For many, the thought of owning such an automotive pin-up is a distant dream, but not classic car enthusiast and founder of Classic Travelling motoring tours, Sarah Dowding. Following the financial crisis in 2008, Sarah acutely observed a tempting combination of low interest rates and a deflated classic car market would actually help realise her lifelong ambition of buying an E-Type.
From our first five minutes with Sarah, it’s clear to see she’s a true petrolhead, regaling driving stories with ease and affection. Her first car was a Volvo 340, after which she bought the Morgan 4/4 that still sits alongside her Series One Coupe. However, it’s the Jag that is the beginning, middle and end of her car world.
“Every time I step inside the E-Type, I feel privileged not only to drive it but to own it. Classic cars are a passport to seeing, doing and visiting the most spectacular places, and meeting some fascinating people.”
Unlike the majority of E-Types, this Coupe isn’t a fair weather trailer trophy as a 700-mile day trip from Switzerland to home in Hampshire will attest. Modern additions such as electronic ignition, uprated disc brakes and a CD radio player have been considered essential for such vigorous use, although Sarah has steered clear of retro-fitting air conditioning. It all goes to show that classics can also be considered daily drivers.
Following the E-Type’s 50th anniversary in 2013, and based on Auto Trader’s current market valuations, we’d estimate the value of Sarah’s car has probably doubled in her tenure - try getting that kind of interest from your bank. But it’s an outcome that is as fortunate as it is irrelevant: owning the E-Type has always been about driving pleasure, not profit. “Now that I’ve got it, I don’t think I could ever sell it,” she concludes. “Selling this car would be like selling the dog.”