Winning Amount: £ 39,050.00
User ID: T******y
“The most beautiful car ever made”. Enzo Ferrari.
Though in its current form this early E-Type is perhaps a little less than ‘beautiful’ it is doubtless a bit of a diamond in the rough. It is not recorded whether ‘il Commendatore’ also admitted it was a third of the price of his own often slower and less powerful products. Their relative price differential 50 years down the road, only emphasises what fantastic value these Cats represent over their equine rivals.
For the E-Type Malcolm Sayer designed (N.B. not ‘styled’ – Sayer did not consider himself ‘a hairdresser’ as he put it) an aircraft influenced shape that was not only aerodynamically efficient but also stunningly beautiful, having a more than a passing resemblance to his pure-bred D-Type racer that dominated Le Mans in the latter half of the 1950s. The influence of the competition-purposed machine was more than just skin deep as, courtesy of William Heynes and his engineering team, the E-Type’s construction shared much with its alphabetical and chronological predecessor; a monocoque tub with tubular front sub-frame carrying the immortal straight six XK engine and locating the front suspension can be found in both machines, though the E sported a more sophisticated independent rear axle arrangement. Economies of scale and efficient production techniques enabled Jaguar to offer the E-Type at a smidge over £2,000, a truly remarkable figure for a classically beautiful, well specified, 150 MPH motor car.
According to the Jaguar Heritage Trust Production Record Trace Certificate held on file, the ‘Open two-seater’ E-Type was manufactured on 27th August 1962 and dispatched to the Jaguar distributer in New York on the 5th September of that year. It was painted in Opalescent Dark Blue with Dark Blue interior trim and a Blue hood and we feel there is no better colour combination for an early ‘E’. You may choose to disagree but you’d be wrong!
Purchased by the vendor some years ago from the USA, this E-Type is now ripe for restoration. What can we say? Driving impressions are limited to say the least – we sat behind the wheel and made straight six style noises but that hardly qualifies. We could say the E-Type handled like it was on rails of course… The car entered the owners workshop where it still resides, more or less in one piece so the vast majority of the car is all there but even with our most optimistic of rose tinted specs on, we think it will be a big ask to have the car restored and back on the road before this year’s Silverstone Classic.
A picture really is worth a thousand words and you don’t need us to tell you that there is ‘some rust’ in the body though on the upside, there are not many E-Types on which you can inspect not only the inner and outer sills but also the middle sections too – along with a certain amount of what looks like Dexion racking. Still, if you are going to replace a sill, you might as well replace a well-rotted one as one with a few holes in it that looks more presentable but in reality is slowly corroding from the inside out. From what we were able to see, the rust appears to be concentrated in the cockpit floors and sills with some areas such as the boot floor, upper bulkhead and sub-frames seeming relatively sound. The top rail of the ‘picture frame’ is slightly distorted and there is further corrosion in the door bottoms and rear wheel arches though the bonnet, while having its fair share of dents and dinks, seems fairly rust-free. Given the condition of the tub, it has sensibly been braced across the door apertures to ensure it retains its critical dimensions.
The original early steering wheel is present and in pretty good condition and the correct 3.8 seats are also in place, all be it having been re-trimmed at some stage. It goes without saying that the interior trim will need replacing and a mechanical rebuild should be expected. The now unobtainable and highly prized original Marston radiator is present along with nice items such as a period radio, glass washer bottle, bottle jack and copper hammer.
For all its body-shell issues, where the E-Type scores well is with its originality. It is a ‘matching numbers’ car throughout with engine block, head, sub-frame and body all sporting stamped numbers that match those on the chassis plate and the above mentioned Heritage Certificate. An area of original paint can be found behind a warning tag in the boot of the Jaguar confirming that it retains its Factory livery.
The smart money tends to go for either the first or last examples of a model run as the early cars are the purest and the later versions the best developed though if you take a look at the somewhat more advanced Series 2 project we are selling for the same owner (Lot 84), you will see we make the case for that particular variant too. Having said that, there can be no doubt that early examples such as this will always have their followers, especially as there is the option to rebuild the car with a few of its ‘idiosyncrasies’ engineered out while retaining the early machines’ charming purity.
We feel this E-Type represents a great opportunity for a lucky new owner to restore an early E-Type to their own personal taste and specification – please just stick with the colour combination it left the factory with!