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Jaguar E-type

Jaguar E-type

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The
Jaguar E-Type or XK-E (US) is a British automobile, manufactured by Jaguar between 1961 and 1975. Its combination of good looks, high performance, and competitive pricing established the marque as an icon of 1960s motoring. More than 70,000 E-Types were sold during its lifespan.

In March 2008, the Jaguar E-Type ranked first in the Daily Telegraph
s list of the "100 most beautiful cars" of all time. In 2004, Sports Car International
Sports Car International
Sports Car International was an automobile magazine in the United States published by Ross Periodicals Inc. that was focused on sports cars. The magazine was published from 1986 to 2008. Its business offices were located in Novato, California....

 magazine placed the E-Type at number one on their list of Top Sports Cars of the 1960s.

Overview


The E-Type was initially designed and shown to the public as a rear-wheel drive grand tourer
Grand tourer
A grand tourer is a high-performance luxury automobile designed for long-distance driving. The most common format is a two-door coupé with either a two-seat or a 2+2 arrangement....

 in two-seater coupé form (FHC or Fixed Head Coupé) and as convertible (OTS or Open Two Seater). The 2+2 version with a lengthened wheelbase was released several years later.

On its release Enzo Ferrari
Enzo Ferrari
Enzo Anselmo Ferrari Cavaliere di Gran Croce OMRI was an Italian race car driver and entrepreneur, the founder of the Scuderia Ferrari Grand Prix motor racing team, and subsequently of the Ferrari car manufacturer...

 called it "The most beautiful car ever made".

The model was made in three distinct versions which are now generally referred to as "Series 1", "Series 2" and "Series 3". A transitional series between Series 1 and Series 2 is known unofficially as "Series 1½".

In addition, several limited-edition variants were produced:
  • The "'Lightweight' E-Type" which was apparently intended as a sort of follow-up to the D-Type
    Jaguar D-type
    The Jaguar D-Type, like its predecessor the C-Type, was a factory-built race car. Although it shared the basic straight-6 XK engine design with the C-Type, the majority of the car was radically different...

    . Jaguar planned to produce 18 units but ultimately only a dozen were reportedly built. Of those, two have been converted to Low-Drag form, whilst two others are known to have been wrecked and deemed to be beyond repair, although one has now been rebuilt. These are exceedingly rare and sought after by collectors.
  • The "Low Drag Coupé" was a one-off technical exercise which was ultimately sold to a Jaguar racing driver. It is presently believed to be part of the private collection of the current Viscount Cowdray
    Viscount Cowdray
    Viscount Cowdray, of Cowdray in the County of West Sussex, is a title in the Peerage of the United Kingdom. It was created in 1917 for the industrialist Weetman Pearson, 1st Baron Cowdray, head of the Pearson conglomerate...

    .


The New York City Museum of Modern Art
Museum of Modern Art
The Museum of Modern Art is an art museum in Midtown Manhattan in New York City, on 53rd Street, between Fifth and Sixth Avenues. It has been important in developing and collecting modernist art, and is often identified as the most influential museum of modern art in the world...

 recognised the significance of the E-Type's design in 1996 by adding a blue roadster to its permanent design collection, one of only six automobiles to receive the distinction.

E1A (1957)


After the company's success at the LeMans 24 hr through the 1950s, Jaguar's defunct racing department was given the brief to use D-Type style construction to build a road-going sports car, replacing the XK150.

The first prototype (E1A) featured a monocoque design, Jaguar's fully independent rear suspension and the well proved "XK" engine.
The car was used solely for factory testings and was never formally released to the public. The car was eventually scrapped by the factory.

E2A (1960)


Jaguar's second E-Type concept was E2A which, unlike the E1A, was constructed from a steel chassis with an aluminium body. This car was completed as a race car as it was thought by Jaguar at the time it would provide a better testing ground. E2A used a 3-litre version of the XK engine with a Lucas fuel injection system.

After retiring from the LeMans 24 hr the car was shipped to America to be used for racing by Jaguar privateer Briggs Cunningham
Briggs Cunningham
Briggs Swift Cunningham II was an American entrepreneur and sportsman, who raced automobiles and yachts. Born into a wealthy family, he became a racing car constructor, driver, and team owner as well as a sports car manufacturer and automobile collector.He skippered the victorious yacht Columbia...

