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 150mph top speed. Even Enzo Ferrari, no less, was moved to declare that the E-Type was ‘the most beautiful car in the world’.
One of the greatest post-war sports cars, Jaguar’s E-Type made immediate headlines on its launch in March 1961. Here was a sleek and beautiful 150mph car with a competition pedigree that could be bought for just over £2,000, almost half the cost of an Aston Martin or Ferrari. A direct descendant of the XK120 and competition C and D-Type models that so dominated fifties sports car racing, the E-Type shared its 265bhp 3.8 litre twin-cam straight-six engine with the XK150 ‘S’, mated to a Moss four-speed gearbox with synchromesh on the top three ratios. Beneath the William Lyons/Malcolm Sayer-styled body, available in either closed or roadster form, the steel monocoque chassis sported all-independent suspension and four-wheel disc brakes, mounted inboard at the back.
The 4.2-litre engine was introduced on the Series 1 in October 1964, in addition to 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.
This beautiful late Series 1 4.2 Roadster was exported new to the United States, where it subsequently enjoyed a comprehensive restoration before becoming part of a large car collection in Dubai. The current owner bought the E-Type more recently and repatriated it into the UK where it joined an extensive and varied car collection. In his ownership the E-Type has been maintained by John Burton, Chairman of the E-Type Register for the Jaguar Driver’s Club.
The Jaguar is said to drive just as well as it looks, and it must be said it is a lovely looking car, resplendent in British Racing Green with a black leather interior and tan coloured roof. The E-Type is offered with a current UK MOT certificate, original brochure and period Autocar road test from October 1967. With the popularity of the E-Type model ever increasing, we feel this is a sound buy and fairly priced in the current market.