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MG MGB GT V8 Factory Originals Technical - Another XKE question ...

Guys, another question on XKEs ... from the other thread, sounds like you guys know what you're talking about and I am not at all familiar with Jaguars or the Jag BBS. My brother-in-law wants to buy an XKE coupe, in bone stock condition ... he is 6'-2", 185 pounds ... what would be the best year/model for him to choose? (All things being equal, neither he nor I prefers the 2+2 model much.)
Bill Withum

... I should mention, he fits in OK to my MG BGT ... had to move the outboard drivers-side seat real back one notch (very easy) when I loaned it to him for a while. But it's my vague understanding that the earlier (i.e., non 2+2) E-type coupes are even more cramped than a BGT. Is this correct?
Bill Withum

I've had both the XKE 2+2 and the regular 2+0 coupe in the earlier, 6 cyl. cars. IMHO- the 2 seater coupe has definitely got more graceful styling over the 2+2 but your b-i-l should get over his reluctance to consider the 2+2 as frankly, it's a more user-friendly car for regular sized people, let alone taller drivers.
Get him to have a closer look at the interior appointments of the 2+2 vs the 2 seater, forget about the outside appearance because from inside the car, you get the same view out the front and rear but the 2+2 has a longer door for easier access and bigger side windows to open- which he's really going to need as both of those models are like furnaces on warm days.
Without a doubt, they can be extremely uncomfortable to drive in warmer climates but some earlier 2+2's can be found with a/c systems. The big glass rear deck gets the dark interior up to furnace temperature in no time when parked in direct sunlight, the cars run warm inside anyway but all that glass doesn't help.
Expect rust problems with the rear hatches (as with MG#GT's too) but a common problem with many coupes seems to be the loss of the exterior chrome trim surrounding the hatch's glass seal. It's either purloined by another Jag owner in need- or left off as damaged by the glass repair shop when the rear hatch glass has been replaced. This glass has a habit of spontaneous destruction when the hatch is slammed shut over-zealously, I lost 2.....
2+2's mostly come with a/t and usually turn up in that awful yellow colour that MGB's and MGC's sported for a while.
Many 2+2's have been "lumped" to a Ford or Chev engine and might be picked up for a lower buck than the 2 seater version.
Tell him to get the 2+2, gut the Jag driveline and sell it to me..I'm still looking for early XKE power.
John Morgan

Thanks John. He's not willing to get a 2+2 though. I don't have a sense of what the difference is in interior appointments though -- what's the difference, other than that there's obviously more room in the 2+2? And I realize the doors are MUCH longer in the 2+2.

There is one for sale locally (a '67, which I believe was the Series I's swansong) and it has a/c ... haven't seen it but it must be something like the dealer-installed units with York compressors that some of the GTs had. The one in my old MG worked fine, but it was really loud compared to a modern car's.
Bill Withum

an unmolested rear luggage deck of a 2+2 is a very nice looking area- if it's still got all the original carpet and chrome luggage rails, it can look quite luxurious for a sports car and usually, the rear "seat" is unmarked. When it's folded down flat, you actually have a really good looking deck that you can access more easily.
I'll re-state my preference though- the 2 seater is a much nicer looking car- from outside.
The windshield rake on the 2+2 differs from the 2 seater of course. I seem to remember that there was a benefit to this but I can't remember what now, it's been so long since I had either of these 2 models.
Anybody else know- more driver's head-room perhaps?
Many 2+2's must have died so that other XKE's could live I'll bet.
john morgan

He should be OK in the FHC, so long as it's not a very early model with the flat floor & "spoon" seats. By '64 or '65, they had figured out that American drivers needed a little more legroom and the heelboard was scalloped to allow the driver seat to slide another ~1.5" back. If he fits into a BGT OK, the E-Type should suffice. Clearly the 2+2 has loads more room, but love isn't based on practicality. Other than the _really_ early cars, the '67 Series 1 is probably the most desirable XKE (as many say it is with MGBs!) (not all '67s are Series 1s; Jag switched to what is commonly known as "Series 1.5" that year, with the exposed headlights moved 3" forward, etc.) The only real issue is going to be getting in and out; the doors are kind of short; once he's in, he should be all set.

You can of course play the same games with seat heights as we do with MGs, e.g., partially sculpt the seat cushions, etc. -- so that's your safety margin for a tall driver. Do be a bit more careful with those Connolly hides than with our vinyl!

The 2+2, practical or not, is IMHO an excrescence compared with the "real thing". Additionally, a Series I 4.2 delivers absolutely blistering performance compared to the later cars, V-12s notwithstanding.

Anyhow, he should fit; it's not gonna be limo-like. But life is short, and art is long.

if your b-i-l is still interested check out the 1967 range of Jaguar models in the brochures found at this link:
There are a couple of good pics for comparing the 2+2 and 2 seater XKE coupes, both interior and exterior.

Terence, can you contact me off-line, I have a question relating to your hometown that I'd like to ask please,
regards, JM

This thread was discussed between 17/11/2002 and 24/11/2002

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