. In 1961, the car returned to Jaguar in England to be used as a testing mule. Ownership of E2A passed to Roger Woodley (Jaguar's customer competition car manager) who took possession on the basis the car not be used for racing. E2A had been scheduled to be scrapped. Roger's wife Penny Griffiths owned E2A until 2008 when it was offered for sale at Bonham's Quail Auction. It eventually sold
Most expensive cars sold in auction
This is a list of the most expensive cars sold in auto auctions through the traditional bidding process, consisting of those that attracted headline grabbing publicity, mainly for the high price their new owners have paid...

 for US$4,957,000.

Series 1 (1961–1968)


The Series 1 was introduced, initially for export only, in March 1961. The domestic market launch came four months later in July 1961. The cars at this time used the triple SU carburetted 3.8 litre six-cylinder Jaguar XK6 engine
Jaguar XK6 engine
The renowned Jaguar XK dual overhead camshaft inline 6-cylinder engine was introduced in 1949 and continued in manufacture until 1992. It was produced in five displacements for Jaguar passenger cars, with other sizes being made by Jaguar and privateers for racing...

 from the XK150S
Jaguar XK150
The Jaguar XK150 is a sports car produced by Jaguar between 1957 and 1961. It replaced the XK140.Initially it was available in Fixed Head Coupé and Drop Head Coupé versions. The Open Two Seater roadster was not launched until 1958...

. The first 300 cars built had flat floors and external hood (bonnet) latches. These cars are rare and more valuable. After that, the floors were dished to provide more leg room and the twin hood latches moved to inside the car. The 3.8-litre engine was increased to 4.2 litres in October 1964.

All E-Types featured independent coil spring rear suspension
Jaguar independent rear suspension
Jaguar's independent rear suspension unit has been a common component of a number of Jaguar production cars since 1961, passing through three major changes of configuration up to 2003 and still used in the full-sized Jaguar XJ...

 with torsion bar front ends, and four wheel disc brakes, in-board at the rear, all were power-assisted. Jaguar was one of the first vehicle manufacturers to equip cars with disc brakes as standard from the XK150 in 1958. The Series 1 can be recognised by glass-covered headlights (up to 1967), small "mouth" opening at the front, signal lights and tail-lights above bumpers and exhaust tips under the number plate in the rear.

3.8-litre cars have leather-upholstered bucket seats, an aluminium-trimmed centre instrument panel and console (changed to vinyl and leather in 1963), and a Moss four-speed gearbox that lacks synchromesh for first gear ("Moss box"). 4.2-litre cars have more comfortable seats, improved brakes and electrical systems, and an all-synchromesh four-speed gearbox. 4.2-litre cars also have a badge on the boot proclaiming "Jaguar 4.2 Litre E-Type" (3.8 cars have a simple "Jaguar" badge). Optional extras included chrome spoked wheels
Wire wheels
The rims of wire wheels are connected to their hubs by wire spokes. Although these wires are generally stiffer than a typical wire rope, they function mechanically the same as tensioned flexible wires, keeping the rim true while supporting applied loads.Wire wheels are used on most bicycles and...

 and a detachable hard top for the OTS.

A 2+2 version of the coupé was added in 1966. The 2+2 offered the option of an automatic transmission. The body is 9 in (229 mm) longer and the roof angles are different with a more vertical windscreen. (this is an incorrect assumption, the S1 OTS, coupe and 2+2 had identical rake windshields). The roadster remained a strict two-seater.

Less widely known, right at the end of Series 1 production and prior to the transitional "Series 1½" referred to below, a very small number of Series 1 cars were produced with open headlights. Production dates on these machines vary but in right hand drive form production has been verified as late as March 1968. The low number of these cars produced make them amongst the rarest of all production E Types.

Following the Series 1 there was a transitional series of cars built in 1967–1968, unofficially called "Series 1½", which are externally similar to Series 1 cars. Due to American pressure the new features were open headlights, different switches, and some de-tuning (with a downgrade of twin Zenith-Stromberg carbs from the original triple SU carbs) for US models. Some Series 1½ cars also have twin cooling fans and adjustable seat backs. Series 2 features were gradually introduced into the Series 1, creating the unofficial Series 1½ cars, but always with the Series 1 body style.

