The E-Type Jaguar has a timeless styling to it. It is difficult to take in that this design was penned in the early 1960’s. It remains an example of Jaguar’s motto of Grace, Space and Pace. The New York City Museum of Modern Art recognized 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.
There is a rather special one for sale right now, but you’ll have to dig deep. Built on December 7, 1961, and dispatched to Jaguar Cars New York on December 29, this 1962 Jaguar Series 1 roadster, which has been with one caring owner since 1982, is one of the first 2,086 left-hand drive examples produced with flat floor pans, (a feature that is believed to have ceased production in May of 1962) and is a beautiful demonstration of the restorer’s art at its finest. Its rotisserie restoration was commenced by JC Classics, Inc., of Burlington, Wisconsin, and completed by Ringbrothers in Spring Green, Wisconsin, in June 2017.
Inspired by its predecessor – the three-time Le Mans-winning D-Type – the E-Type was ahead of its time as a road car. In the mid-1950’s, even dedicated sports-racing cars were almost universally still based on a tube chassis wrapped in non-stressed bodywork and equipped with live rear axles and drum brakes. When the E-Type made its world-famous 1961 debut, its appeal was deeper than its curvaceous sheet metal; it was actually more advanced mechanically than the D-Type, and right out of the showroom was almost as fast at the top end. It had an exceptionally strong monocoque central structure, a sturdy rectangular-tube front subframe carrying the engine, front suspension and ancillaries, and an elegantly designed independent rear suspension with inboard disc brakes. And yet, in contrast, there was still nothing like a set of chromed knock-off wire wheels to finish off that gorgeous exterior. At the outset, the Jaguar E-Type satisfied the diehard enthusiast’s lust for a road car that not only looked like a racer, but also performed like one, all the while offering all the comforts of a GT machine; it still feeds that lust today as a true classic. The selling agents state (and correctly) that this 1962 E-Type Series 1 roadster proves the point that time has not depleted the E-Type’s charm, but enhanced it instead. Powered by the time-honored 3.8 L twin-cam inline 6 engine with 4-speed manual transmission, its black exterior finish and sharp red leather cockpit make a stirring pairing that play to the Jaguar’s classic beauty. Documented with a Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust Certificate, this artfully restored Series 1 E-Type needs nothing but to be enjoyed in top-down fashion on a long, winding road.
Having driven a few E-Types in my time, they are better to look at than they are to drive. Your legs have to be bent to get into the driver’s seat and your feet fry, but would I have one in my virtual garage? Of course I would!
How much is this field worth?