A few weeks ago we announced we are carrying out the restoration of Chassis 850008, the eighth Jaguar ‘ZP’ car produced. This car was famously raced competitively by Sir Gawaine Baillie, a gentlemen racer who was the 7th Baronet of Polkemmet Linlithgowshire.
Our specialist restoration technicians have started work on the car after its return from Soda Blasting. Bodywork has started, remedial repairs to the original structure focusing on retaining as much originality as possible. Our team has restored its original competition flywheel, engine, steering rack, heating box to name a few.
“The restoration of Chassis 8 is one in which we are very much looking forward to carrying out. Jaguar’s success in racing is undoubtedly engrained in British motorsport. The ZP project, which was masterminded by Claude Bailey, was aimed at taking the fight to manufacturers that had been dominating GT racing.”
“We have been lucky enough here at Classic Motor Cars to have restored many early E-Types. Every time a car with great history arrives here, we have to take a moment to appreciate its presence. Chassis 8 is definitely one of those cars!”
“I couldn’t be happier with being entrusted to build up Chassis 8. Over the last month I’ve been busy refurbishing many original components; it’s also been a great opportunity to learn more about the history of not only the car but the ‘ZP Project’. Having restored many E-Types, I find it amazing that these cars did so well as so little was changed to the normal production cars. It just goes to show how good the Jaguar E-Type can perform.”
Little was changed to the standard E-Type that came off the production line. A close ratio J.L. Series gearbox, lightened flywheel, competition clutch were all added to enhance performance, however it was the engine that received the most attention. Sticking with their 3.8 liter straight-six engine, they opted to increase the compression ratio, use an experimental ‘gas-flowed’ cylinder head fitted with shorter valve guides, as well as adding inlet manifolds flowed by their experimental department. It wasn’t going to be easy for Jaguar; their straight-six engines would be put to the test against the strong and durable Ferrari V12 Colombo Engine, which had proven to be mighty with previous wins in the GT Constructors Championship and Tour De France in the 250 SWB.
It’s amazing to think that so little was changed to these cars and yet they were still so successful. Jaguar had success before at Le Mans and now they were taking to the track with a car that revolutionized the meaning of style. It just goes to show the quality of cars that left the factory and in particular the race department. A few years later we would see the development of the Lightweight E-Types, a car that we are familiar with having restored the famous ‘Linder Knocker Lightweight Coupe’. Over the years we have seen that to this day E-Types remain a competitive GT race car and we are very proud to be undertaking this restoration.