Enzo Ferrari once remarked on the Jaguar E-Type, calling it the most beautiful car in the world – and we should thank two gentlemen for that: Malcolm Sayer, the aerodynamicist, and Sir William Lyons. Roadsters and coupes were beautiful to look at, and these cars caused a stir after being unveiled in 1961.
The E-Type changed the way the public looked at sports cars, especially when you could afford to buy a 150 mph sports car for just $2609 all those years ago. It was half of what an Aston Martin or a Ferrari would cost at the time.
This iconic Jaguar has met the expectations not only of customers but also of other car manufacturers. The recently launched Jaguar Classic program presented a unique Jaguar E-Type Roadster for the Queen, and it looks royally stunning.
It has the style and patina of a classic and was the perfect show at the 2022 Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Pageant.
History of the iconic Jaguar E-Type
The engine, a 3.8 liter unit, was borrowed from the XK and placed under the bonnet of a beautifully shaped car and was supported by a fully independent suspension. The Coupe was true, the faster of the two, but the Roadster was the heart-tugging one and happens to be the more valuable of the two, today. Both cars drove the same, due to the stiff substructure.
The E-Type was popular all over Europe and the United States of America, and believe it or not, finding one on the used classic sports car market isn’t that hard, as a lot of between them are still walking. In 1964 the Type E was fitted with a new 4.2 liter version of the XK engine. At 268 hp, power remained the same while torque increased, further improving handling.
Even the performance had not improved and the majority of owners could not achieve the claimed top speed unless engine modifications were made. Some complained that the engine had lost some of its liveliness, while others felt that the new engine made it a mature car to drive. The gearbox that was mated to the engine was the Moss transmission.
The Jaguar E-Type was indeed a worldwide hit, but the company felt sales weren’t good enough as it was a strict two-seater, so Jaguar released a 2+2 in 1996, after lengthening the wheelbase and the cabin, which makes space for children in the back. But it also meant that the E-Type’s appearance had to take a hit. It came with a taller windshield, but it managed to outsell the coupe, and it wasn’t as pretty.
Series 1½ followed in 1967; it came with restyled headlights and in 1968 the 2 Series got a bigger grille, bigger headlights and heavier front bumpers. A power steering was optional and a new windscreen was designed for it. The E-Type underwent major changes in 1971 after Walter Hassan, the man behind Formula 1 Coventry Climax engines, joined Jaguar and developed an all-new V12, making the E-Type the first V12-powered production car. of the British brand.
However, it didn’t look as good as the original E-Type, the suspension was soft, but these modifications were normal, considering the American car market at the time. It was heavy and lost its sports car DNA. Either way, all E-types are iconic, with a nice price tag attached to them.
This Jaguar E-Type Roadster is a unique piece
Earlier this month, Jaguar Classic displayed a bespoke E-Type during the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Pageant. This unique restoration includes a plethora of improvements by the folks at Classic Works. The metallic blue paint you see is said to be inspired by the Union Jack. The lucky keeper even had Eric Underwood in the passenger seat during the event. Jaguar Classic is renowned for bringing Series 1 E-Types to life. However, this particular example is much more special, given the amount of customization that went into making it.
The client wanted a sought-after Series 1 E-Type roadster to specifically match the year of its birth, so Jaguar Classic found an example that was built two days after it was ported. It took a year for the car to be completely restored, starting with the bodywork. The paint you see was exclusively mixed at the paint booth and took months to get right.
The interior is also bespoke. The red leather upholstery is said to be inspired by iconic British column boxes, and the whole thing has been hand finished by the folks at the house. The mechanicals had been refitted, and instead of the stock 4.2-liter inline-six, these guys installed a 4.7-liter unit that is said to deliver good performance.
The 5-speed transmission, specially designed by Jaguar Classic, is coupled to the engine for a smoother driving experience. The suspension and brakes have been updated, and the wheels and tires are wider. To increase the X factor, there is also a sports exhaust and a manifold.
Modern connectivity features find their way inside, such as satellite navigation, a classic infotainment system with touchscreen controls and Bluetooth. The rest of the interior remains typical of an E-Type. The exterior includes LED lighting and a dashboard plaque. The car also shares some design cues with the limited E-Type 60 collection.
Her Majesty must drive this Jaguar E-Type roadster
A dignified lady like Queen Elizabeth II would look perfect seated in the low-slung, sporty E-Type Roadster, descending with a convoy of Range Rovers, to be seen at Quaglino for a sumptuous meal of pressed chicken terrine and herbs or saffron Risotto. It doesn’t get more British than that!