The 'Ravensbourne Project'

Part One

In the latter part of 2000, I needed to make a decision about what I should do next with my 1966 E-Type. This car, along with one other of my Jags, a 1964 'S'-Type saloon, had in 1998 enjoyed the unique distinction of being double National JCNA Champions in their respective classes.


Van Dusen Gardens ABFM, Vancouver, Canada  

In 1999, not wanting to go through the masochism of campaigning two cars at the same time once more, much worse having Patricia completely lose any enthusiasm, never again to share the joys of concoursing, we decided to show only the 'S'-Type in Championship Class.

This left the E-Type virtually unattended and un-driven during the 1999 season, so we were glad when friends from England arrived in the September, to use the opportunity to take Patricia's pretty MGB and the E-Type on the 'All British Run' to Whistler, Canada.


MGB at Boulevard Park, Bellingham, WA



Leaving Sudden Valley early on a Saturday morning with my friend's wife in the passenger seat of the E-Type, we had not gone more than about three miles from home, when on Lakeway Drive suddenly from nowhere sprang two deer from the trees and directly into our path!

Nothing could be done to avoid one of the deer hitting the front passenger door area of the car, rolling over the roof, then sliding down the sloping back end of the E-Type. The deer sat on the ground for a while and then deciding it was quite unharmed, bounded off across the road and into the shrubbery. My primary accident witness had just disappeared in a flash! The damage to the car did not look too bad and our friends were still somewhat jet-lagged so not too traumatized by the incident. We therefore continued on our trip, grateful that the deer had not attempted to sail over the open MGB behind us. The hoof marks on the roof of the E-Type being a clear warning of what could have occurred to the occupants of an open two-seater!

Soon thereafter, we had an insurance appraisal carried out and at that point it was evident that although initially it appeared that the damage was concentrated in a couple of areas, it was in fact much more widespread than first observed. Kudos to the appraiser and Hagerty Insurance for their decision that a complete repaint of the car was the only recourse. So in the November the car was delivered to a Seattle restoration company who completed the repair and total repaint by the Spring of 2000.


S-Type at Portland Concours and ABFM

Since we had a pretty successful season in 1999 with the 'S'-Type, taking third place nationally in Championship Class, we thought we would give the old girl one more concours season before we put her up for sale. This left the E-Type looking pretty again but nowhere to go.

I saw no point for the E-Type to compete with the 'trailer queens', especially those pre-ordained 100 point cars in certain parts of the country and I certainly wanted to drive the car as much as I could. (After all, Jaguars are meant to be DRIVEN, aren't they?). Since everything except the engine bay and the independent rear suspension had been completely restored, those exceptions were the trigger that made me decide on a modified carburetion, exhaust and cooling system project. I had in mind some acknowledgement of the original 'D'-Type racing architecture that had been accomplished on E-Types by a few specialized performance shops, but with my own individual inputs.

This would be the first time in the E-Type's thirty-four year life that everything would be stripped out. What an exciting project! Moreover, I could still compete, if I chose, in Special Interest Championship events. Let's get to work!

* In order to maintain a level of confidentiality of my plans prior to the next Concours season, I nicknamed the project 'Ravensbourne' after the 1940's telephone exchange name for our phone in Bromley, Kent, England (Ravensbourne 6152).
Further confusion was added to any inquisitive visitor coming into the restoration shop curious as to the identity of the car, by removal of the regular and easily recognized Washington State plate!


Part Two: The Performance Modification Process

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