Jaguar is best-known for it’s stunning and high performance cars that are a product of British engineering and iconography. For fans of luxury cars, there’s very little that Jaguar can do wrong, but there is one model that splits people right down the middle and that’s the E-Type.
It has sat atop the most beautiful and ugliest lists for years and it’s also been the subject of many a debate between car fans and those who work in the automotive industry for a long time. With this in mind, we’ve decided to be positive about it and look at some of the highlights of the Jaguar E-Type, but we also might throw in some slights, just for the fun of it.
To start off with, it isn’t really surprising that this model splits opinion, seeing as it’s a classic luxury car and these usually divide people on appearance. Think for example of the Austin Allegro, which MSN news has referred to as a “very bad day” for the designer Alex Issigonis. For others, it’s got a sort of colloquial charm and we’re fans ourselves of this model, but part of that is definitely due to the fact that its designer was also behind the Mini.
Onwards to the E-Type! Jaguar produced this model between 1961 and 1975, so it didn’t have much of a lifespan, but it’s for this reason that it’s a highly sought after and expensive little runaround – if you can find one.
The aesthetics of the E-Type are dynamic to say the least and were based on Jaguar’s own famed racer, the Type D, which had won some of the world’s most prestigious sportscar race three years in a row between 1955 and 1957.
An object of unique quality, the E-Type was among the first in Jaguar’s range to see the racing design of a body tub attached to a tubular framework, with the engine bolted directly to the frame. Say what you like, it’s definitely a work of innovation.
As we said earlier, there aren’t that many of these kicking around, but they do turn up and sometimes in the strangest of places. For example, a 1963 variant of the model was found under a hedge in the village of Bisley in Surrey only this month. Yup, it just turned up under amongst foliage under a tarpaulin where it was found – presumably, the previous owner didn’t realise what a find they had, as the car was later sold at auction for £58,000.
Even if people don’t always appreciate the look of the E-Type, there’s still a certain amount of respect for this classic Jaguar. Back in 2014, a very early 1961 Jaguar E-Type Series 1 Roadster was restored by Classic Motor Cars of Bridgnorth – also known as the world leader in Jaguar restoration.
The particular model was the 34th to leave the production line that year and featured a rare 3.8-litre flat floor engine – it sure was a little bit of history. One thing that might put the ugly/gorgeous debate to rest is that last year the E-Type was chosen as Best British Car Ever in a worldwide voting poll at the Classic & Sportscar section at The London Show.
Bear in mind that it was competing against the likes of the McLaren F1, Mini, Bentley Speed 6 and the Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost, so this really is an impressive feat. If you’re still not convinced, maybe you’ll appreciate that the legendary Jon Voight drove one in the movie The Odessa File – that definitely has to give the Jaguar E-Type some serious credentials.
Of course we’re eager to hear your opinion: do you think that the E-Type is a work of art? Or, perhaps you feel it’s only worth throwing a chair at… give us your thoughts on our Facebook and Twitter pages.
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