One consequence of the E-Type’s long process of development had been a gradual increase in weight, but a good measure of the concomitant loss of performance was restored in 1971 with the arrival of the sensational Series III V12. Weighing only 80lb more than the cast-iron-block 4.2-litre XK six that it replaced, the new all-alloy, 5.3-litre, overhead-camshaft V12 engine produced 272bhp, an output good enough for a top speed well in excess of 140mph. Further good news was that the 0-100mph time of around 16 seconds made the V12 the fastest-accelerating E-Type ever.
Other mechanical changes beneath the Series III’s more aggressive looking exterior included ventilated front disc brakes, anti-dive front suspension, Lucas transistorised ignition, and Adwest power-assisted steering, while automatic transmission was one of the more popular options on what was now more of a luxury Grand Tourer than out-and-out sports car. Flared wheelarches, a deeper radiator air intake complete with grille, and a four-pipe exhaust system distinguished the Series III from its six-cylinder forbears, plus, of course, that all-important ‘V12’ boot badge. The interior though, remained traditional Jaguar. Built in two-seat roadster and ‘2+2’ coupé versions, both of which used the long-wheelbase floor pan introduced on the Series II ‘2+2’, the Series III E-Type continued the Jaguar tradition of offering a level of performance and luxury unrivalled at the price.
This lovely example is presented in arguably the most desirable colour combination of dark opalescent blue over a red leather hide. Both the body and interior are in good all-round condition as is the rare factory hardtop and the history file that accompanies the car includes bills and invoices of previous work carried out. Showing a mere C.61,600 miles on the odometer and described to be in good running condition the V12 is ready to be used in the coming summer months.