The ‘Kaizen’ E-type – conceived by Paul Branstad and built by CMC of Bridgnorth
Words and pictures by Classic Motor Cars and Xclusively Jaguar
On 7th November 2013 I was invited along to the unveiling of a unique E-type, which I had been watching with interest over the past few months, as it grew, literally, from a standard E-type into a stretched version. Here is the story behind that unique E-type and its accompanying trailer, the ‘E-pod’.
Eighteen months ago Classic Motor Cars (CMC), who are based at Bridgnorth in Shropshire received a call from the owner of an E-Type, asking if it could be stretched.
It was the first time that CMC have ever received a request like this, and the owner was a tall gentleman from Texas who had purchased the 1968 4.2 roadster and knew that it would be a struggle for him to drive.
The car needed to be stretched but CMC had to maintain the fine lines of the E-Type, which Enzo Ferrari had described as the most beautiful car in the world.
The car is now completed, and as a result of the work the company has been nominated for an award. After its official unveiling, it went on show in London at a major automotive awards ceremony.
A further request from the owner was for an E-Type trailer to be designed and built, which is also believed to be the first of its kind in the world.
Two E-type rear ends, joined together to create a trailer with access from either end. Beautifully executed, and perfect in every detail, this trailer is a work of art in its own right, but opinions differ as to whether or not you would actually want to see it attached to the back of your own E-type!
The Kaizen and the E-pod
Built on 17th April 1968, Chassis Number 1E 17635, a left hand drive Jaguar E-Type Series 1 4.2 Roadster was shipped immediately to Jaguar Cars in New York. Recently, it was purchased by Paul Branstad, and sent to Classic Motor Cars of Bridgnorth, after being involved in a heavy front impact, with instructions to stretch the car, during a major restoration.
Nick Goldthorp, Managing Director of CMC, said: “The car is now phenomenal to drive. This is the E-Type that Jaguar Cars should have built. The extra space makes all the difference and actually alters the whole attitude of the car.”
During the rebuild, the owner who intends to travel widely in the car, requested a trailer to be built. CMC built this from two E-Type rear ends joined together.
The trailer is ingeniously connected to the car via a removable tow hitch, which locks into position through the revering light aperture. The reversing light hides the hitch mechanism when the trailer is not in use. This is another first for CMC and the world of Jaguar.
Badged on the rear as an “E-pod” the Tardis-like trailer, unencumbered by spare wheels or fuel tanks, has a stunning amount of interior luggage space!
The E-Type has been named “the Kaizen” by owner Paul Branstad, and takes its name from one of Toyota’s founding principles, Kaizen, which means “understand the imperative to make continuous improvements and then get to work.”
Paul Branstad said that he had named the E-Type in this way because he thought that the original Jaguar designer, Malcolm Sayer, would have approved of what he wanted to do to the car while preserving its essence.
He added: “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.”
Nick Goldthorp added: “This is something that we have never done before. Our client wanted the interior leg room of a Series 3 V12 E-Type but the aesthetics of a Series 1 car.”
“We have added four and a half inches to the floor pan, which will give the leg room of the V12 plus an additional one inch if required. The V12 was actually nine inches longer than a Series I but a lot of the additional room was behind the seats as storage and was not required on our project.”
Nick said: “By adding the extra length into the door area of the car we were able to retain the overall look of the Series 1 and also turn this E-Type into a unique car.”
Along with these radical developments, the roof line has been raised by 1.25 inches above the drivers head and the boot floor lowered and reshaped to build in a 20 gallon fuel tank and to allow a wider spare wheel as the car was fitted with 16” diameter wire wheels shod with lower profile radial tyres.
The car has also been built with a host of CMC’s upgrades, which include air conditioning, power steering, upgraded brakes, five-speed gearbox, suspension and handling upgrades, amongst others.
Paul Branstad said: “As an idea, the Kaizen E-Type was a concept of the imagination but the car itself has now become a reality by taking advantage of modern material and component technologies provided by CMC.”
To fully appreciate the skilfully blended adaptations to this car, you need to see it pictured alongside a standard E-type. The extra length is in the doors, which are well balanced against the long E-type bonnet. The hood needed to be raised for driver comfort, and to balance the effect of lengthening the doors, and hood. The bonnet then had to be raised in height, to prevent it from looking long and thin in proportion to these. The overall effect is to create an E-type which looks like it has grown subtly in all dimensions, and gives it a certain attitude and increased road presence.
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All information correct at time of publishing.