1974 Jaguar XKE V-12 Roadster

It is hard to imagine the E-Type could have ever seemed anything but revolutionary. But in the late 1960’s, Jaguar’s svelte beauty was nearly a decade old and starting to feel a bit long in the tooth to sports car buyers. Newer, more modern cars were hitting the market and Jaguar needed a significant refresh to inject some new life into the E-Type. It also needed to meet new safety and emissions standards as well as to keep up with performance gains of its rivals. The changes were significant enough to earn the E-type a new name in the USA: XKE. The XKE was longer, lower, wider and roomier than the E-Type Series 2 it replaced. Body styles were reduced to two choices – a 2+2 coupe and the beautiful open two seat roadster. Basic layout remained the same, with a semi-monocoque body tub, bolt on front sub-frames, front and rear independent suspension and disc brakes on all four corners. The fenders were flared and some of the previous E-Type’s supple curves were flattened out and modernized. But the biggest news was that the twin-cam inline six XK engine was gone, and in its place was a new, all-alloy, single overhead cam V12 displacing 5.3 liters and delivering 242 horsepower. While the V12 wasn’t more powerful than the outgoing six, its most notable characteristic was incredible smoothness and seamless delivery of its 295 ft-lbs of torque. The new V12 engine transformed the E-type from a hairy-chested sports car to svelte, luxurious, high-speed GT. The new car also sported a larger, redesigned cockpit, light-touch power steering and an all-around softer nature. While it was certainly an easier car to drive and more of a long-distance tourer, the twelve-cylinder XKE was still capable of seeing 145 MPH and delivering a thrilling drive along the way. The public responded positively and over 15,000 XKE’s were sold between 1971 and 1974 before the XJS took over the helm as Jaguar’s flagship sporting car. 

This one-owner 1974 XKE OTS roadsteris a fine, well-maintained and lowmileage example that has never been fully restored. It currently shows just 41,867 original miles. This is a solid, honest, no-stories example with well-documented service history and only one owner since new. It has had one professional respray in the original primrose yellow and it presents very well with good chrome and exterior trim.Primrose yellow over black is a particularly attractive color combination on Series III XKE’s, wonderfully suited to the softer curves of the late cars. Panel fit and bodywork are consistent with this being a well cared for automobile that's in good condition yet never fully restored . Correct wire wheels, whitewall tires and a newer black convertible top round out the charmingly good looks. The black cockpit has been reupholstered and is a very fine condition.  It is pleasing, cozy and has just been broken in to a point that makes it a real joy to spend time in. Lifting the huge bonnet reveals the 5.3L V12 that has been lovingly maintained by its sole owner since day one. This example is equipped with the highly desirable 4-speed manual gearbox and for the days when you’d rather have the top up, this example is equipped with factory air conditioning to keep you cool and comfortable. V12 XKE roadsters are attracting attention among serious collectors, and highly correct, one owner examples such as this are a rarity, particularly in such a highly desirable color and specification. Be only the second owner to cherish this XKE and it will surely reward you for years to come.  

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