The coupe that copes

When we get a classic hire car that is popular and runs right it is like the stars lining up.  Such is the case with our 1969 Jaguar E Type coupe based in the Cotswolds.  I inherited this car – which I now own – from a hire company in Suffolk (which is still going).  To say it had not been looked after would be an under-statement.  It hadn’t been serviced for several years, the head gasket had blown (but it was still being sent out on hire), it had the wrong wheels fitted and the clutch was on its last legs. Not much about it was right.

Since the car came to our Cotswolds fleet in 2010 I have spent close to £10,000 getting it right. It’s had major welding and suspension work, engine overhaul, new clutch and loads of other more minor bits of titillation. The next job is the interior, which is fine but if I was being picky, it’s a bit patina-ed. All of which is just as well because it is an incredibly busy car. In 2011 and 2012 it was our busiest car by far and 2013 looks like it will be even busier. Between early March, when we start hiring again in earnest, and now the car has barely had time to cool down.  That it has managed to average 500 miles a week without a murmur of fault – and massive grins from customers – is testament to the work put in to make it run right.

The car’s popularity even outstrips our V12 convertible, which perhaps has something to do with the enduring appeal of the classic Series 1 and 2 hard top coupe shape. As a driving experience it is hard to beat – the view down the long bonnet turns any road into the Mulsanne Straight and the power of the 4.2 litre straight six still thrills 4 decades after the car left the factory. We drive lots of different classic cars every week but the E Type remains a special treat any time. The popularity of the E Type has led to us adding more E Types to our fleet.  We now have a choice of 5 to hire from our sites in Devon, Cotswolds and Yorkshire. Our fleet includes E Types from all periods of production – early Series 1 coupe through to late Series 3 convertible. Hire prices start at £279 for 24 hrs including insurance, generous mileage allowance and full UK support. To find out more call 01527 893733 or visit

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