Between 1961 and 1975 Jaguar manufactured and sold what was then considered the pinnacle of good looks, high performance, and competitive pricing establishing the norm for sports cars through the ‘60s. The Jaguar E-type or XK-E took over the world and stormed along roads throughout the world.
The E-Type is an icon of its age. Mr. Enzo Ferrari himself exclaimed it was “the most beautiful car ever made” upon laying eyes on it. This E-type has been giving the highest honors in car design competitions over the world. Many magazines have proclaimed it to be the best looking car in the world and the best car of the ‘60s.
During its production cycle, this Jaguar went through 3 distinct series. Of the first series, two variants were released; the lightweight E-type, and the low drag coupé. The low drag coupé was a one off technical exercise for Jaguar engineers. The factory sold it and only rumors tell us where it might be. Twelve of eighteen initially planned lightweights were released, and craftsmen at Jaguar Heritage are building the 6 remaining right now in 2014 at the original Jaguar factory.
Rewinding back to the ‘60s, Jaguar offered the first series with a a six-cylinder engine. At the time of its release many said it was the fastest way to get around in a car. Reviews were fantastic and customers loved their cars. Configurations throughout 1961 to 1968 changed in dozens of way. Wheel sizes, engine configuration, passenger capacity, coupé or cabriolet were all options the marque went through. A total of approximately 38,400 first series have been produced through the ‘60s.
"The most beautiful car ever made."− Enzo Ferrari
The second series offered a long list of upgrades ranging from redesigned cosmetics to a new interior passing by a revamped engine. New options were offered such as air conditioning and power steering. A total of around 18,800 were produced from 1968 to 1971.
With the third series came the 5.3L Jaguar V12. Cars were available as 2+2 coupé versions or cabriolets. It is estimated that 15,280 cars were built from 1971 to 1975. Unfortunately the car lost its popularity because of strong competition from other manufacturers offering more performance out of their production models.
Photographed throughout this article is a great example of a third series 1972 Jaguar E-type Cabriolet. As pictured, this vehicle offered flared wing arches, open lights, slated grill, and new bumpers. Wired wheels were fitted to this particular car. The plastic bits at the end of the bumpers were added to meet local impact regulations that would not have permitted Jaguar to export them.
The E-type offered more than just a sports car to its owners. It offered savagery with elegance; speed with style, but Jaguar buyers knew to expect this from the marque. Its predecessor, the XK150, was a great car but the XK-E had an edge over it. The E-type was genuinely trying to follow in the footsteps of the D-type that had won the world over at Le Mans in 1955, 1956, and 1957. Everyday chaps could now own a car that was the direct descendent of a winning race car. In the ‘60s nothing was greater than Le Mans for petrol heads around the world. Winning or losing Le Mans defined a marque among all others and propelled some to the top while others drowned beneath their rivals. Jaguar was fortunate enough to have developed a car that could win, and since then managed to immortalize their legacy within the road going E-Type that is so fondly admired by millions around the world.
Engine capacity / 5,343CC
Type / 60° V12
Technology / Four Zenith Strombergs 175 CD2SE
Valvetrain / 24-VALVE, SOHC
Bore X Stroke / 90MM X 70MM
Compression ratio / 9:1
Power / 675.77PS (202.83KW) 272HP @ 5,850RPM
Torque / 412.16NM (304 Lb-Ft) @ 3,600RPM
Type / Four speed all synchro
Gears / Four-speed
Maximum speed / 233.35KPH (145MPH)
0-100KPH (62MPH) / 6.4S
0-200KPH (124MPH) / 25.8S
100-0KPH (62-0MPH) / 40.53M (133FT)
Tyre type / Dunlop SP Sport
Front tyre / E70 VR 15
Rear tyre / E70 VR 15
Brake type / (F/R) Ventilated Discs/Solid Discs
Brake size / (F/R) 284MM/ 263.5MM
Wheel size / 15” X 6”
Din weight / 3,435LB
Fuel tank / 81.8 litres
Fuel consumption / 15.68L/100KM to 19.6L/100KM (12 to 15MPG)