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|Also called||Jaguar XK-E|
|Body and chassis|
The Jaguar E-Type (a.k.a. Jaguar XK-E) is a British sports car, which was manufactured by Jaguar Cars Ltd 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.
- 1 Overview
- 2 Concept versions
- 3 Production versions
- 4 Limited editions
- 5 Motorsport
- 6 References
- 7 External links
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 a two-seater convertible (OTS or Open Two Seater). A "2+2" four-seater version of the coupé, with a lengthened wheelbase, was released several years later.
Later model updates of the E-Type were officially designated "Series 2" and "Series 3", and over time the earlier cars have come to be referred to as "Series 1" and "Series 1½".
Of the "Series 1" cars, Jaguar manufactured some limited-edition variants, inspired by motor racing :
- 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 and 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 Le Mans 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 testing 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 racing 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 Le Mans 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 test vehicle. 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 owned E2A until 2008 when it was offered for sale at Bonham's Quail Auction, where it sold for US$4,957,000.
Series 1 (1961–68)
|Body and chassis|
|Body style||2-door coupe
2-door 2+2 coupe
|Engine||3.8 L XK I6
4.2 L XK I6
|Transmission||4-speed manual; 3-speed automatic (automatic available 1966-onward, 2+2 model only)|
|Wheelbase||96.0 in (2,438 mm) (FHC / OTS)
105.0 in (2,667 mm) (2+2)
|Length||175.3125 in (4,453 mm) (FHC / OTS)
184.4375 in (4,685 mm) (2+2)
|Width||65.25 in (1,657 mm) (all)|
|Height||48.125 in (1,222 mm) (FHC)
50.125 in (1,273 mm) (2+2)
46.5 in (1,181 mm) (OTS)
|Kerb weight||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. Earlier built cars utilised external bonnet latches which required a tool to open and had a flat floor design. These cars are rare and more valuable. After that, the floors were dished to provide more leg room and the twin bonnet latches moved to inside the car. The 3.8-litre engine was increased to 4.2 litres in October 1964.
The 4.2-litre engine produced the same power as the 3.8-litre (265 bhp;198 kW) and same top speed (150 mph;241 km/h), but increased torque from 240 to 283 lb·ft (325 to 384 N·m). Acceleration remained pretty much the same and 0 to 60 mph (0 to 97 km/h) times were around 7.0 seconds for both engines, but maximum power was now reached at 5,400rpm instead of 5,500rpm on the 3.8-litre. That all meant better throttle response for drivers that did not want to shift down gears.
Autocar road tested a UK spec E-Type 4.2 fixed head coupe in May 1965. The maximum speed was 153 mph (246 km/h), the 0–60 mph (0–97 km/h) time was 7.6 seconds and the 1⁄4 mile (402 m) from a standing start took 15.1 seconds. They summarised it as "In its 4.2 guise the E-type is a fast car (the fastest we have ever tested) and offers just about the easiest way to travel quickly by road.".
Motor magazine road tested a UK spec E-Type 4.2 fixed head coupe in Oct 1964. The maximum speed was 150 mph (241 km/h), the 0-60 mph time was 7 seconds and the 1⁄4 mile time was 14.9 seconds.They summarised it as "The new 4.2 supersedes the early 3.8 as the fastest car Motor has tested. The absurd ease which 100 mph can be exceeded in a 1⁄4 mile never failed to astonish. 3,000 miles of testing confirms that this is still one of the worlds outstanding cars".
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. When leaving the factory the car was originally fitted with Dunlop 6.40 × 15 inch RS5 tyres on 15 × 5K wire wheels (with the rear fitting 15 × 5K½ wheels supplied with 6.50 X15 Dunlop Racing R5 tyres in mind of competition). Later Series One cars were fitted with Dunlop 185 - 15 SP41 or 185 VR 15 Pirelli Cinturato as radial ply tyres.
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. The roadster and the non 2+2 FHC (Fixed Head Coupe) remained as two-seaters.
Less widely known, right at the end of Series 1 production and prior to the transitional "Series 1½" referred to below, a small number of Series 1 cars were produced, with open headlights. These series one cars that had their head lights modified by removing the covers and altering the scoops they sit in, the headlights differ in several respects from the "production" Series 1½, the main being they are shorter at 143mm from the production Series 1½ at 160mm . Production dates on these machines vary but in right hand drive form production has been verified as late as March 1968.
