Jaguar Series 3 E-Type Roadster
When launched in 1961, the appeal of E-Type transcended the automotive world. So highly regarded were its' inherent rightness of proportion, stance, and purity of line, it was installed as an exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. It remains in their permanent collection to this day.
The iconic E-Type set new standards in automotive design and performance when it was introduced in 1961. Its' influence is still apparent in Jaguar’s modern range: cars that offer a peerless blend of performance, comfort, cutting-edge technology and award-winning design.
E-Type owners included celebrities such as Steve McQueen, Brigitte Bardot, and Tony Curtis. This sports car became as synonymous with the Swinging Sixties as the Beatles and the mini skirt.
“It is impossible to overstate the impact the E-Type had when it was unveiled in 1961,” said Ian Callum, Jaguar Design Director. “Here was a car that encapsulated the spirit of the revolutionary era it came to symbolize. The E-Type is a design that even today continues to inform the work we do in styling the Jaguars of the future.”
The E-type’s straight-six engine had powered Jaguar to five Le Mans victories in the 1950s and by 1961 in 3.8-litre form produced 265bhp and 260lb ft of torque, making the car a genuine 150mph proposition and, like its XK120 predecessor, the fastest production car in the world.
At launch the E-Type cost $5595 for the Roadster or "OTS" (Open two-seater) and $5895 for the Coupe or "FHC" (Fixed head coupe) this included standard wire wheels. Adjusted for inflation in 2011 dollars, the E-type would cost about $41,000 for the roadster and $43,000 for the coupe.
The E-Type’s perfectly proportioned bodywork was the work of Malcolm Sayer, an aeronautical engineer by training who also applied his aerodynamic expertise in shaping the earlier Le Mans-winning C and D-Type racers.
The E-type remained in production for 14 years, selling more than 70,000 units, making it Europe’s first mass-produced sports car.
Par of the RM Auctions event in Monterey in August 2009; Monterey in October of 2010; London in June, 2011; London in March, 2012; Michigan in July, 2012; Arizona in January, 2013
Source: Jaguar press and RM Auctions
Photo Credit: Copyright Jason Collin; Dan Savinelli