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“The most beautiful car ever made” Enzo Ferrari, on seeing the Jaguar E-Type for the first time

Updated on March 22, 2015
Jaguar E-Type Unveiling
Jaguar E-Type Unveiling

Jaguar E-Type – Celebrating 50 Years

March 2011 marks exactly 50 years of the Jaguar E-Type. This iconic car still today attracts gazes and stares of lust and desire from each and every corner it appears from! The Jaguar E-type was introduced to the public in the Geneva Motor Show in Switzerland in March 1961. One sport and luxurious car manufacturer, Enzo Ferrari called it; “The most beautiful car ever made!”

Designed with a long and graceful engine hood with fluent aerodynamic lines that to the enthusiast, clearly shows that the body was inspired on the D-type racing model.

Because of the sensation that it provoked on its unveiling, there will never be a car like the Jaguar E-Type.

It was so low priced and incredibly it provided the elegance, comfort, speed, luxury and power that almost anyone could afford to buy one!

Cars unveiled that same year like Mercedes, Ferrari and Aston Martin were priced three times more than the Jaguar E-Type and still the E-type delivered the same specifications and performance as the competition.

No wonder that soon enough it was nicknamed the poor man’s Ferrari.

A true and legal road racer that anyone could drive due to its docility and yet you could take it straight to the racetrack and compete with it without even getting out of the car and clearly hear and feel the power of the roaring cat and come out wining the checkered flag!

You don´t have to be a competition driver to drive a Jaguar. You don´t have to be a celebrity. You don’t have to be rich, but just slide behind that racing wheel, ease back in the butter-soft glove leather seat, turn the key, reach down and slip into first, hear that unmistakable jaguar roar and you’ll be the fastest, most famous, richest man in the world.

One of the slogans that Jaguar used to sell the E-Type, and it described it so well!


This was the best and simplest slogan Jaguar had to describe that what would become a legend!

As my own personal experience can tell, the torque on the E-Type is so great that if you´re traveling in the highway at 120 km/h in top gear and suddenly step the pedal to the metal, you´ll see and feel the engine hood rising in response and the E-Type taking off like a missile and slowly leveling off its nose again ready to take over the competition ahead of you!

Still this day, truly a remarkable and iconic car that eventually in time will continue to be more esteemed!

The E2A
The E2A

A brief history on the E-Type and how it came to be!

On its development, William Lyons (Sir William Lyons a few decades later) emphasized that he wanted to introduce a car that would put a mark in automobile history! And 50 years later it is still an icon! The E-Type is the direct successor of the XK150 but the only thing that resembles between the two is its heart, the XK engine, the 3.8 liter in-line 6.

The XK150 was built on a chassis while the E-Type, on a revolutionary monocoque! Secret developments were being done at the Coventry Plant and soon enough a prototype called the E1A that ran for tests in 1957. This prototypes engine had a 2.4 litre and it looked like a miniature D-Type!

Jaguars’ additional research and development ended up building the E2A in 1960, which still exists today! The E2A raced the Le Mans the same year only to be out of the race due to cylinderhead gasket failure!

The Birth of the E-Type with its Final Design

The engine a 3.8 liter, 6 cylinder in-line, double camshaft with 12 valves, triple SU carburetors delivering 265 hp at 5.400 rpm acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h (60 miles) in just 7.1 seconds and with a top speed of 240 km/h (152 mph) and with an incredible price tag of only £2196.

Just a few weeks later, the E-Type was on the racetracks still with cigarette lighters, radio and upholstery, totally unchanged as it came from the factory and wining checkered flags!

Production of the E-type came to a sad end in 1974 with almost 75.000 units built, but it’s been 50 years now that this iconic car was introduced and celebrations are being held all over the world!

The Jaguar E-Type is in permanent exhibition at New York´s Museum of Modern Art.

Jaguar E Type - How much for a car in March 1961

Only £2,256

1961 E- Type Unveiling
1961 E- Type Unveiling
Out of the factory and straight to the racetracks
Out of the factory and straight to the racetracks
1961 E-Type Jaguar
1961 E-Type Jaguar
British Racing Green E-Type
British Racing Green E-Type


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    • John Sarkis profile image

      John Sarkis 6 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      Love this article nelson...very well written. Jags are one of my personal favorites.

      Take care


    • nelson soares profile image

      nelson soares 6 years ago from Sunny Algarve

      Hey it was yellow it was probably primrose yellow! I had 1 as well, but a 1970 and I LOVED IT AS WELL! Thanks for reading my hub!

    • profile image 6 years ago

      I had a 1962 yellow XKE - loved it - loved it- LOVED IT!


    • nelson soares profile image

      nelson soares 6 years ago from Sunny Algarve

      KenWu thanks for the read...and you never know...maybe an E Type could come along your way one day!

    • KenWu profile image

      KenWu 6 years ago from Malaysia

      I just wish if I could ever test drive it!

    • nelson soares profile image

      nelson soares 7 years ago from Sunny Algarve

      Hi crystolite and thanks for the comment!

    • crystolite profile image

      Emma 7 years ago from Houston TX

      Beautiful work because am in live with nice cars with sharp colors like these ones,thanks for sharing.

    • nelson soares profile image

      nelson soares 7 years ago from Sunny Algarve

      And thank you BkCreative!

    • BkCreative profile image

      BkCreative 7 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      I love beauty with quality - and this is it. I've known a couple people with a Jag and when it drives up - oh wow!

      Thanks for the hub. Rated up!

    • nelson soares profile image

      nelson soares 7 years ago from Sunny Algarve

      Hi Larry,

      I´m glad you love the E-Type and thanks for the comment!

      The Mini interior is almost dismantled, I´m restoring every part I remove before wrapping it plastic for storage!

      Soon I´ll be posting at HP again!

      Keep posted

    • maven101 profile image

      maven101 7 years ago from Northern Arizona

      Ola Nelson...

      This is truly a classic car...and the sexiest ever built...Long, curving lines, rounded corners, and those perky headlights !!...What a work of art...Thanks for this 50th anniversary Hub on a vehicle that transcends moving from one place to another...

      How is the Mini restoration coming along..?...Larry