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Top ten: The world's fastest cars

3: Jaguar E-type

Jaguar hit the big time with the E-type, and whatever the circumstance behind 'that' road test, 150mph was an impressive achievement in 1961.

Jaguar E-type

Jaguar E-type

1961 – 150mph

There probably is nothing hippie about the classy, impossibly elegant Jaguar E-type, which dominated the automotive scene in the ‘60s. Yet the car epitomised freedom and happiness, with its uncanny ability to attract the attention of members of the gentler sex and achieve breath-taking speeds, especially with the 4.2 XK engine which was slotted in (1964) after the original 3.8 straight-six (1961).

The car was as cumbersome to stop as it was lithe to look at, despite the unusual (for the time) disc brakes, and possibly because it was driven as indulgently as the spirit with which it was owned: it must be one of the few automobiles bought on the strength of its looks and road performance rather than on the success of its competition wins (of which there were many).

Powered by the 3.8 engine, the E-type recorded speeds up to 150mph, which is not as fast as the Ferrari Testarossa though the figures are probably more accurate and closer to the true speed than the Italian’s. 

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