Jaguar E Type
THE British Sports Car
The Jaguar E-Type, what can one say, THE British Sports Car, the icon of it’s age, and a product of timeless beauty, grace and design which was manufactured for 14 years between 1961 and 1975. Regarded worldwide as one of the greatest cars ever produced, Enzo Ferrari famously described it as “the most beautiful care ever made”.
Being able to go from standing to 60 MPH in less than 7 seconds as well as it’s top 150 mph speed monocoque construction, disc brakes, rack and pinion steering, independent front and rear suspension set the Jaguar E Type above all others. It was of course as well based on The D-Type winner of Le Mans from 1955 to 1957.
3 Different Series
There were 3 different Series of Jaguar E Types released as well as a number of Limited Editions. The Jaguar E Type Series 1 ran for 7 years between 1961 and 1968. It had a 3,781cc XK six-cylinder featured cast-iron block/aluminium head construction, and with seven main bearings and dual overhead camshafts it meant it transitioned through the RPM range very smoothly. It also had a 9:1 compression ratio and triple 2-inch HD8 SU carburettor and the 3.8-liter engine made 265hp at 5,500 RPM and 260-lbs ft of torque at 4,000 RPM. It was exclusively joined to a four-speed manual Moss gearbox with synchromesh on second through to the very top gears.
The sleek Jaguar GT fastback FHC was even more beautiful. It was a two-seater like the OTS, with a side-hinged rear door and a smaller luggage area, while the taller windshield was cleared by three wiper blades. The Jaguar GT Fastback allowed the car to accelerate from standing to 60 in less than 7 seconds and reaching 100 in less than 16.5 with a top speed of a staggering 150MPH.
Flat Floor in 1963
Jaguar created a “flat floor” moniker for the earliest designs to make the car more comfortable to sit in and drive. By 1963 a vinyl centre console was included plus an armrest, shielded rear door hinges and revised axle gearing. In I964, a 4.2-liter engine was added plus the electrical system was re-hauled and a new transmission and seats were added.
All 4.2-litre cars also had a badge on the rear saying “Jaguar 4.2 Litre E-Type” for all to see and extras like chrome spoked wheels and a detachable hard top for the OTS were now being offered. Later Series One cars were now fitted with Dunlop 185 – 15 SP41 or 185 VR 15 Pirelli Cinturato as radial ply tyres.
By 1966 a 2+2 version of the coupé was created offering an automatic transmission. The body was longer and the roof angles different. Both the roadster and the Fixed Head Coupe remained as two-seaters.
In 1967–68 a few transitioning cars were built called “Series 1½.” i.e. different switches were added de-tuning occurred (using two Zenith-Stromberg carburetters instead of the original three SUs), cam covers were painted black and the hood frames on the OTS had two bows etc. These changes were made specifically for the U.S. market. These cars also had twin cooling fans and adjustable seat backs. The biggest change for the Jaguar E Types Series 1 1967 and the Jaguar E Type series 1.5 1968 was reducing the carburettors to 2 and the wheel knock-off nut being introduced due to US safety laws.
Production numbers for Jaguar E Types Series 1
- 15,490 Jaguar E Type S1 3.8s
- 17,320 Jaguar E Type S1 4.2s
- 10,930 Jaguar E Type S1 2+2s
The Series 2 Jaguar E Type range began in 1968 and continued until 1971. Again there were design changes such as the removal of the glass headlight covers, a wraparound rear bumper and twin electric fans and the reduction of 3 carburettors to two. To the steering column an ignition key was added and a new steering column was fitted which was collapsible in an accident.
New head restraints were added to the brand new seats and the dashboard and the full interior were re-designed, toggle switches being added. The cam covers were also replaced by a more ribbed apparel and in fact the engine was de-tuned in America but kept it’s tighter valve clearances and triple Sus. Extra options now included Power Steering and air conditioning.
Production was 13,490 of all types
The Series 3 Jaguar E Type range was birthed in 1971 and was in production for a further 4 years. It had updated brakes and power steering, an automatic transmission, wire wheels and air conditioning. It was also fitted with a brand new 5.3 L twelve V12 Jaguar engine. The engine had actually been developed for Le Mans the famous French 24 hour race. It also had 4 zenith carburettors, a 0 to 60 acceleration point at less than 7 seconds. The Jaguar E Type Series 3 was only available as a convertible and 2+2 coupé and its distinguishing features included the slatted front grill, far wider tyres, a V12 badge on the rear and enlarged wheel arches. Rubber bumper over-riders were also fitted in the U.S. to meet regulations, but not in Europe or the UK.
It should be noted that there was a few six cylinder Jaguar E Type Series 3’s built at this time. Both the Jaguar E Type V12 Open Two Seater and Jaguar E Type V12 2 + 2 were fitted with Dunlop 15 inch tyres too.
Production of the Jaguar E Type Series 3 equalled 15.290.
Low Drag Coupé (1962)
Built more in the spirit of the D Type the Jaguar E Type coupe used lightweight aluminium with a more pronounced slope to the windshield and the rear hatch was now welded shut. Other modifications were made (all cockpit glass was now Perspex and the interior trim was left behind) and the 3.8 litre Jaguar engine was used.
Lightweight Jaguar E-Type (1963–64, 2014–present)
Only 12 cars were ever made using aluminium and again was an open top inspired by the D Type. Again a 3.8 Litre Jaguar engine was used with 3 45DC03 Weber carburettors and a Lucas mechanical fuel injection system. They were all fitted with a four speed Jaguar E Type gearbox, some later ones fitted with a ZF Five speed.
1963 Jaguar E-type Lightweight Low Drag Coupe
Another Jaguar lightweight was modified into a unique low drag design by Dr Samir Klat of Imperial College.
2014 Jaguar’s Heritage Business
In 2014, Jaguar’s Heritage Business said it would be building the other lightweights. The run was supposed to be 18 vehicles only; however only 12 were actually ever constructed. The new cars, are to be hand built to exactly the same specification as the originals. However only an established collector of Jaguars will have access those who promise to preserve these pieces of art for all future generations.
Models – Timeframe
March 1961: Jaguar E-type first appears at the Geneva motor show. It’s price? A mere £2097 for the roadster and £2196 for the coupe.
October 1964: New 4.2-litre engine launched. Power unchanged but torque figure improved.
March 1966: New Larger Jaguar E Type 2+2 model launched at Geneva.
October 1967: Mildly updated Jaguar E-type (S1.5) goes on sale.
1968: Series 2 Jaguar E-Type launched
March 1971: Jaguar E-type V12-engined Series 3 launched.
September 1974: Jaguar E-type production ends
Jaguar E Type Colours
British Racing Green
Old English White
Opalescent Dark Green
Opalescent Dark Blue
Opalescent Silver Blue
Opalescent Silver Grey
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