On March 15th, 1961, the world was introduced to Jaguar’s latest creation, the E-Type. On its debut, the car made an enormous impression on the fortunate 200 media members who witnessed its unveiling. The striking appearance of the E-Type was the main catalyst for the initial excitement, but the looks weren’t the only things going exceptionally well for the E-Type. Its performance figures were stout and it had an equally refreshing price to boot. Jaguar’s newest masterpiece released 265 horsepower to the rear wheels, propelling it to a top speed of 150 miles per hour. In 1961, numbers like these usually meant spending upwards of $10,000, but to a great surprise, the E-Type was only $5,500. Undoubtedly, Jaguar’s E-Type was one of the best performance buys in all of Europe.
Even though the car itself was completely new, the heart of the beast was the same 3.8 liter 6-cylinder power plant used in the previous Jaguar XK150S. The 3.8 was wonderful in the XK150S, and worked even better in the state-of-the-art E-Type chassis in thanks to the sleek body and 150 pound weight loss from the XK150. One of the many reasons why the E-Type turned out and performed to such a high standard was due to Jaguar’s racing program. Jaguar won the 24 Hour of LeMans 5 times between 1951 and 1957, and after the 1957 victory, Jaguar was in need of producing a new sports car to keep the company moving forward. The need for a new car led to the assembly of two prototypes in the late 1950’s, the E1A and E2A. E1A was heavily tested by Jaguar while E2A was turned into a race car in 1960 where the car was lent to Briggs Cunningham and raced by Dan Gurney, Jack Brabham, and Bruce McLaren. Between E1A and E2A, Jaguar used the best features from both cars to formulate the perfect platform for their new machine.
This is one of the finest E Types we’ve seen. Dispatched from Coventry on January 8, 1963, chassis 878834 has undergone a complete ground up nut & bolt restoration, by a Pebble Beach multiple award winning restoration shop. This was not a car done for a customer, this was a car built for the owner of the shop for his own personal use, and as such it is simply stunning. Originally finished in cream over red leather, the restorer wanted the car to stand out from the myriad of E Types out there, and chose to restore the car in one Jaguar’s prettiest, correct, but seldom seen combination of Opalescent Dark Blue with grey leather. The build is set off by wide whitewall tires, as often fitted to early E Types when new, but rarely seen today. The interior is fabulous, and the level of detail continues, down to the correct shift knob and original radio. The Stayfast top has never been lowered. Of course the car retains its original matching number engine, which is detailed to better than new standards. The boot contains the proper jack and original tool set, and included with the sale is the Jaguar Heritage Trust certificate.
The quality to which this car was restored unquestionably shows the level of detail and finesse a Pebble Beach restorer would put into any one of their builds. This car is exquisite in every way and is ready to shown or driven.