- Automobile History
“The most beautiful car ever made” Enzo Ferrari, on seeing the Jaguar E-Type for the first time
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!
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
Jaguar E-Type at Amazon
Jaguar E-Type (XKE) links
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More and complete info on the E-Type (XKE)
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