Jaguar is building the six ‘missing’ Lightweight E-types.
A classic car, built today from scratch by expert craftsman to the exact specifications of the original design – it has to be the dream for many a collector. But this year it will become a reality as Jaguar is to build the ‘missing’ six Lightweight E-types that never made it into the original run in the early 1960s. The British carmaker had planned 18 Special GT E-type Cars but only 12 were built by the time production came to an end in 1964.
These brand new classic cars represent Jaguar’s first ever ‘re-creation’ project. The all-aluminium cars are to be assigned the six remaining chassis numbers which were originally allocated in 1963 and they will be built to the exact specifications of the original 12 cars, first produced over 50 years ago.
Fans of the E-type, consistently rated the most popular car of all time, can see the finished article when the first new Lightweight E-type makes its public debut later this summer.
“The new cars will be hand-built in-house by Jaguar’s finest craftsmen,” the carmaker said. “Each car will be constructed to the exact specifications of their original 1960s forebears – including the 3.8-litre straight-six engine.”
What makes the Special GT E-type so different? Mainly, as the Lightweight moniker implies, it carries a lot less weight than the standard model – approximately 114kg (250lb) less thanks to its all-aluminium body and engine block.
It’s also stripped back for racing – there is no interior trim or exterior chrome work. There is a host of further weight-saving features including lightweight, hand-operated side windows. Although it never won at Le Mans or Sebring, the Lightweight was driven to victory at the 1963 Australian GT Championship.
Jaguar says it expects a high demand for the six Lightweight E-types. But don’t expect just any old classic car enthusiast to bag one, as it says “established” Jaguar collectors, especially those with historic race car interests, will be “prioritised”. With only six cars being rolled out, that doesn’t leave much room for anyone else.
Meanwhile, some other famous Jaguar classics are lining up for the 1,000 mile Mille Miglia endurance event in Italy this week.
Among them is the well-known ex-Juan Manuel Fangio Jaguar C-type, which won in the Series C race for sports racing cars raced from 1952 to 1955 at the Grand Prix de Monaco Historique on Sunday (May 11th) before being packed up and transported to Brescia for the start of the Mille Miglia tomorrow (May 15th).
Always a draw for celebrity classic car fans, the famous endurance event will feature lots more Jaguars. American talk show host Jay Leno will share the famous ex-Sir James Scott-Douglas Ecurie Ecosse 1951 Jaguar XK 120 Roadster with Jaguar’s design director, Ian Callum.
There will be another C-type driven by AC/DC lead singer Brian Johnson. Meanwhile motor racing stars Martin Brundle and Bruno Senna will share the famous ‘Long Nose’ Jaguar D-type as the model celebrates its 60th anniversary in 2014.
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