1964 JAGUAR E-TYPE "BOUILLOT HELSEL" ROADSTER
Chassis no. 860402
Engine no. R5016-9
3,781cc DOHC Inline 6-Cylinder Engine
3 SU Carburetors
265bhp at 5,500rpm
5-Speed Manual Transmission
4-Wheel Independent Suspension
4-Wheel Disc Brakes
*The car that pioneered the 'ultra-high end' modernization of vintage cars
*Cost £50,000 when new
*Many tasteful performance and cosmetic upgrades
*Believed to be the only one built
THE MOTORCAR OFFERED
While more often seen today, it was uncommon practice 30 years ago to take a vintage car and make updates and upgrades to improve upon the maker's original product with the intent of creating a commercial venture. The "Bouillot Helsel E-Type" offered here pioneered the way for the likes of Singer and Eagle to come along decades later and ply their polished and pricey wares.
Starting with a right-hand drive Series 1 Coupe, the roof was removed, the steering wheel switched sides, and numerous mechanical upgrades were installed. The car was originally presented at the London Motor Fair (Show) at Earls Court in 1983. For the sum of £50,000, a price in those days roughly equivalent to three or more original cars, the Bouillot Helsel E-Type boasted a 5-speed Jaguar synchromesh gearbox, beefed up suspension and an aesthetic makeover which was not only very striking, but far more luxurious than the original. This included matching luggage, a plush leather interior with burled walnut dashboard fascia and its own style of knock-off hubs. Boldly, the company used their own cream and burgundy throughout and a 'BH' insignia can be found across the headlining and on the luggage, while a chrome 'Bouillot Helsel' signature can be found on the lower hood edge.
It is not known how successful the venture was and consultation with knowledgeable Jaguar historians such as Philip Porter in the UK suggests that this may well be the sole example, although the 'model' is referred to in Chris Harvey's E Type: End of an Era and features on page 245 of this book.
Today the Bouillot Helsel E-Type represents a bold attempt at improving upon the original E-Type concept. The engine compartment is clean and detailed in a matching color scheme. It is a one-of-a-kind automobile and very striking in appearance, a car that everyone will notice. It represents a singular opportunity in this sale.