|Also called||Jaguar XK-E|
The Jaguar E-Type (UK) 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 magazine placed the E-Type at number one on their list of Top Sports Cars of the 1960s.
The E-Type was initially designed and shown to the public as a rear-wheel drive grand tourer 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.
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 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.
The New York City Museum of Modern Art 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.
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.
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. 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 for US$4,957,000.
Series 1 (1961–1968)
2-door 2+2 coupe
3.8 L XK I6|
4.2 L XK I6
|Transmission||4-speed manual, 3-speed automatic (1966-onward, 2+2 model only)|
96.0 in (2,438 mm) (FHC / OTS) |
105.0 in (2,667 mm) (2+2)
175.3125 in (4,453 mm) (FHC / OTS) |
184.4375 in (4,685 mm) (2+2)
|Width||65.25 in (1,657 mm) (all)|
48.125 in (1,222 mm) (FHC) |
50.125 in (1,273 mm) (2+2)
46.5 in (1,181 mm) (OTS)
2,900 lb (1,315 kg) (FHC) |
2,770 lb (1,256 kg) (OTS)
3,090 lb (1,402 kg) (2+2)
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 from the XK150S. 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 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 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 in 1961 and had a top speed of 149.1 mph (240.0 km/h) and could accelerate from 0 to 60 mph (0 to 97 km/h) in 7.1 seconds. A fuel consumption of 21.3 miles per imperial gallon (13.3 L/100 km; 17.7 mpg-US) 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
Series 2 (1969–1971)
|1970 Jaguar E-Type Roadster|
2-door 2+2 coupe
|Engine||4.2 L XK I6|
3,018 lb (1,369 kg) (FHC) |
2,750 lb (1,247 kg) (OTS)
3,090 lb (1,402 kg) (2+2)
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 puristsTemplate:Who 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:
Official delivery numbers by market and year are listed in Porter but no summary totals are given.
Series 3 (1971–1975)
|1974 Jaguar E-Type Series III convertible (North America)|
2-door 2+2 coupe|
|Engine||5.3 L Jaguar V12 engine|
|Wheelbase||105 in (2,667 mm) (both)|
184.4 in (4,684 mm) (2+2) |
184.5 in (4,686 mm) (OTS)
66.0 in (1,676 mm) (2+2) |
66.1 in (1,679 mm) (OTS)
48.9 in (1,242 mm) (2+2) |
48.1 in (1,222 mm) (OTS)
3,361 lb (1,525 kg) (2+2) |
3,380 lb (1,533 kg) (OTS)
A new 5.3 L twelve-cylinder Jaguar V12 engine was introduced, with uprated brakes and standard power steering. The short wheelbase FHC body style was discontinued and the V12 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:
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 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.
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 to which this car is a more direct successor than the production E-Type which is more of a GT 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.
One Lightweight was modified into a Low-Drag Coupé (the Lindner/Nocker car), by Malcolm Sayer.
Another Lightweight was modified into a unique Low-Drag design (the Lumsden/Sargent car), by Dr Samir Klat of Imperial College. Along with the factory LDC, this lightweight is now believed to reside in the private collection of the current Viscount Cowdray.
Many were fitted with more powerful engines as developments occurred.
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.
- ↑ "Loughborough graduate and designer of E Type Jaguar honoured". Lboro.ac.uk. 15 July 2010. http://www.lboro.ac.uk/service/publicity/news-releases/2005/37_sayer.html. Retrieved 4 March 2011.
- ↑ "100 most beautiful cars". The Daily Telegraph. UK. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/motoring/2751222/The-100-most-beautiful-cars-20-1.html?image=19. Retrieved 4 March 2011.
- ↑ Classic Car Review 1964, articolo di Sean Curtis
- ↑ "THE MUSEUM OF MODERN ART EXHIBITS ENTIRE AUTOMOTIVE COLLECTION FOR THE FIRST TIME, INCLUDING THREE NEW ACQUISITIONS". Museum of Modern Art, Queens Press Release. June 2002. http://press.moma.org/images/press/PRESS_RELEASE_ARCHIVE/AUTO.pdf. Retrieved 6 June 2011.
- ↑ Bonhams Auctioneers. "Sale 16133: Lot 364". Bonhams.com. http://www.bonhams.com/cgi-bin/public.sh/pubweb/publicSite.r?sContinent=USA&screen=lotdetailsNoFlash&iSaleItemNo=3965994&iSaleNo=16133&iSaleSectionNo=2. Retrieved 4 March 2011.
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 6.2 Porter, Philip (2006). Jaguar E-type, the definitive history. p. 443. ISBN 0-85429-580-1.
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 "'69 Series 2 Jaguar E Types". Autocar. 24 October 1968
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 The Complete Official Jaguar "E". Cambridge: Robert Bentley. 1974. p. 12. ISBN 0-8376-0136-3.
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 9.5 9.6 "Jaguar E-Type Specifications". http://www.web-cars.com/e-type/specifications.php. Retrieved 29 August 2009.
- ↑ 10.0 10.1 "Buying secondhand E-type Jaguar". Autocar 141 (nbr4042): pages 50–52. 6 April 1974.
- ↑ See Jaguar Clubs of North America concourse information at:  and more specifically the actual Series 1½ concourse guide at 
- ↑ Compare right hand drive Vehicle Identification Numbers given in JCNA concours guide referred to above with production dates for right hand drive cars as reflected in the XKEdata database at 
- ↑ "The Jaguar E-type". The Motor. 22 March 1961.
- ↑ 14.0 14.1 14.2 Robson, Graham (2006). A–Z British Cars 1945–1980. Devon, UK: Herridge & Sons. ISBN 0-9541063-9-3.
- ↑ 15.0 15.1 15.2 "http://www.xkedata.com/stats/". http://www.xkedata.com/stats/. Retrieved 29 August 2009.
- ↑ Cliff Chambers, E-Type turns 50, Unique Cars, Issue 323, Apr 13 - May 13, 2011, page 60
- Jaguar E-Type at the Open Directory Project
- Information on the Jaguar XKE
- On-line Registry with 12,000+ car records and 89,000+ photos of the E-Type
|Jaguar Cars road and race car timeline, 1940s–1970s — next »|
|Sports||XK120||XK140||XK150||E-type S1||E S2||E-type S3||XJ-S|
|Saloon||Mark 1||Mark 2, 240, 340|
|420||XJ6 S1||XJ6 S2|
|Mk IV||Mk V||Mk VII||Mk VIII||Mk IX||Mk X||420G||XJ12 S1||XJ12 S2|
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