Jaguar Series 3 E-Type

Jaguar built its first V12 car engine in 1964. It was a complex and sophisticated four-cam unit specifically designed with racing in mind. After years of testing and development, the company introduced its first production V12 to the market in 1971. Although Ferrari was building V12 engines, the heyday of the 12-cylinder was back in the 1930s, when American luxury car manufacturers such as Cadillac, Lincoln, Packard and Pierce-Arrow and British cars like Daimler and Lagonda used them to great effect. Power, refinement and prestige were all virtues of the 12-cylinder configuration – exactly what Jaguar was aiming for. The new V12 would be the first mass-produced V12 to come to market in over 20 years.

The production engine, however, would not fit into the two-seat E-Type coupe, so the new motor would be offered in roadster and 2+2 configurations. Both cars would share the longer 105-inch wheelbase chassis of the former 2+2 body first introduced in 1966. Jaguar would also widen the front track by 4.5 inches and just under 3 inches at the rear to accommodate the bigger and more powerful motor.

1972 marked two important milestones in Jaguar history: the marque’s Golden Anniversary and the retirement of Sir William Lyons as Chairman and Managing Director. That year, Browns Lane built a total of 3,705 E-Types, including 1,994 coupes. Jaguar would discontinue the coupe after the 1973 model year.

This car was auctioned off by RM Auctions in August of 2010 at the Portola Hotel & Spa and Monterey Conference Center, Monterey, California.

250 hp, 5,343 cc (326 cu. in.) 60-degree OHC V12, four-speed all-synchromesh transmission, independent front suspension with semi-trailing wishbones, torsion bars, telescopic shock absorbers, anti-roll bar, independent rear suspension with lower transverse tubular links, radius rods, universally jointed half-shafts, twin coil springs and telescopic shock absorbers, Girling four-wheel disc brakes. Wheelbase: 105".

Source: RM Auctions
Photo Credit: Copyright Darin Schnabel

Jaguar Series 3 E-Type