1962 Jaguar XKE Roadster

When the revolutionary XK series reached the end of its development, Jaguar engineers, led by company founder Sir William Lyons, relied again on the proven template of combining exotic looks and race-proven technology offered at a surprisingly affordable price. Lyons and his chief designer Malcolm Sayer worked together on the new design, drawing inspiration from the Le Mans-winning D-Type’s semi-monocoque tub with bolt-on front sub-frames supporting the engine and independent front suspension. The new E-Type also featured a version of the ingenious modular independent rear suspension and 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.

Co-designer Malcolm Sayer had little interest in pure aesthetics; instead, he was far more concerned with how aerodynamics influenced his designs. The E-Type followed the natural progression forged by the D-Type racing car, namely in its evocative curves and a purposeful, aggressive stance. Upon debut at the 1961 Geneva Auto Salon, it was met with near-universal acclaim, and legend has it that even Enzo Ferrari declared it the most beautiful car in the world. Today, the E-Type is still regarded as one of the most significant pieces of industrial design of the twentieth century, regularly topping lists charting the “most beautiful car ever.” E-Types are in many of the world’s finest collections, yet they remain accessible to the average enthusiast, thanks to relatively large production numbers. Many consider the E-Type a cornerstone of the collector car hobby, with iconic beauty and 150-mph performance combining to give it near-universal appeal.

This 1962 Open Two-Seat roadster is a desirable early 3.8-liter car, presented in excellent condition and with a sharp livery. It is an attractive and nicely sorted example, with a well-maintained and detailed older restoration. The Jaguar Daimler Heritage certificate shows this is a US specification car, delivered to its first owner through BMC Distributors in Portland, Oregon in the spring of 1962. This E-Type is among the last of the early “flat floor” cars before a recessed footwell was added. Originally cream over red, the current black over red livery suits it very well, indeed. The restoration has mellowed lightly, and it remains quite attractive, with glossy paintwork and thoughtful details including genuine Lucas headlamps, chrome knock-off wire wheels, and period-style Avon radial tires. The owners enjoyed this car on the road since the restoration, resulting in some minor touchups and imperfections. Despite these minimal blemishes, the car is very attractive overall and will no doubt turn heads out on the open road.

The beautiful red leather interior is true to original specification per the Heritage Certificate. It features the correct fixed-back seats unique to 3.8-liter models, as well as the embossed aluminum alloy inserts in the center console and instrument panel. It appears very well restored, using high-quality English leather, Wilton wool carpets, and factory-correct vinyl on the dash, sills, and parcel shelf. The seats are excellent, showing minimal creasing in the leather, and only the slightest bit of scuffing on the outer bolsters from ingress/egress. Switches, instruments, and controls are correct, including the early-style shift knob and the lovely wood-rimmed three-spoke steering wheel. The black Haartz canvas soft top fits well and is good order, as is the restored top frame and matching black canvas boot cover. The trunk features proper biscuit-colored Hardura trim and houses an original jack bag and tool kit.

Beneath the clamshell bonnet sits a period-correct 3.8-liter inline-six, detailed with its signature polished cam covers, gold cylinder head, and alloy carburetor bodies. The engine compartment is very tidy and clean, looking well-maintained since the restoration. Suspension arms and chassis components are also nicely restored, and the car is updated with Koni dampers front and rear to tighten up the handling.

Collector owned and well-maintained, this 3.8 OTS is a superb example for any enthusiast desiring a lovely open-topped E-Type for use on rallies and driving events. The lightly matured restoration balances attractive cosmetics with a charming, road-ready character that encourages many miles of wind-in-the-hair motoring.

Please note this car is titled as a 1963 model. 


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