An open 3.8-litre car, actually the first such production car to be completed, was tested by the British magazine The Motor
The Motor (magazine)
The Motor was a British weekly car magazine founded on 28 January 1903....

 in 1961 and had a top speed of 149.1 mph (240 km/h) and could accelerate from 0 to 60 mph (0 to 96.6 km/h) in 7.1 seconds. A fuel consumption of 21.3 mpgimp was recorded. The test car cost £2,097 including taxes.
Production numbers from Graham:
  • 15,490 3.8s
  • 17,320 4.2s
  • 10,930 2+2s


Production numbers:
FHC OTS 2+2 Total
S1 3.8 7,670 7,828 0 15,498
S1 4.2 5,830 6,749 3,616 16,195
S1.5 1,942 2,801 1,983 6,726
TOTAL 38,419


Series 2 (1969–1971)



Open headlights without glass covers, a wrap-around rear bumper, re-positioned and larger front indicators and tail lights below the bumpers, better cooling aided by an enlarged "mouth" and twin electric fans, and uprated brakes are hallmarks of Series 2 cars. De-tuned in US with twin strombergs and larger valve clearances, but still with triple SUs in the UK and the much tighter valve clearances, the engine is easily identified visually by the change from smooth polished cam covers to a more industrial "ribbed" appearance. Late Series 1½ cars also had ribbed cam covers. The interior and dashboard were also redesigned, with rocker switches that met US health and safety regulations being substituted for toggle switches. The dashboard switches also lost their symmetrical layout. New seats were fitted, which purists claim lacked the style of the originals but were certainly more comfortable. Air conditioning and power steering were available as factory options.

Production according to Graham is 13,490 of all types.

Series 2 production numbers:
FHC OTS 2+2 TOTAL
S2 4,855 8,628 5,326 18,809


Official delivery numbers by market and year are listed in Porter but no summary totals are given.

Series 3 (1971–1975)


A new 5.3 L twelve-cylinder Jaguar V12 engine
Jaguar V12 engine
Jaguar V12 piston engine was one of the premier powerplants of the 1970s and 1980s. It was first seen in the Series 3 Jaguar E-type of 1971 and was based loosely on an earlier design intended for a Le Mans car, the ill-fated Jaguar XJ13. The V12 was only Jaguar's second engine design to go into...

 was introduced, with uprated brakes and standard power steering. The short wheelbase FHC body style was discontinued and the V12
V12 engine
A V12 engine is a V engine with 12 cylinders mounted on the crankcase in two banks of six cylinders, usually but not always at a 60° angle to each other, with all 12 pistons driving a common crankshaft....

 was available only as a convertible and 2+2 coupé. The convertible used the longer-wheelbase 2+2 floorplan. It is easily identifiable by the large cross-slatted front grille, flared wheel arches and a badge on the rear that proclaims it to be a V12. There were also a very limited number of 4.- litre six-cylinder Series 3 E-Types built. These were featured in the initial sales literature.

Graham lists production at 15,290.

Series 3 production numbers:
FHC OTS 2+2 TOTAL
S3 0 7,990 7,297 15,287

Limited editions


Two limited production E-Type variants were made as test beds, the Low Drag Coupe and Lightweight E-Type, both of which were raced:

Low Drag Coupé (1962)


Shortly after the introduction of the E-Type, Jaguar management wanted to investigate the possibility of building a car more in the spirit of the D-Type racer from which elements of the E-Type's styling and design were derived. One car was built to test the concept designed as a coupé as its monocoque design could only be made rigid enough for racing by using the "stressed skin" principle. Previous Jaguar racers were built as open-top cars, because they were based on ladder frame designs with independent chassis and bodies. Unlike the steel production E-Types, the LDC used lightweight aluminium. Malcolm Sayer
Malcolm Sayer
Malcolm Sayer was an aircraft and car designer. His most notable work being the iconic E-Type Jaguar. He spent the last twenty years of his life working at Jaguar Cars and was one of the first engineers to apply principles of aerodynamics to car design.-Background:Sayer was born in Cromer,...

 retained the original tub with lighter outer panels riveted and glued to it. The front steel sub frame remained intact, the windshield was given a more pronounced slope, and the rear hatch was welded shut. Rear brake cooling ducts appeared next to the rear windows, and the interior trim was discarded, with only insulation around the transmission tunnel. With the exception of the windscreen, all cockpit glass was perspex. A tuned version of Jaguar's 3.8-litre engine with a wide-angle cylinder head design tested on the D-Type racers was used. Air management became a problem and, though a higher performing vehicle than its production counterpart, the car was never competitive.

