Today we are going to talk about a very special car. It is one of the world’s most beautiful cars and a British Icon. It is a legend in the motoring world and owning one is most car enthusiasts ultimate dream. It has style, elegance, and sportiness. Today, we are going to talk about the Jaguar E-Type. This is one of the most important and one of the coolest cars of all time and, if you are a true car lover, this car is most likely in your dream garage. So, first we are going to talk about the history behind the car and then we are going to talk about the car itself and what makes it so cool, so elegant, so beautiful, and so significant to British motor racing history. Let’s get started!
A Quick History
The car was first conceptualized in 1957 after Jaguar had large success at Le Mans with the D-Type racing body. So, they asked the racing department if they could come up with a concept for a road going car that would use the same D-Type body style. They did create a car like this and this became the E1A Prototype. In 1960, they created the E2A Prototype that was a more refined version of the E1A. Using the E2A as a design guide and a testbed, Jaguar released the Series 1 E-Type in 1961 and continued Series 1 production until 1968. The car was originally only for export, but Jaguar soon began to sell them in the United Kingdom as well. The car was called the Jaguar XKE in the United States instead of the E-Type, but I will still refer to it as the E-type in this article. So, let’s talk about its race heritage and why this car is such an Icon!
As mentioned above, the E-Type’s body and design are largely based off of the Jaguar D-Type racer, which is a racing car that won Le Mans multiple times. The styling is similar and so, the E-Type has racing in its blood. Jaguar used a similarly tuned engine as well. While it was set up for road use, it was still the same engine that the Jaguar cars were using to race. To add to this, the E-Type soon became a race car itself. The E2A was initially used in the Le Mans 24 Hour race and then, in the following years, Jaguar produced E-Type race cars to participate in the races around Europe. You may think that this is just side information but there is a reason why I am talking about the racing involvement that this car had. It is because firstly, it makes the car a lot cooler but secondly, it explains part of the reason why the car is so important and so legendary in the car world. It was bred out of a racing chassis and formed into an elegant grand tourer. This means that it can ride enjoyably on the road but underneath it is also capable of some fine racing! This leads me into the next section, which is the significance of this car!
As far a British Motor Racing and Automotive history go, this is one of the most important and legendary cars. It was an Icon for a number of reasons though. The first of those is because of its motor racing involvement and heritage, which I talked about above. The next however is because of the impact it had at the time. The car came out in 1961 and was released for export only, which meant it was mostly going to other European states and the United States of America. Because of its looks and sportiness, this car was very popular among celebrities which meant that it was everywhere. These cars are featured in movies, shows, and the news paper all the time. A car usually looks a lot cooler when you see your favorite singer or actor hopping out of one at their awards show. So, once the celebrities of the time started buying these up, there was no stopping their inevitable growth!
Finally, the cars are important because they inspired a generation of petrol heads and new car design. The car was so elegant and yet sporty that it demanded your attention and so, everyone gave it their attention. The car became the new poster car. It was the car that every kid dreamed of having and the car that many people just dreamed of seeing! This car defined an era of automotive history because of its looks, its elegance, its sportiness, its racing heritage, and its icon image in the media. Obviously, if you put all these together you get a true Icon. So, let’s move on now to talk about the design of the Jaguar E-Type!
This cars design is what can only be described as timeless, elegant, sporty, and classic. There isn’t too many other cars like it. This is because, at the time, it was one of the few road going sports cars that was based off of a race concept. Many true race cars at the time that participated in real racing looked much like this car, but not many of those designs made it to road going cars. This is one of the ones that did. Another example is the Porsche 550 Coupe. The front end features two covered lights that are large circle lights set back into the body. They had a sleek design that was, as I have said many times, very elegant, but also it was very simple. It had a sloping hood that led from the small grill and chrome bumper up to the wide angle windscreen. The hood had a few features, like a bump to accommodate the larger engine and a hood vents.
The Jaguar E-Type Series 1 cars were fitted with a 3.8 Liter 6-Cylinder Jaguar XK6 engine that had been used on previous cars. It should be noted that cars with this engine model are a lot rarer than the rest of the Series 1 cars because in 1964, Jaguar switched to a 4.2 Liter engine. The 3.8 Liter created 256 bhp and 240 lb-ft of torque. The 4.2 Liter created about the same amount of horsepower but increased the torque to 283 lb-ft. The car would do 0-60 in just 6.4 seconds, which was super quick. it also had a claimed top speed of 150 mph, but was tested go faster. In 1965, when AutoCar tested the Jaguar E-Type, they said that it was the fastest car that they had ever tested. So it’s clear to see that, by 1965 standards, the Jaguar is an astonishingly quick car! So, after learning all this about the E-Type, you may be interested in looking to buy one, so let’s talk about the cost.
I hate to be the bearer of bad news but, this car is not cheap. It depends on which year, series, and make you are looking for, and what specs you want it to have. However, no matter what model you are looking to purchase, you are most likely going to have to break the bank. These cars are very sought after in the motoring world and so you are most likely not going to find one in decent condition for less that a $100,000. You can usually get a Series 3 XKE in the United States for between $50,000 and $1500,000. However, if you are looking for a Series 1 E-Type, you are most likely going to have to pay upwards of $200,000 to $300,000 for the more rare models. I will say though that unlike some other classics, this car is not completely out of reach. It is definitely worth the purchase as, also unlike some other classics, you are not just paying for the history but you also get some speed and quickness too. Here is a listing for a light blue Series 1 E-Type if you are interested in looking further into these cars: 1962 Jaguar E-Type Series 1.
I hope that you learned a little more about this beautiful piece of history today. I think that these are some of the coolest vintage cars and one of the best cars that Jaguar has ever made. Let me know what you think about these cars in the comments below! If you enjoyed this article, please consider sharing it with a friend or family member or, if you want updates, you can subscribe to the blog at the top of the page! Thank you for reading and I wish you the best of luck in your Jaguar purchasing ventures!