My wonderful—but not mechanically inclined—husband caught my—also not mechanically inclined—self drooling over a Jaguar E-Type recently, and now has a crazy idea he wants to get one as a gift for me/us. I fondly, but with a hint of PTSD, recall the British cars of my youth: Dad’s MGA project car perpetually in pieces in the garage, and my college roommate’s Spitfire that had to be parked pointed downhill so we could push-start it if needed. In contrast, my husband’s only experience with an automotive toy is my 1997 Mazda Miata, solidly and completely trouble free since we bought it new. He has identified the E-Type he wants to get and is confident we can maintain it as it needs and deserves if we find a good shop. So some questions:
1) is it possible for a nonmechanic to happily own and drive one of these cars, given access to a competent shop?
And 2) Can anyone recommend such a shop in the vicinity of the mid-Hudson Valley in New York? There’s a Jaguar dealer not far away, but am I correct in assuming the dealership would not necessarily have mechanics with a lot of experience with vintage cars? The excellent independent shop that maintains my Miata specializes in Japanese makes, and the owner tells me that while he’s worked on British cars in the past and is able to do it, he’d advise me to use someone who specializes in them.
And 3) we can afford this financially no problem, but obviously since this car does have some real value, I want to make sure any mechanical work done on it doesn’t compromise that. So does it matter for that reason what type of shop we use (assuming it’s a good one)? Are there certifications etc I should be aware of?
Thanks for all and any advice!