“If Les Vingt Quatre Heures du Mans has been responsible for the new E-Type Jaguar, then that Homeric contest on the Sarthe circuit will have been abundantly justified. Here we have one of the quietest and most flexible cars on the market, capable of whispering along in top gear at 10mph or leaping into its 150mph stride on the brief depression of a pedal. A practical touring car, this, with its wide doors and capacious luggage space, yet it has a sheer beauty of line which easily beats the Italians at their own particular game.”
There have been few better summaries of the E-Type’s manifest virtues than the forgoing, penned by the inimitable John Bolster for Autosport shortly after the car’s debut. Conceived and developed as an open sports car, the Jaguar E-Type debuted at the Geneva Salon in March 1961 in Coupé form. The car caused a sensation – spontaneous applause breaking out at the unveiling – with its instantly classic lines and a 140mph-plus top speed. The design owed much to that of the racing D-Type, a monocoque tub forming the main structure while a tubular spaceframe extended forwards to support the engine. The latter was the 3.8-litre, triple-carburettor, ‘S’ unit first offered as an option on the preceding XK150. Aerodynamically, the Coupé was superior to the Roadster and the better Grand Tourer, enjoying as it did a marginally higher top speed and the considerable convenience of a generously sized luggage platform accessed via the side-hinged rear door.
Its engine aside, only in terms of its transmission did the E-Type represent no significant advance over the XK150, whose durable four-speed Moss gearbox it retained. The latter was replaced when the 4.2-litre engine was introduced on the Series 1 in October 1964, a more user-friendly all-synchromesh gearbox and superior Lockheed brake servo forming part of the improved specification together with the bigger, torquier engine. Apart from ‘4.2’ badging, the car’s external appearance was unchanged, but under the skin there were numerous detail improvements, chiefly to the electrical and cooling systems, and to the seating arrangements. Top speed remained unchanged at around 150mph, the main performance gain resulting from the larger engine being improved flexibility. Retaining the sublime looks of the original while benefiting from the larger engine and the all-synchromesh gearbox, the Series 1 4.2 is considered by many to be the most desirable E-type variant and is highly sought after today.
This unique E-type was purchased new by Moustafa Ammar who was an Egyptian Diplomat. He purchased the car new in Geneva when he was posted from London to the Egyptian Embassy in Switzerland. He used the car comprehensively. Driving around Europe and even taking the long journey back to Egypt on occasion. (Petrol receipts found in the car to confirm).When Moustafa returned to the Egyptian embassy in London in 1971 he brought the car back with him and it was given the registration ELB 125J. He used the car regularly until 1989 when a major engine overhaul was carried out by Martin Pyke at Classic spares (Now a very respected Jaguar engine specialist).The E Type was only used for another 100 or so miles after the rebuild and then put into a dry garage. Liberated by Coys specialists in the UK some 28 years later, it is offered with a very good amount of history including the original bill of sale and warranty.
The chance to buy a one owner matching numbers car that is totally complete and structurally very solid and straight come once in a life time. This example can easily be mechanically overhauled and made road legal to use as is, or can be restored by its new , second owner to its former glory.