The year 1961 marked the debut of a car that is considered by today’s standards, one of the most iconic and influential automobiles of the 1960’s. The Jaguar E-Type erupted into the sports car world, leaving its mark on road cars to follow as well as the race track. Cosmetically, the E-Type presents with such elegance and appeal, from its long sweeping front bonnet to its head turning side profile. When it was first introduced, its looks were so irresistible and likeable that the legendary Enzo Ferrari himself deemed it “the most beautiful car he had ever seen.” In addition, big name historical celebrities such as Frank Sinatra, Steve McQueen, and Brigitte Bardot all had E-Types in their garages. But there was another layer to the E-Type on top of the looks that made it that much more desirable.
The XKE’s predecessors, the XK140 and XK150 achieved great success and laid the foundation for its upbringing. The E-type introduced a series of technological advancements that the sports car world had not witnesses in production cars. Utilizing an independent rear suspension resulted a massive enhancement in terms of the handling performance. Jaguar also implemented power assisted 4 wheel disk brakes that would increase braking capabilities for the street or the track.
In terms of the drivability of these cars, they were absolutely exceptional with the heart originally being a 3.8L straight 6 engine, later receiving a larger 4.2L engine in 1965, that produced 265 horse power at 5,500RPM and a 0-60mph time of 6.8 seconds. The lively engine was combined with a Moss 4-speed gearbox and standard limited slip differential. This trifecta provided a driving experience that was oh so desperately craved by the in period car guy. However, alterations in government regulations began to have an influence on not only the iconic E-Type but all sports cars at the time.
As the years went on, DOT regulations in the U.S. became more stringent, leaving automobile manufacturers no choice but to alter the designs of their production road cars, Jaguar being no exception. During their 1967 production run, Jaguar was left with no other option but to implement some of these alterations. The last 200 or so, Series 1 E-Types were given open headlamps to satisfy the new regulations, not to be mistaken for a Series 1.5. This E-Type being offered is one of these late Series 1 E-Types built which attributes to its omission of covered headlamps. These cars were the last of the beloved Series 1 E-Types as the next generation made its way off the production line.
This particular Jaguar that is on offer is referred to as an “OTS” or open two seater and is of the more enticing E-Types built. It is a matching numbers example finished in its original colors with the interior remaining preserved and in its original condition, adding a welcomed patina to the car. This example also comes with documentation and service records dating back to 1982 communicating the care taken in the upkeep of the vehicle. In addition, it is also offered with a Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust certificate, further authenticating the car, its number, colors, and original specifications.
The current owner raced Jaguars in period, attributing to his extensive knowledge and eye for detail when it comes to these cars. Soon after his acquisition of the vehicle, the services of well known Jaguar Restoration Experts: Lippincott’s Garage of Sinking Spring Pennsylvania was entrusted to complete a near total restoration. The receipts and documentation, including photographs, of the restoration are readily available for review, clearly depicting the elevated quality of the work completed and investment.
As one nears the car, it is evident that the recent restoration was executed with a higher standard in mind. The Primrose Yellow paint presents superbly, holding a bright shine that is inviting to the spectator with consistent luster throughout. Upon one’s approach to the front of the car, the long sweeping bonnet possesses stunning lines and characteristics that are implicative to the timeless beauty of the Series 1 E-type. The door and panel fitment is good overall and the car is straight down the sides. Some items to note in regards to minor flaws would include a minute chip located along the chrome trim on the passenger side that extends from the headlamp to the top of the bonnet. There are also several small nicks in the chrome bar that houses the Jaguar emblem as a result from necessary road use. There is also a small touch up spot located below the left side of the front bumper. In total however there is nothing that warrants any sort of major refinishing and the car has little-to-no real flaws.
Advancing further along the car, the seals are all fresh and supple, nicely complimenting the chrome throughout the vehicle. The chrome itself is certainly presentable for a high quality driver, with the only related blemishes being faint surface scratches on the bumpers that are revealed only under direct sunlight. The wire wheels are correct to the car and pose no quarrel as far as the condition, evident that they have been previously polished and/or refinished. The few imperfections on this car are insignificant and are severely outweighed by the marvelous condition that is consistent throughout the rest of this example.
The interior of this car is definitely an item to note, for its originality has been well preserved, equating to a unique character the car now possesses. However, after 48 years of use the seats have resulted in a horizontal 5” tear in the driver’s seat as well as a break in one the seams of the passenger’s seat. Despite these items, the seats are saturated with a tasteful patina that a true sports car enthusiast would have no issues appreciating. The carpets however are likely newer additions, but completely correct while the remainder of the interior is original. Advancing to the door jams, they are clean and without significant flaws or damage which is common during the post restoration fitment process. The driver’s and passenger’s seats showcase their originality consequent to their intended preservation that the true enthusiast would greatly appreciate.
The first item one sees upon entering the interior is the steering wheel, which is a slightly smaller diameter aftermarket unit, but identical in style. The original is included in the sale. All levers, pulls, and electrical components are in complete working order, further attributing to the get in and go appeal this car provides. Before the driver departs for their chosen destination, he/she may choose to fold down the new soft top that presents well for a driver but does show slight age, but again nothing that warrants replacement. It’s operation is smooth and the top ultimately work as intended.
Opening the bonnet unveils a well detailed engine bay that is neat and exemplifies correctness overall. The polished valve covers compliment a freshly painted engine block and match the excellent condition of the surrounding components. The engine number reads 7E12132-9 lining up with the engine number listed on the original data plate along with the block and heritage certificate. The frame rails are straight and appear to be the originals with no indication of previous accident damage. The trunk area presents much like the engine bay in its cleanliness and correctness; perhaps one or two flaws and not quite concours, but nice overall and acceptable for a driver.
The undercarriage tells the story of the car the most, it shows as completely solid and in order with one wants to see on an E-Type. However, it’s a little dirty from road use, and something we quite frankly like to see. This car is driven, enjoyed, used, serviced, and put to good use. As a result it is also relatively dry underneath and the brake and suspension components are supple and not in need of servicing. Additionally, as a well restored car, it has been correctly painted with the exemption or the wheel wells being painted black in substitute for the primrose yellow.
Mechanically the car has been extensively gone through, performing beyond typical expectations. The engine fires consistently without hassle, idling comfortably once the fluids have reached optimal operating temperature. When on the road, the gearbox shifts flawlessly as the 4.2L engine performs a hair raising duet with the period correct aftermarket exhaust, letting out a snort when the driver changes gear and then roars as you get back on the throttle, elevating the nose of the car.
There is absolutely no sorting required for this is a turnkey example that will provide not only a lucrative investment but an iconic classic that one can look forward to driving hard and showing to family, friends, and fellow enthusiasts. The current owner has many laps under his belt at Lime-Rock, Bridgehampton, and Watkins Glen behind the wheel of an E-Type. This example meets his standard for a car that works as a driver first and perhaps a show car second. As such this is a proper opportunity for any enthusiast to pursue an E-Type without regret. Included in the sale is a Jack, spare, boot cover, restoration documentation and photos as well as other odds and ends.
Available Documentation: (Click on the links below to view the file)