1964 Jaguar E-Type 4.2 Series 1

1964 Jaguar E-Type 4.2 Series 1

This 1964 Jaguar E-Type Series 1 has only just been returned to the road following a crash by the first owner when it was just three months old. We explore its unique past and take it for a drive.


Worth the wait

60-YEAR E-TYPE RESTORATION -Crashed when just a few months old, this E-Type 4.2 was a multicoloured mess until beingrestored last year.

Can you imagine how you'd feel if you crashed a three-month-old car? You'd be no doubt devastated. Now Imagine if that car was an Opalescent Maroon E-Type 4.2 open-two-seater. Pm not sure how anyone would be able to get up in the morning after that.

1964 Jaguar E-Type 4.2 Series 1

This is the situation that faced millionaire playboy, Tom Casson, in 1965 when he damaged his brand-new Jaguar at a circuit.

Yet while most of us would have done anything to put our pride and joy back on the road, Casson didn't bother. Despite being sold a few months later, the car still wasn't fully repaired and has only just been returned to the road nearly 60 years after the initial crash.

1964 Jaguar E-Type 4.2 Series 1

Casson was born in 1918, the son the wealthy mill owner in Eiland, West Yorkshire. When his father, George, passed away in 1948 Tom inherited his fortune plus Barkisland Hall, a beautiful 17th century family had lived in since the 1920s.

1964 Jaguar E-Type 4.2 Series 1

Due to his considerable wealth, Tom Casson was something of a northern playboy with a long-held reputation for reckless driving. In July 1940 when he was just 21 and a lieutenant in the army, Casson was convicted for manslaughter due to knocking down and killing a 17-year-old mill-girl who was cycling home through Boothtown, a suburb of Halifax. He was banned from driving for a decade and served ten months in prison. Casson said he’d been dozing at the time following a party to celebrate the Grand National horse race and didn’t realise he’d hit someone and so therefore didn’t stop.

1964 Jaguar E-Type 4.2 Series 1

This wasn’t his first offence since Casson had already been in court no less than seven times for dangerous driving. The judge in the Boothtown case summed up by saying, “Your record as a motorist is shocking. You are one of those who bring scandal on the name of motorists, breaking every rule. I would add that you are not fit to drive a car in your present state of mind, perhaps in ten years’ time you may be different.”

In late 1964 and through his local Jaguar distributor in Leeds he ordered a brand new E-Type 4.2 open-two-seater in Opalescent Maroon with a grey interior. Chassis 1E1064 was built on 15 December and despatched on New Year’s Day when it was registered TC22.

1964 Jaguar E-Type 4.2 Series 1 - engine

Three months after taking delivery Casson attended a track day at Snetterton circuit in Norfolk, losing control on the first corner of his first lap, sideswiping a barrier and damaging along the nearside bodywork.

Despite the E-Type having a mere 2800 miles on the clock and the wounds mainly cosmetic, Casson never had it repaired. When he finally sold the car a few months later when it was re-registered DYG 465B, it was in the same battered condition.

1964 Jaguar E-Type 4.2 Series 1 - interior

The second owner kept the car for 40 years but although he fitted a new factory supplied bonnet, nearside rear wing and sill .plus a presumably second hand green door which resulted in a patchwork of colours, it was never finished. When he passed away in 2016, the car was sold via Anglia Car Auctions on behalf of his widow for a remarkable £116,600. With this new owner not having time to restore it either, the once maroon E-Type was sold again five years later by Silverstone Auctions for just short of a hundred grand. This time, though, the car would finally be returned to the road.

1964 Jaguar E-Type 4.2 Series 1

It was bought by the Kent-based marque experts, E-Type UK, on behalf of a customer who was looking for an original, unmolested example. By a strange coincidence, he currently lives close to Barkisland Hall and, according to the company’s Jack Twinam, loves the idea it was a Yorkshireman who originally crashed the car and it’s a Yorkshireman who’s giving it a second chance.

