Initially launched in 1961 as the “E” Type Open Two Seater, the E-Type (XKE) is Jaguar’s most iconic car. Jaguar described it as being “developed from the famous “C” and “D” Type Sports-Racing cars” because it had a monocoque chassis similar to the D-Type. They called it “an entirely new concept of high speed motoring.” The result was a 150 mph cruiser that had companies like Ferrari scrambling to make sure there next generation supercar could match the E.
The first E-Type to be shown in public was driven to the Geneva Motor Show and introduced to the world. It was the product of five years of development and borrowed much from the preceding race cars coming from Coventry. In fact, the Competition Department in 1956 became the Prototype Shop to specifically develop the D-Type as a road car. In it, Malcom Sayer and Bob Knight created the shape for E1A, the very first E-Type prototype.1
Because saloon production was Jaguar’s primary concern, only a small team was devoted to E-Type development. Test driver Norman Dewis worked primary with Bob Knight while Bill Heynes oversaw the entire project for Sir William Lyons.
From the first aluminum prototypes, Cyril Crouch had to design the E-Type from the bottom-up in steel. The process took an exceptionally long time to sort out, especially the new independent rear suspension. Bob Knight developed the new system which used a lower wishbones and half-shafts. Attached to the body by an enclosed sub-frame, the suspension was completely contained with the onboard brakes, twin spring/damper units and all the pickup points.
Like the D-Type, the E used a specialized front sub-frame made of Reynolds 531 alloy that attached to front bulkhead of the monocoque body. It supported the 3.8-litre engine first developed for the large Mark IX saloon.
Production began in March of 1961. In 1964 Jaguar updated the engine to 4.2 liters which had noticeably more torque but retained the 150 mph top speed. With its all synchomesh gearbox, improved brake servo, clutch and electrical cooling system, the 4.2 became the preferred driver’s car. Additional refinements included better seats, revised dashboard, armrests and a storage compartment on the transmission tunnel.
The first 500 cars made in 1961 and 1962 are different from later production cars by having early details such has outside hood latches and a fully spot-welded hood with a separate louvre panel. These cars were only sold to Jaguar dealer’s top customers and are highly sought after for this reason.
1. Porter, Philip. Jaguar E-Type The Definitive History. Foulis: 1989.
2. Haddock, Dr. Thomas. Jaguar E-Type 6&12 Cylinder Restoration Guide. Motorbooks:1997.
Auction Sales History
Opalescent Bronze 1961 Jaguar E Type Roadster 875323 – sold for $340,000 Fewer Than 100 Miles Since Total Restoration by Classic Showcase Inc in Oceanside, California. Earliest First-gen, Outside-bonnet-latch, Welded-louver, Flat-floor Model One Of Only 385 LHD Outside-bonnet-latch Roadsters All Verified As Original By The Jaguar Factory Heritage Trust Certificate. Original Head, Block Is A Correct, Factory, Unstamped Replacement. Auction Source: ‘Rolling Sculpture’ 2015 NYC by Keno Brothers
1962 Jaguar E-Type 3.8 Roadster 878271 – sold for $200,750 Long-term ownership by a Jaguar Club Concours judge. Fully refurbished with some modern upgrades. One of the best-driving and sounding E-Types available. Supplied with a factory hardtop, spare wheel, and tool kit. Jaguar-Daimler Heritage Trust certificate. Auction Source: 2015 Quail Lodge Auction by Bonhams
Opalescent Gunmetal 1962 Jaguar E-Type 3.8 Roadster 877073 – sold for €189,750 Manufactured in April 1962 as an open two-seater in left-hand drive configuration and sold new via Jaguar Cars, New York, USA to Mrs J Daum. The car was supplied as a personal export delivery and first registered in Coventry as ‘1368 WK’. The original colour scheme is recorded as Opalescent Gunmetal with beige interior trim and black soft-top, the same as it is today.
