- E-Type history
E TYPE HISTORY
In 1961 Jaguar launched the E-type. Described by Enzo Ferrari as “the most beautiful car in the world”, the E-type was a revolution in the motoring world.
Available in two seat coupe and convertible versions, the 3.8 litre straight six XK engine powered the E-type to 150mph. A revolutionary monocoque construction inherited from the Le Mans winning D-type Jaguars combined with disc brakes and double wishbone suspension all round made it one of the most technically advanced cars of its day.
Coupled with an asking price of just over £2,000 – about half the price of the comparative exotic offerings from Ferrari or Aston Martin – it is no wonder that demand exceeded production with racing drivers and celebrities all wanting one.
Early competition success in the hands of private individuals encouraged Jaguar to produce a limited run of twelve lightweight all aluminium E-types with aluminium engine blocks. Known as the LWEs, these cars change hands for millions of pounds today.
The original series 1 E-type was quickly developed and improved, morphing into the series 2 in 1968. Better brakes, improved transmission and the increase of the engine size to 4.2 litres kept the E-type current. For the growing family a 2+2 option was now available although some argued that the taller roof line spoilt the purity of its line.
The next major change to the E-type came in 1971 with the introduction of the series 3 V12 model. The iconic V12 Jaguar engine was originally designed for the forthcoming XJ saloon but with the growing market in the USA where large capacity engines were the norm, Jaguar could not miss the opportunity to fit the V12 in the E-type.
An increased track, longer monocoque and the weight of the V12 engine turned the series 3 from a purist’s sports car to more of a long distance cruiser but sales were strong and the V12 continued until 1975 when it was replaced by the XJS.
At Motor legends we don’t want the legacy to die but we recognise that times have changed. The Motor Legends E-type combines the timeless beauty of the series 1 car with the increased practicality of a strengthened V12 monocoque offering more space, and is powered by a new 9.2 litre alloy V12 with either 6 speed automatic or 6 speed manual transmissions. Considerable reengineering of the brakes, suspension and steering ensures that the car drives and handles sublimely.