinters and the new wheel felt generally much more secure, not to mention looking a million dollars.
So there you have it! By the end of week two I already have a much improved vehicle and have done some (my first ever!) hands on maintenance. Also you have evidence, should you have needed it, that your president can not only talk the talk, but he can walk the walk. Anyway here’s until the next time, happy holidays and God Bless America, from your staunchest ally, E Type Andy.
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