When the E Type Jaguar was launched in March 1961 at the Geneva Motor show it attracted the attention of the whole world like no other car ever had ever done before. With its stunning sleek bodywork, ground breaking performance & impressive handling it astonished all. Could a car like this really be available for nearly half the price of Aston Martins DB4? Jaguar’s founder William Lyons, had with his designer & aerodynamicist Malcom Sayer, and engineering director William Heynes, created what was to become the greatest motoring legend of all time. At a UK price of £2098 including Purchase Tax for the Roadster, or the Fixed Head at £2197, you really did get something very special for the money.
This two-seater sports car was fitted with the 3.8 litre version of the well proven 6 cylinder double overhead camshaft XK engine, and drove through a four speed manual Moss gearbox. Suspension was independent all round. The rear suspension, which featured twin coil spring and damper units either side was, along with the differential and inboard rear brake assemblies, mounted in a cradle that was attached to the cars shell via insulated rubber bushes and stabilised by sturdy radius arms. This sub assembly was later used on nearly all of Jaguars cars for many years to come. Inside the car you would find leather seats and fully comprehensive instrumentation that was beautifully laid out on the sports black and aluminium dashboard. This was complimented by a wood rim sports steering wheel to turn Jaguars responsive rack & pinion steering. The first road tests further helped to promote the E Type’s virtues, with a top speed of 153mph being attained along with standing quarter mile and 0 – 60mph times of 15 seconds & 6.7 seconds respectively. The E type maintained Jaguars very respectable reputation in motor sport and as manufacturer of quality performance cars.
The E-Type Series 3 was introduced in 1971, with a new 5.3 litre 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. The final engine was claimed produced 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.
Power Steering, AC, Top tint windscreen, Chrome wire wheels, 12V Socket, Front bumper guard, Dash clock, Map lights, Adjustable steering column, Manual dial illumination, Arm rest, Ash tray.
The fabulous E-Type continues to endure as a design master piece and although the purity of performance has been somewhat diluted for practicality and safety purposes over the years, the style and presence is unmistakable. The deep paintwork has settled over the last couple of years since it was taken back to bare metal, etch primed and repainted in its original colour; photographs of which are provided in the history file.
The bright work is in fantastic condition whilst the chromed areas such as the door handles, rear screen surround and door caps show very well with excellent fit and finish.
The Oatmeal interior works beautifully in contrast to the classic Racing green exterior and was completely re-trimmed upon arrival in the UK. As such the seats display almost as new with only the finest of patinas belying the cars use, maintaining exemplary shape and integrity without any sagging or fraying of the stitching. The headlining is extremely clean and tight with the door cards and sill carpentry presenting neatly. Instrumentation and switch gear is clear and easy to read.
The cabin is elegantly finished with the distinguished leather rimmed wheel that exhibits a fine feel and intricate woven stitch.
ENGINE & TRANSMISSION
The 5.3 12 cylinder engine has been rebuilt and pulls like a train, with strong oil pressure both at cold idle and at speed. The recent mechanical overhaul shows pristine presentation alongside strong, reliable performance.
The sense of occasion on test is palpable, with a smooth partnership between gearbox and clutch the car is a joy on the open road.
WHEELS, TYRES & BRAKES
What better way to compliment the recently restored body than with a brand new set of 15 x 6 inch 72 spoke wires. These vintage wheels were provided with all new rubber, now sitting on Bridgestone radials, to ensure authentic ride and feel.
The braking system has had a significant overhaul to ensure performance is a match for the engine, pulling up quickly and smoothly in a straight line.
As a West Coast of America car from new, this E Type has led a pampered existence free of corrosion or cosmetic anomalies that can so often affect vehicles in Europe. Imported in 2012 the car has been sympathetically restored over a 2 year period to ensure this V12 wants for nothing.
With one private UK owner, a current V5 and MOT certification this Series 3 is fully prepared and ready for the next lucky custodian.
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