One of the undoubted highlights of our job is talking to our clients and meeting people who are fortunate enough to own some of the best car collections in the world. Even better, some of them are happy to share their thoughts on ownership and what it is about a particular car that makes it special.
To accompany our latest motoring icon article, we sat down for a virtual coffee with long-time E Type enthusiast and owner Peter Neumark. Peter founded Shropshire-based Classic Motor Cars Ltd in the early 90's and they have restored numerous E Types, including several world famous road and competition cars, over the years.
Peter is also the driving force behind the Veloce trackday, which has raised over £200,000 for charity and been awarded Breakthrough Event of the Year at the 2019 Historic Motoring Awards. Lockton are a proud sponsor of this trackday which is genuinely like no other, combining the world's best cars with drivers known throughout the motoring world.
So, without further ado, here's what Peter had to say about Jaguar's iconic E type.
What is it about the E-Type that made you want to own one or indeed several, over the years?
I was 15 years old in 1964 when I had my first ride in an E-type. I can still remember it quite vividly. It was owned by Mr Ronnie Walton. It was in red and as we drove away from my uncle's workplace where I used to clean cars on a Saturday morning, I can remember being pinned back in my seat and experiencing speed and G force like I had never done before .I guess that would have been the start of my enduring love for E-Type Jaguars.
You've been fortunate enough to own several important E Types. When did you first acquire one?
I bought my first E-Type as a restoration project from none other than Henry Pearman in 1993 .It was the first E-Type that Classic Motor Cars restored. Henry was not to know that the car he sold me, which was a RHD 4.2 Roadster, had a close ratio gearbox, it is opalescent dark green and it is still in my family today.
How many miles do you think you've covered in E Types and what are they like to drive in the real world?
I can't even begin to think how many miles I have covered in an E-Type but it is a lot. I have driven on the continent, for example in 2011 we did the E-Type 50th Anniversary run down to Geneva in Lofty's old car .But that is only one of many, many drives I have taken over the years. A well restored car is a pleasure to drive and sits quite happily with modern traffic.
Do the well-publicised increased values of many classic cars put you off using your E Types?
My first E-Type I remember cost £14,000 as a restoration project and of course values have increased enormously over the last 27/28 years. Does that put me off driving them, absolutely not! They are not museum pieces, they are wonderful things to own, drive and enjoy and I think one of the most gratifying things about E-Type ownership is the pleasure they give to other people on the road. They bring a smile to people's faces.
What has been your most memorable E Type drive?
I think I would have to say my most memorable E-Type drive would be the first drive in the Lindner Nocker Lightweight E-Type that we restored. Over 7,000 man hours, a lot of money and only a short drive but incredibly satisfying.
You famously owned and restored the Lindner Knocker Lightweight car. What drove you to add this car to your collection and how daunting was the prospect of such an extensive project?
When I had a telephone call offering me the opportunity to buy the Lindner Nocker it took me a millisecond to say yes and then several weeks to confirm the person selling it actually had legal title to it. I had a model of that car on my desk for years and I just think that it was the most beautiful E-Type ever built. The opportunity to bring it back to life and indeed showcase the skills we had and still have at Classic Motor Cars was compelling and I had no doubt that we would achieve what we did achieve.
Have you been able to spend time with any of the E Type's contemporaries and how would you compare them to the Jaguar?
I am lucky enough to own a couple of Aston Martins, which in period would have cost double the E-Type .They are lovely cars but in my mind an E-Type is a far better car to drive and as such represents tremendous value for money, for example against a DB5. Likewise 60's Ferrari's such as 275's again, much more expensive than an E-Type and with the prancing horse badge they are deemed vastly more desirable than an E-Type but do they drive better, No! Different but No!
We had a great reply to the last person we asked this question so no pressure! Ultimate road trip, where are you heading who's your co-driver and why?
Gosh, probably it would be wonderful to be able to drive from Coventry to Le Mans in 1600 RW which I am lucky enough to own. It is the first E-Type that was sold and its first owner was Lofty England .It would be fantastic to have Lofty accompany me on that trip down through the English countryside to Portsmouth, across the Channel and then travel down through France, spending time with one of my motoring heroes before we arrive at Le Mans which is my favourite race track in the world and of course one which is steeped in Jaguar history.
We'd like to thank Peter for taking the time to talk to us about his life with Jaguar's E Type and we hope you enjoy reading it as much as we have putting it together. You can find out more about Veloce here