The e-type is Jaguar’s enduringly desirable rear-wheel drive Grand Tourer. First launched in 1961 it was offered as a two-seater fixed head coupe (FHC) or roadster and with a choice of 3.8-litre or 4.2-litre engines. The latter were a significant improvement on the earlier cars providing more torque and power for effortless long distance cruising but they also added to the cost of the car. The 3.8-litre engine, sourced from the XK150 3.8 S and designed for enthusiasts who appreciated high performance, gave an exciting driving experience.
The design was the brainchild of BLMC’s Deputy Chairman Sir William Lyons who wanted Jaguar to produce a model that made every high-end sporting rival seem outdated and overpriced. It had hints of the D-Type Le Mans winner but was sleeker and more advanced in engineering. It was also a great advertising tool; the 1960s Super National petrol advert featuring a svelte blonde in a speed-blurred E-Type and a TV ad for Dop shampoo starring a beautiful woman with her top down driving a top-down E-Type into a car wash are still etched on our memory.
Unleashing the Roaring Beauty: A Closer Look at the Iconic Jaguar E-Type
The Series 1 E-types are sometimes known as the ‘flat floor’ cars but this is not because of owners renowned for pushing the accelerator pedal flat to the floor to see if they could really reach 150mph, which they certainly did – it refers to the fact that the early coupe and roadster bodywork was much flatter than later models. These ‘flat floor’ cars tend to be more affordable and a sensible choice for someone who wants to own an E-Type but doesn’t have the budget to buy one of the ‘purist’ models.