1973 Jaguar XKE Roadster

In the middle of the 1960s, Jaguar engineers were busy trying to keep pace with continually evolving safety and emissions regulations. Increasingly strict standards, particularly in the critical American market, saw the power and purity of the original E-Type gradually compromised. Jaguar knew the E-Type could not continue in its original form forever, and a comprehensive overhaul would be needed to see the car into the next decade. Meanwhile, Jaguar acquired the local engine building firm Coventry Climax, and in the deal came former Jag man Walter “Wally” Hassan, who convinced his good mate and fellow engineer Harry Mundy to join him. Mundy worked on the design and development of such legendary engines as the BRM V16 and Coventry Climax FW. Hassan, began his long and storied career as an apprentice at Bentley, later working for E.R.A., then on to Jaguar where he helped develop the legendary XK inline-six. He worked with Harry Mundy at Climax on the incredibly versatile, world championship-winning FW (featherweight) engines. With Mundy and Hassan on board, Jaguar was in good hands.

The first significant product of Mundy and Hassan’s collaboration was a 5.3 liter, all-aluminum, single overhead cam V12. This engine was initially intended for use in the new XJ flagship saloon that was set to replace the aging MkII/S-Type. Before it powered the XJ12, however, Jaguar adopted the new engine for use in a heavily revised E-Type. The new car was completely reworked for the 1970s, now available as only a 2+2 or roadster, with both version sharing the same lengthened, widened tub. The basic E-Type architecture remained the same, with independent suspension all around, four-wheel disc brakes, rack and pinion steering, and torsion bars up front. Flared fenders accommodate the wider track, which led to an overall flatter, lower appearance. Distinctly different, yet still instantly recognizable as an E-Type, the Series III was a drastic change from the original 3.8 series 1, although the updates gave the car a new lease on life. With the sublime V12 engine up front, the E-Type was transformed from a lairy sports car into a user-friendly, comfortable high-speed tourer, capable of crushing continental journeys in comfort and style.

This 1973 Jaguar E-Type V12 is a fabulous example of the popular roadster, officially known as the Open Two Seater in Jaguar parlance. Presented in the classic combination of British Racing Green over a biscuit tan interior, and equipped with desirable options including A/C and a four-speed gearbox. According to the Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust certificate, this is an original US-market car, completed in November 1972 that retains its numbers-matching engine. The British Racing Green finish is beautiful, with only some light scratches and minor imperfections visible on close inspection. Chrome bumpers and body fittings in similarly fine condition, appearing bright and crisp. The exquisite chrome knock-off wire wheels appear like-new, fitted with high quality Michelin Radial X tires for both a period correct appearance and the ideal ride and handling characteristics.

Biscuit tan upholstery provides a pleasing complement to the green paintwork. Correct-type materials are used throughout the cabin, from the sills and door panels to the Hardura lining in the boot. The seats benefit from recent freshening with new foams, and the leather is both supple and exceptionally clean. The condition of the dash is excellent, with clean original Smiths instrumentation, factory correct switchgear, and the OE-style under-dash A/C unit. The tan canvas top is in very good order and functions properly.

While Jaguar’s 5.3 liter V12 may lack the visual impact of the XK’s polished alloy cam covers and carbs, it is no less impressive regarding its output, which it delivers with unparalleled refinement. Fed by a quartet of Stromberg carburetors, the twelve offers its power in a seamless, linear fashion that suits the high-speed touring character of the Series III. Power steering and power four-wheel disc brakes make it easy to settle in for a long journey. This car benefits from recent maintenance and care, with records showing a fluid service (including differential and gearbox) in 2018. Also, this car features a RetroAir air conditioning upgrade, which utilizes a modern compressor, condenser and other components in combination with the factory parts for a seamless upgrade to a high-efficiency, easily serviced R134 system.

Finished in iconic colors and with a host of desirable features, this gorgeous E-Type is ready to reward its new owner for years to come.

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