When Jaguar unleashed its jaguar e-type on the world in 1961 there was no doubt that this was a car to be admired. However, underneath the superficial visceral charm lay refined race-bred mechanics which would change luxurious sports cars forever. Sir William Lyons’s piece de resistance was more than just a work of automotive art, it also delivered a thrilling driving experience which is still as potent today as it was back in the 1950s.
The E-Type was powered by a proven and highly desirable 3.8 litre inline six engine – in near identical specification to the one used in its high-performance predecessor, the Jaguar XK150 3.8 S. Suspension was fully independent all round, steering by rack and pinion and disc brakes were fitted to the front and rear axles allowing the driver to take full advantage of the cars’ stunning road holding abilities regardless of the type of road they are driving on.
The E-Type was first introduced at the Geneva Motor Show in March 1961
Despite its power and performance the E-Type was designed to be a comfortable and practical car and this is reflected in the luxuries it has on offer, such as a windscreen wiper, anti-glare mirror, variable instrument lighting, headlight flasher, front and rear fog lamps. Even the small touches such as the plastic hoods over the headlights add to the car’s overall appeal.
It is important to remember that a Series 1 E-Type, which is normally referred to as a “flat floor” car (due to the flatness of its underside), was not meant as a racing car and the 3.8 litre engine produced only 265bhp, giving it a claimed top speed of 150mph. Even so, if pushed hard it will do a lot more than that.