1963 Jaguar E-Type 3.8 Roadster 879037 – sold for $101,200 Recent discovery, early aluminum dash and console car. Matching numbers example. Equipped with desirable period hard top. Offered with Heritage Trust Certificate. Auction Source: The Amelia Island Auction 2015 by Bonhams
963 Jaguar E-Type ‘Series 1’ 3.8-Litre Roadster 878940 – sold for €117,300 Finished in red with matching interior, this ‘Series 1’ E-Type roadster benefits from restoration of the body (new floors), paintwork, engine and electrical wiring. In addition, the interior has been renewed (seats excepted) and new carpets installed, and new rubber seals fitted throughout. Other noteworthy features include a Kenlowe electric cooling fan, competition ventilated brake discs, halogen headlights, electric fuel pump and a new car cover. The gearbox was replaced in 2014, and fewer than 10,000 kilometres have been covered since the engine rebuild. Offered with Swiss Carte Grise. Auction Source: 2015 Les Grandes Marques du Monde au Grand Palais
1961 Jaguar E-Type Series 1 ‘Flat Floor’ 3.8-Litre Roadster 875386 – sold for €218,500 This ‘flat floor’ E-Type roadster has been fully restored by Classic Restoration Services of Vreeland in the Netherlands, the work being carried out to very high standards between November 2013 and November 2014. The engine was rebuilt by MRA using high quality parts including Mahle pistons, Vandervell bearings and Renold timing chains, while the gearbox and clutch have been overhauled to similarly high standards. Engine components were blueprinted and balanced, and sensible upgrades such as the crankshaft rear oil seal conversion, high output oil pump and lead-free cylinder head conversion incorporated. The cooling system too has been upgraded with a new radiator, high output water pump and Kenlowe electric fan. Auction Source: 2015 Les Grandes Marques du Monde au Grand Palais
1961 Jaguar E-Type Series 1 3.8-Litre Roadster 875157 – sold for $440,000 An early example with outside bonnet latches, flat floors, and welded bonnet louvers. Stunning black over a red leather interior; fitted with correct hard- and soft-tops. Matching-numbers car, as confirmed by its JDHT Certificate. Complete restoration by marque specialists. Low mileage since completion. Auction Source: Arizona 2015 by RM Auctions
1961 Jaguar E-Type 3.8-Litre Roadster 875331 – sold for $440,000 Early outside-bonnet latch, flat-floor, welded-louver Series 1. Received 100 points at the 2014 JCNA Concours and a First in Class at the 2014 San Marino Classic Concours. Tremendous preservation of its original sheet metal and mechanicals. Documented as matching-numbers engine and transmission by JDHT. Auction Source: 2014 Monterey by RM Auctions
1961 Jaguar E-Type Series 1 3.8-Litre Roadster 875139 – did not sell for €160,000 According to its Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust Certificate, which accompanies the car, this E-Type was built on 23 June 1961, and it was sold new to a W.R. Samson, of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on 31 July 1961. As an early-production example, it features the unique and desirable external bonnet locks, as well as welded louvers. Eventually, the car was acquired by Lawrence M. Kaynes, who restored it in the 1990s. During this time, the engine was… read more Auction Source: 2014 Monaco by RM Auctions
1963 Jaguar E-Type Series I 3.8 850476 – sold for $170,500 One of just 2,203 Roadsters produced for 1963. Former JCNA National three-time First Prize winner. Numbers-matching example. During 1963, Jaguar produced only 2,023 open two-seat roadsters, including this Old English White over red leather beauty. A canvas black top and black boot with red piping complete the handsome ensemble. While having been acquired over 10 years ago by its current owner, it has recently been looked over mechanically, wit… read more Auction Source: 2013 Monterey Auction by RM Auctions
1962 Jaguar E-Type Series I 3.8-Liter Roadster 876857 – sold for $107,250 The Series I car offered here is presented in classic British Racing Green with a tan leather interior. Importantly, it is a totally numbers-matching car, with the tag matching the chassis number and also matching the cylinder head and engine block numbers, all verified by the accompanying Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust Certificate. The car was awarded its First Junior and Senior awards from the AACA in 2007. An RM specialist has enjoyed this E… read more Auction Source: 2013 Amelia Island by Rm Auctions
1965 Jaguar E-Type Series I 3.8-Liter Roadster 881584 – sold for $82,500 An extremely desirable late-production Series I 3.8-liter example. Highly maintained and carefully enjoyed under the fastidious current owner. Complete with invoices and logbook. This late-production Series I 3.8-liter example from 1964 is now offered from its fastidious owner of the past 14 years, who acquired it immediately following the completion of a complete “nut and bolt” restoration. With approximately 57,600 miles and driven only duri… read more Auction Source: Monterey 2012 by RM Auctions
