Jaguar stunned audiences at the 1961 Geneva Auto Salon with the introduction of their long-awaited replacement for the XK150 sports car. Like the XK120 of 1948, Jaguar boss Sir William Lyons again employed a strategy of packaging exotic looks and race-proven technology at a surprisingly affordable price point. He and his chief aerodynamicist Malcolm Sayer worked together on the new E-Type’s design 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 twin-cam inline-six pumping out 265 horsepower. With a top speed of nearly 150 mph, the E-Type could easily hang cars costing twice as much.
While the E-Type could have 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 aerodynamically inefficient, yet it is considered one of the greatest aesthetic designs of the late 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. It was originally delivered in the highly attractive colors of Opalescent Bronze over a beige interior and Fawn hood. 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 period-correct colors and specification, this strikingly beautiful car earned multiple 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, won its class at the 2015 Streets of Carmel show, and participated in the Pebble Beach Tour.
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 block 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, and this car was completed later in the month. Every aspect of the engine bay has been scrutinized and found to be absolutely correct according to JCNA standards. With low miles since its world-class restoration, it remains in impeccable cosmetic and mechanical order.
The same level of care has been applied to the interior, which is beautifully restored with gorgeous cinnamon leather, matching Wilton carpet, and correct Hardura vinyl. The quality is stunning, and the limited mileage and attentive care since the restoration keep the cockpit 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-colored soft top is taut and in excellent order, and features a matching canvas top boot. 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.
Following the restoration, this car joined a significant collection of Jaguar sports cars, where it was 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 most prestigious concours events.
Offers welcome and trades considered