Jaguar E-Type S3 V12


Construction: steel monocoque
Engine: all-alloy, sohc-per-bank 5343cc 60° V12, four Zenith Stromberg carburetors, Lucas Opus electronic ignition
Max power: 272bhp @ 5750rpm
Max torque: 3041b ft @ 3500rpm

Technical specifications

Transmission: Borg Warner three-speed auto, driving rear wheels Suspension independent all round, at front by double wishbones, torsion bars rear fixed-length driveshafts, lower transverse links, radius arms; coil springs (twin coilovers at rear), telescopic dampers, anti-roll bar f/r
Steering: power-assisted rack and pinion
Brakes: discs all round, ventilated at front, solid inboard at rear, with servo


Length: 15ft 4V2in (4685mm)
Width: 5ft 6in (1679mm)
Height: 4ft (1219mm)
Wheelbase: 8ft 9in (2667mm)
Weight: 33161b (1505kg)
0-60mph: 6.3 secs
Top speed: 143mph

Now is the time

The market for the S3 is on the up. The Jag provides a lovely driving experience and, with flat-floor Sis going for £300k.

The price can be very attractive. Manual roadsters are the most sought-after, but the auto is not bad; it's the only E-type in which we think it works. You’d be looking at £90-135k for a nice roadster, with average cars £60-80,000 and projects £25-40k.

Fixed-heads are £35-55k for a project, £50-70k average, and £60-95k for the best. A full rebuild is about £150,000.

The V12 bring back the power we missed in the Serie 2.

Why the S3 / V12 ?

V12s tend to be bought by enthusiasts who understand the greater usability.

Upgrading to the latest ignition systems is popular, as are an electronic fuel pump and injection (using XJS hardware, plus a modern ECU and coil packs).

The result is improved economy (20mpg) and far cleaner running, plus the elimination of hot starting issues.

The important bit

The most important aspect is the condition of the monocoque, and an engine inspection is always a good idea.

Cylinder heads and cooling systems can be a problem on infrequently used or poorly maintained cars, but they are reliable once rectified.

£1000 per year should cover a full service and sorting the inevitable niggles. An S3 will drive terribly if the suspension bushes are shot, but it's a relatively cheap fix.

Are you ready to invest in classic cars?

Understand the in and out of investing in a classic car.

The next available car is a Porsche 911 (930) from 1989 in concours condition