The E-Type is certainly getting its fair share of attention on what is the 60th anniversary of its famous (and nearly missed) Geneva motor show reveal, what with Jaguar Classic producing 60 Collection cars as an in-house birthday present. Now, another British firm, Helm Motorcars, has announced a run of 20 rebuilt Series 1s for 2021, with each example set to receive a nut and bolt restoration that includes mild modifications for improved ease of use. And, thanks to some mechanical enhancements, 300hp from the straight-six motor.
Helm has a decade of experience in the art of sourcing and upgrading E-Types, but this run of celebratory models is said to represent its ultimate expression of the Malcolm Sayer-designed icon. Not only will each of the cars get a complete nut and bolt rebuild, their 3.8 XK motors will uprated to ‘fast road’ specification, with fuel injection, Jenvey throttle bodies and a bigger bore stainless steel exhaust system, said to extract an extra 31hp from the block. Along, no doubt, with a racier intake note. To go with the extra grunt, there's a new alloy cooling system, and the rolling chassis receives modern vented brake discs all round with six-pot calipers up front, along with Avon ZZ rubber.
The structure itself retains the steel reinforced monocoque shell with around 30 per cent of the original base used, but adding handmade aluminium bonnet and doors, alongside new bumpers, to keep weight to a minimum. The car gets adjustable suspension and uprated torsion bars, along with electric speed-sensitive power assisted steering. All in, the Helm E-Type is said to weigh 1,200kg, which is actually around 35kg less than was quoted for the original 3.8. Although it isn’t like the rebuild wants for luxury.
That much is evident in the car’s soft-close doors, and the lavishly trimmed interior, which gets leathers in place of the original’s vinyl and newly made chrome trimmings. The car is finished off with a set of handmade stainless steel wire wheels, ensuring the Helm car looks appropriately vintage, despite the modern additions. Of course, there are plenty of ways a customer can add their own touch to each car, although Helm’s founder, automotive engineer Chedeen Battick, said the firm’s ambition is to stay true to the Sayer original. Only with a little more functionality and usability. Can’t argue with that.
The first Helm E-Type will be revealed in the metal tomorrow, with private viewings for interested customers available in the aftermath. As for pricing, it starts at £420,000, but each car’s total figure will obviously be unique. If that sounds like a lot, don't forget that the best E-Types for sale on PH are up for north of £300k. Then bear in mind that each of these Helm builds will take 3,800 hours to produce...
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