Home Jaguar E-Type Owning a Jaguar E Type

Owning a Jaguar E Type

Owning a Jaguar E Type


During the same time, Jaguar was heavily involved in racing, not just with standard XK models but with legendary C and D-Type purpose-built race cars, which won the 24 Hours of Le Mans three times in a row. Such a performance portfolio made Jaguar one of the most successful brands in motorsport. However, by the late ’50’s it was apparent that the company need a proper successor to the XK line and model that will incorporate all the racing know-how but in a more modern form. 

The first prototypes started appearing in 1957 and were heavily based on a D-Type race car with a signature low silhouette, long hood, covered headlights, and several notable technological features that will appear on production models. Those features were independent coil spring rear suspension (a novelty in those days) and Dunlop-designed disk brakes all around, which were borrowed from the Le Mans-winning D-Type. The name E-Type was chosen as a logical continuation after C and D-Type models. Under the hood was a well-known and potent 3.8-liter, straight-six engine fed by three SU carburetors rated at 265 hp. This unit was basically XK 150 engine just slightly updated for use in the E-Type. 

The last and most crucial piece of the puzzle was the design, and this task was given to Malcolm Sayer, Jaguar’s designer who already did outstanding work on Le Mans-winning racing cars. Sayer was an aircraft engineer and understood aerodynamics very well, which was rare in the late ’50s. Heavily influenced by airplane design, E-type featured a fuselage-style body with a pointy front end, streamline back, and low roofline. Influenced by futuristic American concept cars of the period and “Googie” design, Sayer managed to create a very modern and elegant but still aggressive shape with unquestionable beauty and unique presence. To say that the E-Type was beautiful is an understatement; it is strikingly handsome with perfect proportions, tasteful details, and everlasting appeal. Enzo Ferrari allegedly called it “the most beautiful car in the world,” which means a lot coming from a man who personally created some of the best-looking cars of all time. 

The Jaguar officially presented the E-Type in Geneve Motor Show in Spring of 1961, causing a sensation amongst the car enthusiasts. The E-Type’s appearance made all other cars outdated, not just by design but also by technology. Jaguar’s boss, legendary Sir William Lyons, was present to unveil the car himself. With 265 hp under that well-sculpted, clamshell hood, 7.5 seconds to 60 mph, and claimed 150 mph, Jaguar E-Type was amongst the fastest production cars at the moment. 

However, the price was more impressive, and in 1961, Jaguar E-Type cost just $5,620 in the US and 2,097 pounds in the UK. Let’s put that into the early ’60s perspective for better understanding. In those days, Ferrari and Maserati were a bit obscure and costly sports cars, and Porsche, although it could punch above its weight, was still based on VW Beetle with featured 90 hp engine. Lamborghini was a tractor manufacturer only, and Corvette still had a live rear axle. And here you have a fantastic Jaguar E-Type, which was more advanced, faster, and looked fantastic and was 1/3 of the Ferrari 250 GT price. No wonder Jaguar was swept with orders, and the factory was working in three shifts to meet the initial demand. 

Model Evolution

Jaguar E-Type Series 1 (1961 – 1967)

The first-generation E-Type models are called Series 1 and were produced in three body styles. When the car was launched, only two-seater Fixed Head Coupe and Roadster were available, but in 1966, a more practical 2+2 Coupe was added to the lineup. This model had two extra seats in the back, a slightly higher roofline, and a longer wheelbase and was offered with 3-speed automatic transmission as an option. In 1964, Jaguar offered a larger 4.2-liter six-cylinder engine in E-Type, which improved acceleration a bit. It was rated at the same 265 hp as the 3.8-liter unit but delivered about 10% more torque (283 lb-ft). 



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