Paul Branstad has classic taste, but he’s also a practical guy. When his 1968 Series I Jaguar E-Type was involved in a heavy front impact accident, he decided to ship it to England for restoration with a few special requests to upgrade the classic roadster with some modern functionality. The final product is a custom stretched E-Type with a one-of-a-kind matching trailer — a totally unique creation that is as beautiful as it is bizarre.
Fully restored by Classic Motor Cars Limited (CMC) of Bridgnorth, England, this 1968 E-Type has been specially crafted for greater comfort and usability in long-distance travel. The body is stretched by 4.5 inches, bringing interior leg room close to what was offered in the Series III E-Type. The V12 Series III Jaguar E-Type was a full nine inches longer than the Series I and had lots of room behind the rear seats for storage, but this proved unnecessary in light of Branstad’s custom-designed trailer.
Perhaps the most impressive feat of this marvelous restoration is that the trailer is actually built from two E-Type rear ends joined back-to-back. The dual-trunk body rests on a single trailing axle which connects to the car at the reverse-light aperture. When not attached to the trailer, the cleverly-designed hitch is hidden by the reverse light. The floor of the original trunk has been lowered and reshaped to make room for a built-in 20-gallon gas tank as well as a spare wheel that matches the new 16” wire wheels fitted to the restored 1968 Jaguar E-Type.
“The stretched E-Type I have conceived sits between the Series I and the subsequent vehicles produced after the merger and formation of British Leyland, when the design of the cars underwent several transformations as a consequence of cuts in production costs and the need for more space that resulted in the Series II 2+2 and Series III V12,” Branstad explained in a statement. His E-Type, named “the Kaizen,” bridges this gap, preserving the celebrated aesthetics of the Series I and adding later-developed functionality.
“Kaizen” is one of Toyota’s founding principles, which means to “understand the imperative to make continuous improvements and then get to work.” Branstad took this idea of continuous improvement to heart, loading his 1968 Jaguar E-Type with improvements not limited to upgraded brakes, suspension and handling, air conditioning, power steering, and a five-speed gearbox. “As an idea,” says Branstad, “the Kaizen E-Type was a conceit of the imagination but the car itself has now become a reality by taking advantage of modern material and component technologies provided by CMC.”
Nick Goldthorp, the managing director of CMC, is more than happy with his work. “The car is phenomenal to drive,” he said in a statement. “This is the E-Type that Jaguar Cars should have built.”
The custom 1968 Series I Jaguar E-Type can be seen later this week in London, where it will be displayed at a major automotive awards show, before being shipped back to the U.S. so Branstad can enjoy it.