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 what would be the final version – the Series III V12. Weighing only 80lb more than the cast-iron-block 4.2-litre XK six, the new all-alloy, 5.3-litre, overhead-camshaft V12 produced 272bhp, an output good enough for a top speed comfortably 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.
This particular original right hand drive V12 on offer today was sympathetically restored to a very high standard. Finished in deep claret with a magnolia leather it has covered a mere 77,000 miles from new. Supplied with a good history file it is MoT’d until July 2017 with no advisories, this Series III E-Type continues the Jaguar tradition of offering a level of performance and luxury unrivalled at the price.