The first significant up-grade of Jaguar's sensational E-Type sports car occurred in October 1964 with the launch of a 4.2-litre version. Along with the bigger, torquier engine came a more user-friendly gearbox with synchromesh on first gear, and a superior Lockheed brake servo. Apart from '4.2' badging, the car's external appearance was unchanged but under the skin there were numerous detail improvements, chiefly to the electrical and cooling systems, and to the seating arrangements. The top speed of around 150mph remained unchanged, the main performance gain resulting from the larger engine being improved acceleration. Like its 3.8-litre forbear, the 4.2-litre E-Type was built in roadster and coupé forms, and in 1966 gained an additional 'family friendly' 2+2 coupé variant on a longer wheelbase. With the increased length and rear seats came greater headroom, more luggage space, improved heating/ventilation, and optional automatic transmission.
Proposed changes to the USA's safety and emissions legislation prompted the revised Series 2, announced in October 1968, and from late 1967 the E-Type began to embody some of the forthcoming modifications, these interim cars coming to be known as the 'Series 1½' although there was never a fixed specification for this unofficial 'model'. The headlight fairings were deleted and enlarged side/rear lights adopted, while a thickened front bumper centre section bridged a larger radiator intake. Interior changes included a collapsible steering column and rocker switches in place of the earlier toggles.
Manufactured in 1968 during this transitional period, this 'Series 1½' 2+2 Coupé was purchased by the vendor in 1994 as a non-runner, having previously had only two recorded keepers. 'ULR 564F' was subsequently rebuilt, its owner's aim being the creation of a practical and reliable Gran Turismo suitable for Continental touring. Works carried out include stripping and bead-blasting the bodyshell; welding in a new driver's floor and boot floor; and repairing the rear wings (see photographs on file). An all-new bonnet was fitted, Dinitrol anti-rust treatment applied and the car repainted around 1998. The wiring loom and brake lines have been renewed and the suspension rebuilt with Koni dampers and new springs. Believed previously rebuilt, the engine benefits from overhauled carburettors and is said to display good oil pressure and even cylinder compression readings. Other noteworthy features include Coopercraft brakes, a manual overdrive gearbox (replacing the original automatic), inertia reel seat belts, Porsche seats, MotoLita steering wheel, high-intensity headlights and a heavy-duty radiator with twin fans.
The 2+2 body affords greater headroom and easier ingress/egress for taller drivers, and this one is fitted with a Webasto sliding sunroof and has been re-trimmed. The cramped rear seats have been dispensed with, enabling the useful extension of the luggage platform (ideal for bringing the odd case or two of wine back from the Continent) beneath which there is a concealed cubby hole. Driven fewer than 1,000 miles since the completion of its re-commissioning in October 2010, this sensibly upgraded E-Type is described as in generally very good condition and offered with sundry restoration invoices, current MoT/tax and Swansea V5 registration document.