The only test bed car was completed in summer of 1962 but was sold a year later to Jaguar racing driver Dick Protheroe. Since then it has passed through the hands of several collectors on both sides of the Atlantic and is now believed to reside in the private collection of the current Viscount Cowdray
Viscount Cowdray
Viscount Cowdray, of Cowdray in the County of West Sussex, is a title in the Peerage of the United Kingdom. It was created in 1917 for the industrialist Weetman Pearson, 1st Baron Cowdray, head of the Pearson conglomerate...

.

Lightweight E-Type (1963–1964)


Twelve cars plus two spare bodies were made by Jaguar.

In some ways, this was an evolution of the Low Drag Coupé. It made extensive use of aluminium alloy in the body panels and other components. However, with at least one exception, it remained an open-top car in the spirit of the D-Type
Jaguar D-type
The Jaguar D-Type, like its predecessor the C-Type, was a factory-built race car. Although it shared the basic straight-6 XK engine design with the C-Type, the majority of the car was radically different...

 to which this car is a more direct successor than the production E-Type which is more of a GT
Grand tourer
A grand tourer is a high-performance luxury automobile designed for long-distance driving. The most common format is a two-door coupé with either a two-seat or a 2+2 arrangement....

 than a sports car. The cars used an aluminium block tuned version of the production 3.8-litre Jaguar engine with 300 bhp (224 kW) output rather than the 265 bhp (198 kW) produced by the "ordinary" version. All factory-built lightweights are fitted with fuel injection
Fuel injection
Fuel injection is a system for admitting fuel into an internal combustion engine. It has become the primary fuel delivery system used in automotive petrol engines, having almost completely replaced carburetors in the late 1980s....

.

The cars were entered in various races but, unlike the C-Type and D-Type racing cars, they did not win at Le Mans
Le Mans
Le Mans is a city in France, located on the Sarthe River. Traditionally the capital of the province of Maine, it is now the capital of the Sarthe department and the seat of the Roman Catholic diocese of Le Mans. Le Mans is a part of the Pays de la Loire region.Its inhabitants are called Manceaux...

 or Sebring
12 Hours of Sebring
The 12 Hours of Sebring is an annual motorsport endurance race for sports cars held at Sebring International Raceway, a former Army Air Force base in Sebring, Florida...

 but were reasonably successful in private hands and in smaller races.

One Lightweight was modified into a Low-Drag Coupé (the Lindner/Nocker car), by Malcolm Sayer
Malcolm Sayer
Malcolm Sayer was an aircraft and car designer. His most notable work being the iconic E-Type Jaguar. He spent the last twenty years of his life working at Jaguar Cars and was one of the first engineers to apply principles of aerodynamics to car design.-Background:Sayer was born in Cromer,...

.

Another Lightweight was modified into a unique Low-Drag design (the Lumsden/Sargent car), by Dr Samir Klat of Imperial College
Imperial College London
Imperial College London is a public research university located in London, United Kingdom, specialising in science, engineering, business and medicine...

. Along with the factory LDC, this lightweight is now believed to reside in the private collection of the current Viscount Cowdray
Viscount Cowdray
Viscount Cowdray, of Cowdray in the County of West Sussex, is a title in the Peerage of the United Kingdom. It was created in 1917 for the industrialist Weetman Pearson, 1st Baron Cowdray, head of the Pearson conglomerate...

.

Many were fitted with more powerful engines as developments occurred.

Motor sport


Bob Jane
Bob Jane
Robert "Bob" Jane is an Australian former race car driver and prominent businessman. A four-time winner of the Armstrong 500, the race that became the prestigious Bathurst 1000 and a four-time Australian Touring Car Champion, Jane is perhaps known best nowadays for his chain of tyre retailers,...

 won the 1963 Australian GT Championship
1963 Australian GT Championship
The 1963 Australian GT Championship was a national motor racing title for drivers of Gran Turismo cars complying with CAMS Appendix K regulations....

 at the wheel of a "lightweight" E-Type.

The Jaguar E-Type was very successful in SCCA Production sports car racing with Group44 and Bob Tullius taking the B-Production championship with a Series-3 V12 racer in 1975. A few years later, Gran-Turismo Jaguar from Cleveland Ohio campaigned a 4.2-litre six-cylinder FHC racer in SCCA production series, and in 1980 won the National Championship in the SCCA C-Production Class, defeating a fully funded factory Nissan Z-car team with Paul Newman
Paul Newman
Paul Leonard Newman was an American actor, film director, entrepreneur, humanitarian, professional racing driver and auto racing enthusiast...

.

External links