Introduced in 3.8-liter form in 1961, the Jaguar E-Type caused a sensation when it appeared, with instantly classic lines and a 150mph top speed. Nowadays it would be impossible for a single model to cause such a stir but here was a civilized production sports car that looked like a Le Mans prototype and could outperform just about anything else on the road.
The E-Type’s design owed much to that of the racing D-Type: a monocoque tub forming the main structure while a tubular space frame extended forwards to support the engine. The latter was the 3.8-liter, triple-carburettor, ‘S’ unit first offered as an option on the XK150. An optimistic 265bhp was claimed but whatever the installed horsepower, the E-Type’s performance did not disappoint; firstly because it weighed around 500lb (227kg) less than the XK150 and secondly because aerodynamicist Malcolm Sayer used experience gained with the D-Type to create one of the most elegant and efficient shapes ever to grace a motor car.
The first significant up-grade occurred in October 1964 with the launch of the 4.2-litre version. Along with the bigger, torquier engine came a more user-friendly gearbox with synchromesh on first gear, and a superior Lockheed brake servo. From September 1968, Series II E-Types, incorporating safety upgrades previously fitted only in America, were released worldwide. In addition to revised lighting and switchgear, the front air intake was larger, and sat behind a full-width bumper. Power steering and air conditioning were now available as options.
Imported into the United Kingdom from California in 2012 this stunning series II has undergone a full 18 months restoration at Rzepecki Auto Restorations of Jablonna, Poland to bring it to new condition. Described as being finished in its original colour of British Racing Green with a black factory worktop, the interior is tobacco coloured leather with complimentary brown carpets. The car is matching numbers except for gearbox which has been substituted for a modern five speed unit to make it relaxed at high speeds.
Equipped with a removable hardtop and with a green Mohair hood, this Series 2 Roadster sits on four brand new chrome wire wheels and has only covered 700 miles since completion.