This Helm E-Type restomod goes hell for leather
After a decade of sourcing and restoring Jaguar E-types, British engineer Chedeen Battick founded Helm Motors to bring to life his idea of the perfect Series 1 Jaguar sports car.
“I wanted to create the E-Type the way I feel it should be, remaining sensitive to its history, but without a vinyl interior, and without the hassle of carburetor trouble,” Battick says. “We combine British craftsmanship with the finest standards of modern automotive engineering, instilling a feeling of love, care, and attention to detail within each component.”
Barttick says that more than 3800 hours of labor will go into each of the 20 examples to be built. Helm will keep at least 30 percent of the source car’s monocoque, replacing the rest with fresh steel. New doors and a hood will be hand beaten from aluminum and then sprayed with more than five gallons of paint. All brightwork will be nickel finished.
Mechanical changes are significant, with six-piston alloy front disc brakes, and new rear discs behind hand-finished steel wheels on Avon ZZ tires. Adjustable suspension is installed, along with uprated torsion bars and a quick adjust reaction plate, and speed-sensitive electronic power steering is added. Other touches to bring the E-Type up to date include a heated windscreen, LED lighting, and even soft-close doors
The 3.8-liter straight-six engine is rebuilt to a 304-hp fast road tune with Jenvey heritage throttle bodies, an alloy cooling system, and an aircraft-grade stainless steel exhaust. A five-speed manual gearbox completes the powertrain.
The Helm E-Type was crafted in conjunction with leather designer Bill Amberg, so it’s the interior that is understandably most impressive. Only semi-aniline leather and calf suede are used throughout, and even the toggle switches and grab handles are hand-stitched. The cabin is heat- and sound-insulated, has LED lighting, unique instrumentation, air conditioning, and a bluetooth audio system. Each car will come with a set of matching trademark Amberg “Rocket” bags.
This leather-lined luxury doesn’t come cheap, mind you. The starting price for a Helm E-Type is almost $580,000.