“Structurally it wasn’t awful,” Jack tells me about the verdict from E-Type UK’s technicians when they finally got their hands on the car in mid 2021, “but due to obviously being stored in damp conditions, it still needed inner and outer sills, gearbox tunnel plus floor panels.”

1964 Jaguar E-Type 4.2 Series 1

When it came to painting the shell, the only remaining patch of the original Opalescent Maroon was on the nearside rear wing which was digitally sampled. From this, E-Type UK was able to have the exact same shade of dark metallic red as originally applied mixed.

What I find amazing about the car’s story is not that it’s taken almost six decades to finish but that it wasn’t used for spares, meaning what arrived at E-Type UK was a largely complete if partially dismantled car. “I think that’s due to everyone who has owned the car knowing its story,” continues Jack, “and seeing its potential.”

1964 Jaguar E-Type 4.2 Series 1 - wheel

During the stripdown, the mechanics began to find several original and rare parts that are usually lost or replaced over time. These included the fuel tank bumper pad, brake reservoir pipes, bonnet locking latches, period dated ignition coil, door rain tin plate guards and original carb tag.

And although not on the car, all of the original brightwork was still with it which was subsequently rechromed and refitted. The dashboard had also been removed but was found in the boot. The switches and dials have been recommissioned, the car’s time warp condition due in part to the odometer in the speedo still reading 2,805.

1964 Jaguar E-Type 4.2 Series 1

Due to its nicely aged patina, Jack tells me the owner originally wanted to keep the original grey leather upholstery. Quickly realising its weathered condition wouldn’t match the now pristine condition of the exterior it was eventually swapped for new hide but in the same colour. The one item that was missing was the canvas roof so a replacement was fitted onto the original hood irons that had been cleaned and repainted.

With the car not having turned a wheel for several years, the engine was seized and needed to be fully rebuilt. Due to covering so fewmiles, many of the original components could be reused and not just big items like the triple SU carburettors. Incredibly, it was found some of the original jubilee clips and bolts were in good enough condition to be put back on. “Small details like that are fun and what make the car unique,” says Jack. The engine has an American specification of crankcase breather which Jack says is probably due to what was available when it was originally built. With the owner wanting to keep the car as original as possible, it’s been kept. “While a true enthusiast might say as a UK car it shouldn’t have that breather,” explains Jack, “we’re keeping it because that’s what it had when it crashed.”

Other original parts E-Type UK has managed to keep include the four-speed gearbox, IRS housing and front suspension arms. With the owner wanting to regularly use the car, the specification has been subtly upgraded, including a period-looking but modern aluminium radiator, electronic ignition, and a high torque starter.

The result is a handsome, pristine, and faultless car that, thanks to colour match and all of those original parts used during its reconstruction, appears how it must have done when Tom Casson first took delivery in early 1965.

Apart from a thicker-rimmed, leather-wrapped wheel with a smaller diameter he fitted which was still with the car when it was delivered to E-Type UK, the same goes for the interior. Although as part of the car’s history it’s been saved and preserved, Casson’s steering wheel has been swapped for a wood-rimmed Jaguar original.

When I check the odometer, it still only reads 2,813. Despite the car only recently just finished and the owner not yet securing the registration it was assigned back when Casson sold it, Jack still kindly offers me a drive which takes me all of half a second to accept.

It takes me just as long to realise this a beautifully restored example, the rebuilt 4.2-litre straight six feeling eager and responsive, the acceleration crisp and instant. With the 4.2-litre version of the E-Type gaining Jaguar’s own four-speed box with synchromesh on all gears, the changes are slick and fast.

Thanks to sharp, accurate steering plus the firm suspension allowing it to remain composed through long, fast corners, it reveals what a brilliant sports car the E-Type has always been, at least for those who made it past the second corner of a circuit.

No doubt it seems unfathomable to you as it does to me why the car wasn’t repaired following Casson’s 1965 crash. But after seeing and driving this sympathetically restored car that’s kept much of its original character, it really was worth the wait.

Thanks to: E-Type UK (etypeuk.com)

The odometer in the original speedo shows the car has still only covered 2,813 miles

The American specification of breather that was fitted to the car when new

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