By 1960, Jaguar’s XK-150 sports car was beginning to show its age, and Jaguar was gearing up to make a big splash with its replacement. The XK series traced its roots back to 1948 with the XK-120, and the time had come for a radical new car that would recapture the magic that Jaguar’s reputation was founded upon. Company boss Sir William Lyons relied again on his proven strategy of affordability combined with exotic looks and race-proven technology. Lyons and his chief aerodynamicist Malcolm Sayer drew their inspiration from the Le Mans-winning D-Type, following a similar formula by utilizing a semi-monocoque tub and ingenious bolt-on front subframes to support the engine and independent front suspension. The new “E-Type” was Jaguar’s first road-going sports car to be fitted with the modular independent rear suspension with inboard brakes, pioneered on the Mk10 saloon. The E-type also boasted such exotic tech as four-wheel disc brakes, torsion bar front suspension, and a 3.8-liter version of the XK’s twin-cam inline six pumping out an impressive 265 horsepower; numbers one would expect from a car costing twice as much. The all-new E-Type first appeared to a stunned audience at the 1961 Geneva Auto Salon, earning praise from the press, public and fellow automakers alike.
Beautiful and curvaceous yet with sporty aggression, the E-Type was a smashing success from day one. Co-designer Sayer was fascinated with aerodynamics and applied his experience with the D-Type toward the new project. While not particularly aerodynamic, the E-Type was stunningly beautiful would soon become one of the most celebrated 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. Well over 50 years since its introduction, the Jaguar remains a motoring icon, and no collection is complete without an example of one of the most beautiful sports cars ever produced.
This 1965 E-Type is a desirable Series 1 4.2 liter OTS roadster, recently treated to a comprehensive, nut-and-bolt, rotisserie restoration and refinished in a handsome combination of cream over red leather. According to the Heritage Certificate, this E-Type was completed on April 13, 1965, and dispatched to Jaguar of Eastern Canada ten days later. The first owner is not recorded, but it is known that second owner purchased this car in 1968, and lovingly cared for the car for the next 42 years. He sold the car to the most recent owner in 2010, who commissioned a high-quality restoration with Abacus Racing of Virginia Beach, Virginia.
Photos reveal the car was very sound, complete and original and an excellent basis for restoration. Following disassembly and media blasting down to bare metal, the body was prepped and resprayed in a lovely shade of cream, which was a factory offered color in 1965. Finish quality is excellent, and the paintwork is well maintained. Body fit is very good, with precise fitment of the doors and boot lid. Chrome bumpers and body fittings are excellent, and the car rides on attractive chrome wire wheels and new Vredestein black wall radial tires for a fresh and crisp appearance.
Following the body restoration, a new interior was fitted in the factory original red color. In the process, the seats were stripped, frames repainted, and restored with new webbing and foam. New Wilton wool carpets and underlayment was fitted, and the dash stripped and recovered in authentic German vinyl, with correct-type Rexine used on the instrument panel face. Proper textured materials are used on the sills and kickpanels, while the door cards and center console retrimmed in red leather to match the seats. Concurrently, the top frame was repainted and fitted with a new top in tan Everflex. Since the work was completed in 2013, the cockpit remains in excellent condition, with taut yet supple leather and virtually no signs of creasing in the seats.
Along with the extensive cosmetic work, the restoration included a comprehensive rebuild of all the mechanical systems. Receipts show the original 4.2-liter engine was completely stripped down and rebuilt beginning in 2011. Records also indicate the crank was crack-tested and reground, and new forged Venolia 8:1 compression pistons fitted along with stronger Series III connecting rod hardware. The matching-numbers head was rebuilt, and the engine cosmetics restored with new chrome hardware and beautifully polished cam covers, intake, and carburetors. The gearbox and rear differential were stripped, overhauled and resealed as needed, and the suspension completely rebuilt with new bushings, dampers, and hardware. The underside of the body is fully painted, and presents in clean and tidy condition, with a new, high-quality Bell exhaust system in stainless steel.
The sale includes an original owner’s manual, jack and a large binder of receipts and photographs. Beautifully maintained, and prime for events and touring, this is an excellent opportunity to acquire a highly desirable 4.2-liter Series 1 E-Type. With its outstanding restoration and performance, this iconic Jaguar is sure to reward its next owner with many miles of pleasurable motoring.