The Jaguar E-Type, described as “The most beautiful car ever made” by Enzo Ferrari, was introduced in March 1961. Jaguar’s most iconic car revolutionised the world of sports cars. It combined great design and high performance at a very competitive price. This made the E-Type (XK-E) immensely popular and resulted in more than 78,000 sold cars over the years.
Jaguar’s Malcolm Sayer designed the E-Type, based on a combination of instinct and mathematics. No wind tunnel was used despite influence from the C- and D-types. Later studies and race wins confirmed Sayer’s genius.
The E-Type was offered as a two-seater coupé (FHC, Fixed Head Coupé ) and two-seater convertible (OTS, Open Two Seater). In 1966 a 2+2 version was added which featured a longer body (9 inches, 229 mm) and a different roof angle. The non 2+2 FHC and convertible remained two-seaters.
The Series 1 (1961-1967) initially featured the 3.8 litre six-cylinder engine and four-speed Moss gearbox (lacking synchromesh for 1st gear) from the XK150S. An impressive 265 bhp gave the E-Type a top speed of 150 mph (241 km/h) and launched it from 0-60 mph in around 7.0 seconds.
In 1964 the engine was upgraded to 4.2 litres, featuring the same power and top speed, but with increased torque. These 4.2 models also featured an all synchromesh gearbox, improved brakes and electrical systems.
Jaguar was one of the first car manufacturers to offer disc brakes as standard from the XK150 in 1958. And with the E-Type also came an all-new independent suspension. Which gave the E-type its much touted handling.
3.8-litre cars have leather-upholstered seats and an aluminium-trimmed centre panel and console (which changed to vinyl and leather in 1963).
Besides the upgraded engine and mechanics the 4.2-litre cars have more comfortable seats and a “Jaguar 4.2 Litre E-Type” badge on the boot. 3.8 cars only have the “Jaguar” badge on the boot.
The Series 1 can be recognised by glass-covered headlights (up to 1967), a small opening at the front, rear-lights above the bumpers and exhausts under the rear number plate.
After the Series 1, a transitional series of cars were built (1967-1968), the Series 1 1/2. The most prominent feature was the removal of the headlight covers, a US safety requirement. Throughout its production Series 2-features were gradually added, but the Series 1 body remained.
This 1961 3.8 Litre convertible (OTS) is one of the early models featuring a flat floor. On later models the floor was dished to provide more leg room. Also the external bonnet latches were only available on the early models and moved to the inside over time. Of course being an early model makes this car even more valuable. It was also the first E-Type to be delivered in Switzerland.
The Cream with blue upholstery combination is very elegant and also the original colour scheme of this car.
The wooden steering wheel and aluminium give the interior a sporty touch. Combined with the gorgeous looking leather bucket-seats makes this a very distinct car to drive.
The E-Type’s nose is of course a true sight to behold. But I especially love the way the rear bumpers wrap around the sides to the rear wheel and taper out at the end. Truly stunning.
This car is fully restored and in immaculate condition. This is probably how the car left the factory in 1961. I don’t think you can find any better early Series 1 convertible than this example. Huge sums of money were spent to bring this car to its original glory and the numerous concours wins only confirm this. A gorgeous E-Type convertible in perfect condition!
This Jaguar E-type is being offered by J.D. Classics (UK).