1962 Jaguar XKE Roadster

Jaguar’s replacement for the aging XK150 debuted to stunned audiences at the 1961 Geneva Auto Salon. Like the XK120 of 1948, Sir William Lyons again relied on his proven strategy of balancing affordability with exotic looks and race-proven technology. He and his chief aerodynamicist Malcolm Sayer worked together to design the new car using lessons learned with the revolutionary, multi-time Le Mans-winning D-Type. The new E-Type mimicked the D-Type with its semi-monocoque tub utilizing bolt-on front subframes to support the engine and independent front suspension. The car also featured the ingenious modular independent rear suspension with inboard brakes pioneered on the Mk10 saloon. The E-Type’s impressive spec sheet included four-wheel disc brakes, torsion bar front suspension, and a 3.8 liter version of the proven XK twin-cam inline six pumping out a startling 265 horsepower that could push the XKE to nearly 150 mph – the kind of performance expected from a car costing twice as much.

While the E-Type could been a hit based solely on its impressive mechanical spec, it was the gorgeous body that stole the headlines. Available as a Coupe or Open Two Seater (Jaguar parlance for a roadster), the curvaceous E-Type was a smashing success from day one. It is said that co-designer Malcolm Sayer had little interest in designing a car based purely on aesthetics; instead, he was far more interested in applying his aerodynamics experience from the D-Type toward a design that allowed the form to follow function. Ironically, the E-Type turned out to be somewhat aerodynamically inefficient, yet is among the most important aesthetic designs of the 20th century. Thankfully, Jaguar gave it the performance to back up the looks and a well-driven E-type could easily hang with a contemporary Ferrari or Aston Martin, yet it cost a fraction of the price of those exotic machines.

This stunning 1962 Jaguar E-Type “Flat Floor” OTS is one of the finest examples we’ve had the pleasure to offer. A highly desirable early production car, it was first dispatched from Coventry on November 22nd 1961, bound for Jaguar North America. The car was titled as a 1962 upon its sale to its first owner, listed on the Heritage Certificate as J.L. Rein of Santa Monica, California. Beginning in 2002, it was treated to a full, concours-quality restoration by the Jaguar specialists at Classic Showcase of Oceanside, California. Exquisitely presented in stunning colors and specification, this strikingly beautiful car has scored numerous 99 and 100-point finishes in JCNA concours competition, won Best in Show at the 2016 International Jaguar Festival, scored a class win at the 2015 Arizona Concours, was shown at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in 2015 and won its class at the 2016 Streets of Carmel show.

As expected of a world-class restoration, the body is impeccably prepared, straight, and correctly aligned. As this is a late 1961 production model, it is fitted with the correct inside bonnet locks in combination with the early-style weld-in louvers. The color is resplendent, and the quality of the paintwork is truly outstanding. Under bonnet and underbody surfaces are equally impressive, with the finish work done to better-than-new standards. Chrome bumpers and body fittings are excellent and the car rides on a set of sparkling chrome wire wheels with correct knockoffs and period correct Dunlop SP radial tires. No detail has been left untouched and the presentation is gorgeous.

The 3.8 liter XK engine is of course correctly finished to the minutest detail. The matching-numbers engine is topped with the original cylinder head. This is one of the last cars to feature the pumpkin orange-paint on the head, which was only used on engines built prior to November of 1961. Every aspect of the engine bay has been scrutinized and found to be absolutely correct according to JCNA standards. Showing only 400 miles since the restoration was completed, it remains in impeccable cosmetic and mechanical order.

The same level of care has been applied to the interior, which is beautifully restored in tan leather, carpet, and Hardura. The quality is stunning, and with limited mileage since being completed, it remains in beautifully fresh condition. Details include an original radio blank plate, correct early-style shift knob and the signature alloy instrument panel and console inserts. The Fawn soft top is taut and in excellent order, and is covered by a matching fawn canvas top boot when covered. Additional items include a correct original tool kit and jack, hinged front plate bracket, hammer, owner’s manual, maintenance chart and even the original California black plates.

Since the restoration was completed, this car has been part of a significant collection of Jaguar sports cars, where it has been methodically maintained and brought to the highest level of detail. It remains in truly outstanding mechanical and cosmetic condition, and is ready for enjoyment on the road or on the lawns of the world’s finest concours events.

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