1964 Jaguar E-Type Series I 3.8-Liter Roadster 880619 – sold for $126,500 This wonderful E-Type has undergone a comprehensive, documented restoration by Classic Showcase, of Oceanside, California, during which no expense was spared. From the outset, the car was evaluated, inspected, and photographed. Then it was disassembled, stripped to bare metal, placed on a rotisserie, metal finished, leaded, prepared for primer, sealer, paint, base and clear coat, color sanded, and buffed to a fabulous finish. Along with a new … read more Auction Source: Monterey 2012 by RM Auctions
1962 Jaguar XKE Convertible – sold for $90,000 No less a figure than Enzo Ferrari called the new-for-1961 Jaguar E-Type “the most beautiful car in the world”, a sentiment instantly adopted by both the motoring press and the general public. The Museum of Modern Art came to the same conclusion in 1966 when it added a Blue convertible to its collection, a distinction reserved for only one other automobile at the time. This very rare 1961 XKE convertible is number 110 in the model’s product… read more Auction Source: 2011 Monterey Daytime Auction by Mecum
1961 Jaguar E-Type Series I 3.8 Roadster 875053 – sold for $154,000 Retaining its original engine, this original left-hand drive E-Type Roadster is the 53rd constructed – an extremely early and very desirable external bonnet-latch, flat-floor car. According to correspondence with Jaguar, it was one of the earliest E-Types exported to Canada, and perhaps the first. At the 1961 Paris Salon, it was ordered new by Maclean’s magazine editor Ralph Allen. The magazine is named as the first registered owner. The E-… read more Auction Source: 2011 Amelia Island Auction by RM Auctions
1963 Jaguar E-Type Series I Roadster – did not sell for $95,000 Marque specialist Classic Showcase completed a restoration of this beautiful example several years ago, including bodywork, proper fit, and paint color-sanding and buffing. The engine, transmission, suspension and many systems were re-built or restored as needed. Brightwork, upholstery, rubber seals and a new convertible top were installed. The car features its original engine, and the body is painted a spectacular combination of Opalescent Si… read more Auction Source: RM Auctions’ 2010 Sports & Classics of Monterey
1962 Jaguar E-Type Series I Roadster – did not sell for $85,250 The outstanding E-Type presented here recently finished a total, high-point, show-quality restoration conducted by the Jaguar specialists at Lippincott’s Garage. An early flat floor example finished in red with a biscuit leather interior, the car currently shows less than 52,000 original miles. The engine was totally rebuilt and the car also benefits from a stainless steel exhaust, aluminum radiator and new wheels and tires. Notable extras inc… read more Auction Source: 2009 RM Auctions Sports & Classics of Monterey
1963 Jaguar E-Type Series I Roadster 877788 – sold for €70,000 The Series I E-Type Roadster offered here was produced on 2nd August 1962 and shipped to Colorado, where it remained for its entire life with just three owners from new. Today, it is a remarkable example of originality and period correctness, clearly having benefited from decades of proper care and attention. With just one refinish in its original black, complemented by the original red leather interior and Wilton wool carpets, the Jaguar f… read more Auction Source: 2010 RM Auctions Sporting Classics of Monaco
1962 Jaguar E-Type Series I Roadster – sold for $80,300 The outstanding E-Type presented here recently finished a total, high-point, show-quality restoration conducted by the Jaguar specialists at Lippincott’s Garage. An early flat floor example finished in red with a biscuit leather interior, the car currently shows less than 52,000 original miles. The engine was totally rebuilt and the car also benefits from a stainless steel exhaust, aluminum radiator and new wheels and tires. Notable extras inc… read more Auction Source: 2009 Automobiles of Amelia Island RM Auction
1962 Jaguar E-Type 3.8 LHD Series 1 OTS 876531 – sold for $143,000 The Series I E-Type Roadster offered here is a “flat floor” model built January 10, 1962 and delivered new to New York. The car was originally purchased by California clothier and Pebble Beach Concours producer Robert Talbott from British Motor Cars in San Francisco on March 13, 1963. Steve Kemp began a meticulous nut and bolt rotisserie restoration of the car in 1994, consulting with Jaguar restoration expert Jim Kakuska of JK Restorations… read more Auction Source: 2009 Automobiles of Amelia Island RM Auction
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