To anyone even remotely interested in automobiles, the Jaguar XKE (or E-Type if you prefer) hardly needs an introduction. The seminal sixties sports car has been a regular inclusion in various “top cars ever” lists, often occupying hallowed space occupied by cars like the Ford Model T and VW Beetle. But unlike its more pedestrian counterparts, the E-Type is unusual in that it was not a particularly ground-breaking technical marvel, nor did it provide wheels for the masses. Rather, it was the simple fact that the E-Type was staggeringly beautiful that has allowed it to become such a legend. But beyond those looks, Jaguar incorporated technology previously reserved for exotic sports racing cars in a package that was produced on a relatively mass scale, allowing it to cost half that of a comparable competitor.
The E-Type first shocked the world at the 1961 Geneva Motor Show. At a time when a Corvette had a live rear axle, drum brakes and shared its underpinnings with 1950s passenger cars, the E-Type hit the scene with a twin overhead cam inline six, four-wheel independent suspension, semi-monocoque construction, rack and pinion steering, and four-wheel disc brakes; much of which was shared with the LeMans winning D-Type. That technology was wrapped in a svelte and beautiful body designed by Malcolm Sayer, and they managed to incorporate all of that exoticism while keeping the price below $6000. While not exactly cheap, it was well below that of any other car that could hit 150mph while looking so incredibly good! Jaguar continued to improve the car through its long life; with most agreeing that the sweet spot is found with the 4.2 liter Series 1 cars. The 4.2-liter Series 1 cars featured an improved interior with adjustable seats, improved braking via a new vacuum servo, an all-synchro four-speed manual transmission, and additional torque massaged from the 265 horsepower inline six. The Series 1 4.2 liter cars remain the most desirable of the production E-types, and among the best to drive. More than 30,000 examples of the Series 1 were built (in both 3.8 and 4.2 liter form) so they remain plentiful – yet their iconic style and groundbreaking performance make them important enough to feature in some of the most significant collections in the world.
Whether you find the fixed head coupe or the open two-seater the more attractive E-Type is a matter of personal taste, however, it is difficult to deny the purity of form that the fixed head coupe exhibits, particularly in the stunning black on black combination of our featured example. This 1965 Jaguar E-Type is a highly desirable 4.2 liter fixed head coupe that was restored to a high standard by marque experts in 2007. It is a verified numbers-matching example with a Jaguar Heritage Trust certificate confirming its original black on black color combination. The restoration and subsequent show successes are well documented, with the most notable results being a 999.80 score at a JCNA event, and an AACA National First Prize in 2014. Since the restoration was completed, it has seen careful use but remains in beautiful condition with an inviting, attractive nature.
The black paintwork presents in beautiful condition, with exquisitely straight panels and excellent, consistent gaps. The E-type body was famously un-cluttered with heavy trim or detailing, with thin boomerang-like bumpers that complement the curves. The bumpers on this car have been restored to a high standard and at great expense, showing in excellent condition. Chrome wire wheels are shod with fresh blackwall Vredestein radials, an excellent tire which combines modern handling and construction with period-correct tread patterns. Quality presentation continues on the interior, with black leather and carpeting as original presenting in very good condition. The seats do show just few very slight creases from use, which only serve to make this beautiful car more inviting to drive. Interior panels, dash, sill coverings and headlining are correct and in excellent order. Likewise, the original Smiths instruments have been restored to original specification. In the boot, Hardura panels cover the spare tire well which houses an original-type tool roll, jack and bag as well as a dead-blow hammer and non-marring knock-off tool.
The 4.2 liter “XK” inline six is the correct original unit as verified by the Heritage Certificate (#7E4041-9). As one would expect given the past show results, it is presented in beautiful condition with highly polished cam covers, carburetor dashpots and intake manifold. The exhaust manifolds are finished in correct porcelain black and the brake booster, heater box and other accessories are correctly detailed with factory-style labels and markings. The visible front suspension arms and uprights are correctly coated in silver as original, and the body-color chassis legs remain in very good order.
This beautifully presented E-Type Fixed Head Coupe is an outstanding example of the car that has come to define Jaguar to this day. The quality restoration has held up very well since completion, and this lovely car remains very much worthy of show while having matured slightly, making it also a fine choice for grand touring..
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