Jaguar Series 3 E-Type Roadster

The introduction of the Jaguar E-Type at the Geneva Motor Show in March 1961 was an even bigger surprise than the XK120 back in October 1948. There were 12 years of racing success between the two events, and Jaguar’s C- and D-Type racers owned Le Mans in the mid-1950s and were a threat everywhere else they competed.

But by the late 1950s, Jaguar’s road-going offerings were rather staid. The lithe XK120 grew up into the XK140 and eventually spread out to become the middle-aged XK150. The XKSS was a violent, streetwise D-Type, but the fire at the works laid rest to that project after only 16 cars were built. 

So Sir William Lyons looked back to his roots, and the new E-Type was as barebones as the first 2-seater SS’s of the 1930s. It was an instant icon: simple, beautiful and aerodynamically slippery, with 150 mph on tap in coupe form. And it cost only $5,695.

The E-Type was first built with a 3.8-liter DOHC six-cylinder engine and three SU HD8 carburetors producing 265 horsepower. A 4.2-liter engine bowed in 1964 along with a fully synchronized gearbox. Federal emissions robbed Series II cars of power from 1968, so in 1971, the Series III E-Type appeared, powered by a 5.3-liter V12 engine. This maintained the car’s legendary performance while meeting emissions regulations.

This car was auctioned off by RM Auctions in August of 2010 at Monterey, California, as well in Aalholm in August 12, 2012.

250 bhp, 5,343 cc SONC V12 engine, four Zenith-Stromberg carburetors, four-speed manual gearbox, independent front suspension via upper and lower A-arms, coil springs, and anti-roll bar, independent rear suspension with lower wishbones, trailing lower radius arms, coil springs and anti-roll bar, and four-wheel power-assisted disc brakes. Wheelbase: 105"

Source: RM Auctions

Gallery: Jaguar Series 3 E-Type Roadster