Following the Series 1 there was a transitional series of cars built in 1967–68, 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 (using two Zenith-Stromberg carburetters instead of the original three SUs) for US models. 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. A United States federal safety law affecting 1968 model year cars sold in the US was the reason for the lack of headlight covers and change in dash switch design in the "Series 1.5" of 1968. An often overlooked change, one that is often "modified back" to the older style, is the wheel knock-off "nut." US safety law for 1968 models also forbid the winged-spinner knockoff, and any 1968 model year sold in the US (or earlier German delivery cars) should have a hexagonal knockoff nut, to be hammered on and off with the assistance of a special "socket" included with the car from the factory. This hexagonal nut carried on into the later Series 2 and 3.
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.
The cars submitted for road test by the popular motoring journals of the time (1961) such as The Motor, The Autocar and Autosport magazines were specially prepared by the Jaguar works to give better-than-standard performance figures. This work entailed engine balancing and subtle work such as gas-flowing the cylinder heads and may even have involved fitting larger diameter inlet valves.
Both of the well-known 1961 road test cars: the E-type Coupe Reg. No. 9600 HP and E-type Convertible Reg. No. 77 RW, were fitted with Dunlop Racing Tyres on test, which had a larger rolling diameter and lower drag co-efficient. This goes some way to explaining the 150 mph (240 km/h) maximum speeds that were obtained under ideal test conditions. The maximum safe rev limit for standard 6-cylinder 3.8-litre E-type engines is 5,500 rpm. The later 4.2-Litre units had a red marking on the rev counter from just 5,000 rpm. The maximum safe engine speed is therefore 127 mph (3.31:1 axle) and 137 mph (3.07:1 axle) at the 5,500 rpm limit. Both test cars must have reached or exceeded 6,000 rpm in top gear when on road test in 1961.
Production numbers from Robson:
- 15,490 3.8s
- 17,320 4.2s
- 10,930 2+2s
Series 2 (1968–71)
|Body and chassis|
|Body style||2-door coupe
2-door 2+2 coupe
|Engine||4.2 L XK I6|
|Kerb weight||3,018 lb (1,369 kg) (FHC)
2,750 lb (1,247 kg) (OTS)
3,090 lb (1,402 kg) (2+2)
The Series 2 introduced a number of design changes, largely due to U.S. design legislation. The most distinctive feature is the absence of the aerodynamic glass headlight covers, which impacted several other imported cars, like the Citroën DS, as well. Unlike other cars, this retrograde step was applied worldwide for the E-Type, not just to Americans living under the authority of the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration.
Other hallmarks of Series 2 cars are 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. Series 2 cars have been known to be the best drivers and most reliable of the E-Type lines.
A combination steering lock and ignition key was fitted to the steering column, which replaced the dash board mounted ignition switch and charismatic push button starter. A new steering column was fitted with a collapsible section in the event of an accident.
New seats were fitted which allowed the fitment of head restraints, as required by U.S. law beginning in 1969. The interior and dashboard were also redesigned; rocker switches that met US health and safety regulations were substituted for toggle switches. The dashboard switches also lost their symmetrical layout.
The engine is easily identified visually by the change from smooth polished cam covers to a more industrial "ribbed" appearance. It was de-tuned in the US with twin Strombergs and larger valve clearances, but in the UK retained triple SUs and the much tighter valve clearances. (Series 1½ cars also had ribbed cam covers). This detuned engine produced 245 hp (183 kW), a drop of 20hp. 
Air conditioning and power steering were available as factory options.
Production according to Robson 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 (1971–75)
Jaguar E-Type Series 3 roadster
|Body and chassis|
|Body style||2-door 2+2 coupe
|Engine||5.3 L Jaguar V12 engine|
|Wheelbase||105 in (2,667 mm) (both)|
|Length||184.4 in (4,684 mm) (2+2)
184.5 in (4,686 mm) (OTS)
|Width||66.0 in (1,676 mm) (2+2)
66.1 in (1,679 mm) (OTS)
|Height||48.9 in (1,242 mm) (2+2)
48.1 in (1,222 mm) (OTS)
|Kerb weight||3,361 lb (1,525 kg) (2+2)
3,380 lb (1,533 kg) (OTS)
The E-Type Series 3 was introduced in 1971, with a new 5.3 L twelve-cylinder Jaguar V12 engine, uprated brakes and standard power steering. Optionally an automatic transmission, wire wheels and air conditioning was available. The brand new V12 engine was originally developed for the Le Mans series. It was equipped with four Zenith carburettors and built by connection of two six-cylinder XK engines. The final engine was claimed produced 203 kW (272 hp), massive torque and an acceleration of 0-60 mph in less than 7 seconds. Although this bhp figure was reduced in later production. The short wheelbase FHC body style was discontinued and the V12 was available only as a convertible and 2+2 coupé. The newly used longer wheelbase now offered significantly more room in all directions. The Series 3 is easily identifiable by the large cross-slatted front grille, flared wheel arches, wider tyres, four exhaust tips and a badge on the rear that proclaims it to be a V12. Cars for the US market were fitted with large projecting rubber bumper over-riders (in 1973 these were on front, in 1974 both front and rear) to meet local 5 mph (8 km/h) impact regulations, but those on European models were considerably smaller. US models also have side indicator repeats on the front wings. There were also a very limited number of six-cylinder Series 3 E-Types built. These were featured in the initial sales procedure but the lack of demand stopped their production. When leaving the factory the V12 Open Two Seater and V12 2 ± 2 originally fitted Dunlop E70VR − 15 inch tyres on 15 × 6K wire or solid wheels.
