If ever a term has been overused it is iconic but if such a description can be applied to motor cars I believe there are few machines more deserving of such an accolade than the Jaguar E Type – when it was launched in 1961 even Enzi Ferrari said it was the most beautiful car in the world which is praise indeed!
However it isn’t just looks which make the E Type a great car as its mechanical and structural design was way ahead of its time with monocoque construction, disc brakes, rack and pinion steering and independent suspension all round. Combining these with a 265 bhp version of Jaguar’s race proven twin cam six cylinder XK engine giving it a 150 mph top speed and a sub 7 second sprint to 60 mph all for less than £2,100 made it a really exceptional car - Jaguar chief William Lyons had had done it again by producing a machine with superb performance and looks following the pattern he had started with the SS100 in 1936 and continued post war with the XK 120,140 and 150.
According to a letter dated 15th March 1990 from Jaguar Cars Ltd, this 4.2 litre fixed head coupe was manufactured in left hand drive form on 6th May 1969 with chassis number 1R 26270 and engine number 7R 5329-9 and sent to North America. It returned to the UK in 1990 and was immediately the subject of a considerable amount of work by Jaguar specialists which included an engine rebuild, a carburettor conversion to three twin choke Webber DCOEs, refurbished suspension, a professional conversion to right hand drive plus the body was stripped to bare metal and repainted (a comprehensive set of photographs records this being done) soon after which it was extensively retrimmed.
So, what’s it like to drive? I have to start by admitting that I have never driven an E Type before as I spend most of my time with much older cars so I approached it with some caution, wondering if it would live up to its reputation. I need not have worried as its power, handling, ride and general drivability were utterly convincing – so much so that I did not want to put it away! I also found that it could potter along country roads in the most docile manner for as long as I liked though quite why anyone would want to drive an E Type like that is beyond me!
Please so come and have a look at the car but be prepared to be thoroughly seduced by it and find yourself really wanting to take it home.