A curiosity about one of our favorite cars of all time.
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. On its release Enzo Ferrari called it “The most beautiful car ever made”.
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.