The Jaguar factory claimed that fitting a set of Jaguar XJ12 saloon steel-braced radial-ply tyres to a V-12 E-Type raised the top speed by as much as 8mph. The production car was fitted with textile-braced radial ply tyres. This fact was reported by the Editor of Motor magazine in the Long-term test of his E-type edition dated 4th August 1973, who ran a V-12 Fixed head for a while.
Robson 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. 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.
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.
Peter Linder, the Jaguar distributor in Germany, had his Lightweight modified by the factory to include the Sayer low drag roof and rear panels as part of an effort to win the GT class at LeMans. Linder's car was more than a match for the Ferrari 250GTO but mechanical problems forced it out of the race. Linder was later killed in a racing accident that demolished his car, which has recently been restored.
Jaguar waited too long before committing to a racing program in earnest and what could have been a world champion in 1962 was not competitive by 1965.
Lightweight E-Type (1963–64, 2014)
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. Factory-built lightweights were homologated by Jaguar with three 45DCO3 Weber carburettors in addition to a Lucas mechanical fuel injection system. Early cars were fitted with a close-ratio version of the four-speed E-type gearbox, with some later cars being fitted with a ZF 5-speed gearbox.
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.
On 14 May 2014, Jaguar's Heritage Business announced it will be building the six 'remaining' Lightweights. The original run of Lightweights was meant to be 18 vehicles; however only 12 were built. The new cars, using the un-used chassis codes, will be hand-built to exactly the same specification as the originals. Availability will be prioritised for established collectors of Jaguars, with a focus on those who have an interest in historic race cars.
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.
- "Jaguar E-type Lightweight revealed". Evo.
- "Loughborough graduate and designer of E Type Jaguar honoured". Lboro.ac.uk. 15 July 2010. Retrieved 4 March 2011.
- "100 most beautiful cars". The Daily Telegraph (UK). 10 September 2008. 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" (PDF). Museum of Modern Art, Queens (Press release). June 2002. Archived from the original (PDF) on 25 August 2011. Retrieved 6 June 2011.
- Bonhams Auctioneers. "Sale 16133: Lot 364". Bonhams.com. Retrieved 4 March 2011.
- Porter, Philip (2006). Jaguar E-type, the definitive history. p. 443. ISBN 0-85429-580-1.
- "'69 Series 2 Jaguar E Types". Autocar. 24 October 1968.
- The Complete Official Jaguar "E". Cambridge: Robert Bentley. 1974. p. 12. ISBN 0-8376-0136-3.
- "Jaguar E-Type Specifications". Retrieved 29 August 2009.
- "Buying secondhand E-type Jaguar". Autocar. 141 (nbr4042): pages 50–52. 6 April 1974.
- Motor Magazine 1964
- "Road Test 2027". Autocar. May 1965.
- Motor UK Number 42
- Paul Skilleter, Jaguar Sports Cars, pp.316 ISBN 0-85429-166-0.
- Chris Harvey, E Type: End of an Era, pp.10 ISBN 0-946609-16-0.
- JDC uk & My car
- 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.
- Robson, Graham (2006). A–Z British Cars 1945–80. Devon, UK: Herridge & Sons. ISBN 0-9541063-9-3.
- "http://www.xkedata.com/stats/". Retrieved 29 August 2009.
- "Jaguar E-Type Series I陆 Roadster". supercars.net.
- 115 hp (86 kW)
- "Lightweight E-Type Collection GB3299-LTWT" (PDF). Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust. Retrieved 13 August 2014.
- "Jaguar to build six new Lightweight E-types". Autocar.co.uk. 14 May 2014. Retrieved 15 May 2014.
- Robinson, Matt (15 May 2014). "Good Guy Jaguar Is Building Six ‘Brand-New’ E-Type Lightweights". carthrottle.com. Retrieved 15 May 2014.
- Cliff Chambers, E-Type turns 50, Unique Cars, Issue 323, 13 Apr – 13 May 2011, page 60
- "Group 44 E-type stars at Goodwood". Jaguar Heritage. Retrieved 6 October 2014.
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