Jaguar E-Type – A Brief History

The late 50’s and early 60’s was a time of the most beautiful sports cars ever made. One of them stands out among all others however. In 1961, Jaguar unveiled the E-Type. Enzo Ferrari described the E-type as ‘the most beautiful car ever made’, and this was of a time of the Aston Martin DB4, and his own offering, the Ferrari 250, which some consider to be the most beautiful Ferrari of all time. It would be difficult to find many people that disagree with him, not just at the time, but 50 years on as well.

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It was not just the looks of the E-Type however that impressed. The performance was also there, with a top speed of 150mph (albeit exceeding the safe rev limit), a speed usually reserved for the more exotic Ferrari’s and Maserati’s. There was only one more thing that could make this car the perfect car, and that was it’s price, which astonishingly was up to a quarter of the price of the main rivals. In the end 70,000 E-Types were sold.

Due to its popularity, the E-Type had a number of upgrades, and so there was a Series 1, 2 and 3, in both coupe and convertible options. The Series 1 initially featured A 3.8Litre 6 cylinder engine previously used in the XK150’s. In 1964 this was then changed to a 4.2Litre, producing the same power of 265bhp and same top speed, but more torque and better throttle response.

The Series 2 stuck with a 4.2 Litre engine, but had better cooling, better breaks, and some aesthetic changes, such as open headlights without glass covers and a wrap around rear bumper.

The Series 3 saw the introduction of Jaguars famous 5.3Litre V12 engine. This model was easily identified by the cross-slatted front grille, flared wheel arches and the badge stating V12. The production of the E-Type came to an end in 1974, and will forever hold its place in history.