1974 Jaguar XKE Roadster

For the 1972 model year, Jaguar shocked the motoring world with a comprehensively redesigned E-Type. Since its debut in 1961, the E-Type had earned iconic status for its sumptuous curves and storming performance from the 265 horsepower inline-six – all at a price that undercut its competitors by at least half. But safety and emissions regulations had slowly been chipping away at the E-Type, leaving it slightly less beautiful and slightly less powerful than before. So with a drastic move, Jaguar gave the E-Type a new identity. It was determined that the iron block/alloy head XK inline six would not readily meet tough new US emissions regulations, so an all new, all alloy 5.3 liter V12 was developed. The new engine was mated to long-legged four-speed manual gearbox (or optional automatic) and fitted to a dramatically redesigned body that was meant to conform to Federal safety laws from the onset, so it would not have to suffer from half-baked measures such as add-on bumpers and such. While still very much an E-Type, the Series III was longer and wider to accommodate a larger cockpit, as well as that massive V12. The fenders had pronounced flares which gave the car a less curvaceous, flatter look, but still remained very attractive. The egg-crate grille, slim chrome bumpers and dramatic quad-tip exhaust are some of its best details. Perhaps the biggest change was noticed from behind the wheel. Distinct, highly boosted power steering and a flat, steady torque curve from the V12 meant it was a much more relaxed experience than the previous six-cylinder cars. That isn’t to say it was slow; 272 horsepower was delivered with sublime smoothness to create a relaxed GT car that was capable of devouring miles with ease. The Series III E-Type may have been an all-new car, but it still very much had the soul of a Jaguar E-Type.

The 1974 E-Type OTS (open two seat, Jaguar parlance for roadster) featured here is finished in attractive Primrose yellow over a biscuit tan interior. It is finished off with a black top, black top boot and a set of desirable chrome wire wheels. Originally equipped with the four-speed manual transmission, this is this most desirable spec for a Series III. It has been treated to a high-quality, professional restoration and presents with gorgeous paint quality and excellent panel fit. The exterior chrome trim is also excellent and very well fitted with mostly new rubbers and gaskets. Lifting the bonnet reveals a clean and very well-detailed V12 engine with correct finishes on the fittings, chassis rails and properly finished suspension components. New radial tires wrap the fresh chrome knock-off wire wheels. The whole car is fresh, honest and very correct.

With the E-Type Series III being a proper driver’s car, the quality of the cabin matters - and this example does not disappoint. The seats have been reupholstered in fresh tan leather with correct perforated inserts, while the door panels, console and carpet have been preserved in excellent original condition. The big Smiths instruments look great and function as they should and it is fitted with the very desirable factory A/C. The boot is upholstered in correct Hardura material, and is fitted with the original jack and tool kit. Fresh and ready for the road, this is a very fine Series III E-type of superlative quality.

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