The first significant up-grade of Jaguar’s sensational E-Type sports car 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. Apart from ‘4.2’ badging, the car’s external appearance was unchanged, but under the skin there were numerous detail improvements. These mainly concerned the cooling and electrical systems, the latter gaining an alternator and adopting the industry standard negative ground, while the interior boasted a matt black dashboard and improved seating arrangements. The top speed of around 150mph remained unchanged, the main performance gain resulting from the larger engine being improved acceleration.
Like its 3.8-litre forbear, the 4.2-litre E-Type was built in roadster and coupé forms, and in 1966 gained an additional 2+2 coupé variant on a 9′ longer wheelbase. Intended to extend the E-Type’s appeal beyond the traditional sports car-buying market, the new ‘family orientated’ 2+2 came with improved visibility thanks to an increased glass area, more headroom, improved heating and ventilation, additional luggage space and optional Borg-Warner automatic transmission.
In 1968 all three versions of the E-Type underwent major revision to comply with US safety and emissions legislation, emerging in ‘Series 2’ guise minus the original’s distinctive headlight covers. In addition, enlarged side and rear lights were adopted while a thickened front bumper centre section bridged a larger radiator intake. Interior changes included a collapsible steering column and rocker switches in place of the earlier toggles.
Today, the E-Types graceful lines live on in modern Jaguar sports cars, and there can be little doubt that William Lyons’ sublime creation would feature in any knowledgeable enthusiast’s ‘Top Ten’ of the world’s most beautiful cars of all time.
This E-Type Series ii Roadster has recently been imported to Europe from a significant collection in Dubai. The car was delivered in 1970 in this colour combination, it is matching numbers and offered with its heritage certification.
The subject to a recent body and mechanical restoration by well-known specialists it sits on newly refurbished wire wheels shod with new tyres, the E-Type runs well, displaying good oil pressure; as one would expect. This restored example is exceptional.