Drive an E-Type every day? Why not?

For a variety of reasons, three summers ago, I decided to make an E-Type my daily driver. A Series I fixed head coupe to be exact. I took a fair amount of grief for this, with dire warnings about being a frequent pedestrian as a result of the notorious unreliability of the car. I’m happy to report that the experiment was a success and the E-Type enjoyed near-Camry levels of reliability throughout the summer of 2010 (and to this day, as I understand it from its current owner in Frankfurt, Germany).

I’m convinced that regular use contributed immeasurably to the car’s reliability. More so than with most cars, non-use really does constitute abuse with E-Types. When Jags sit, brakes get sticky, seals dry out and leak, and hydraulics fail. Driving the cars eliminate these sorts of issues. I’m convinced that the fact that my car was a relatively unaltered example also contributed to its reliability.

E-Types don’t seem to tolerate “fools with tools” well, and while shade tree mechanics with good intentions have “improved” more than a few E-Type wiring harnesses to the point of meltdown, smart updates done by competent mechanics can be a great thing. To wit, I was a big fan of the giant aluminum radiator and electric fan that the previous owner installed. They enabled me to laugh at sitting in traffic on 90-plus degree days. And having tired of replacing or rebuilding the Lucas alternator, I can also report that the GM single-wire alternator conversion sold by numerous Jag shops is a good thing, along with a new SU solid-state fuel pump. If you must have A/C, RetroAir makes a system just for the E-Type. It’s worth a look at

The bottom line is, if you happen to own one of these lovely cars, don’t be afraid to use it regularly. It can be the best thing for both you and the car.

The above story is the opinion of the author, Rob Sass, and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the JCNA. To learn more about similar topics and to connect with more than 6,000 fellow owners and enthusiasts, visit our friends at the Jaguar Clubs of North America website at

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