The most beautiful car in the world: This sentiment has been repeated over and over again when describing Jaguar’s legendary E-Type. But the E-Type was so much more than just a pretty face when it first shocked audiences at the 1961 Geneva Salon. Here was a car that was not only stunningly beautiful to look at, but offered 150mph performance and a sophisticated chassis all in a package that cost half that of its competitors. A tremendous amount of experience that was gained from the D-Type program was then filtered into the design of the E-Type. The innovative and advanced D-Type had won LeMans three times on the fly, thanks to its advanced aerodynamics, powerful disc brakes and the lightweight and robust monocoque chassis. With the D-Type as a starting point, the E-Type sported a similar semi-monocoque chassis that used a sheet steel tub for the passenger compartment, paired with tubular steel subframes which supported engine and independent front suspension. The rear suspension was also independent, and was mounted to a modular subframe that carried the wishbones, hubs, diff and inboard disc brakes. Those brakes were the same Dunlop four-wheel discs that had proven their worth in punishing conditions at LeMans. The XK six-cylinder engine (in 3.8l and later 4.2l form) was tuned to deliver 265 horsepower. All of this technology was wrapped in a gorgeous body penned by Jaguar’s aerodynamicist Malcolm Sayer and tweaked by Sir William Lyons himself. Jaguar had created a legend virtually overnight and the E-Type remains a cornerstone of the collector car world, where examples can be found in virtually every significant collection as well as in the hands of passionate enthusiasts.
This 1965 E-Type 4.2 liter fixed head coupe is a stunning example finished in striking black over red leather, and riding on chrome wire wheels and blackwall tires. It was fully restored in the 1990s to a very high standard, with gorgeous paint work, excellent chrome, and high quality finishing. The color combination, while not factory original for this car, looks absolutely gorgeous on the iconic E-Type coupe shape. Bodywork is laser straight and the paint is simply exquisite. The chrome on the bumpers, window trims, and wheels is in outstanding order and the overall finishing has been done to a high standard of quality. While the cosmetics are certainly striking, there has been equal emphasis put on the mechanical quality as well.
Beneath the signature, forward hinged bonnet rests a beautifully detailed; number’s matching 4.2 liter inline six. The alloy cam covers, intake manifold and S.U. carburetor dashpots have been fully polished and simply sparkle against the black body. Hoses, fittings, and hardware are all in excellent order and the engine is spotlessly clean. The exposed front suspension components are similarly well detailed with correct finishes. Among all road-going E-types, the 4.2 liter is the most desirable thanks to its broad torque curve, improved braking servo, more comfortable cabin and all-synchro manual 4-speed gearbox.
The fresh red leather interior features the correct, adjustable-back seats that differentiate the 4.2 from the 3.8 with its fixed back chairs. Leather covers the seats and center console, while wool carpets and vinyl interior paneling are all trimmed in the correct style and materials. Some subtle enhancements have been made for driver comfort, such as a smaller diameter steering wheel and a subtly upgraded Retro Radio audio system. Thanks to the large side-hinged hatch, there is plenty of luggage space for a weekend getaway.
Recent receipts show over $17,000 for a mechanical freshening and a new, professionally trimmed interior. The E-Type 4.2 is a slightly more tractable car than the hard-edged 3.8, and collectors tend to gravitate toward these later Series 1 examples. These cars are an absolute delight to drive and can easily potter around town on a wave of torque, or be taken on a high-speed tour thanks to the healthy 265 horsepower ‘six. With all that power, torque and passenger comfort, the E-Type truly is one of the greatest GT cars of all time; and that’s before we even get to those iconic looks.
Feb 7, 2018