Mention Jaguar’s legendary E-Type and most enthusiasts will remark at its unmistakable beauty – and usually include the story of Enzo Ferrari declaring it the most beautiful car he ever saw. But the E-Type was so much more than just a pretty face when it first shocked audiences at the 1961 Geneva Salon. Jaguar delivered a car that was not only stunningly beautiful to look at, but offered 150mph performance and a highly sophisticated chassis yet it cost nearly half that of its competitors. Experience that was gained from the world-beating D-Type program was 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, robust monocoque chassis. With the D-Type as a starting point, the E-Type sported a similar style 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, mounted to a modular subframe that carried the wishbones, hubs, diff, coil-over shocks and inboard disc brakes all in one unit. 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 fine examples can be found in virtually every significant collection as well as in the hands of passionate enthusiasts.
This lovely 1966 example is in arguably the most desirable spec for an E-Type: Series 1, Open Two Seat body, and 4.2 liters of XK twin-cam six-cylinder power. It is presented in the iconic color combination of Carmen Red over Biscuit hides and a black soft top. The included Heritage Certificate shows this car retains its original engine, and it wears a lovely and properly detailed restoration that was done within the last ten years or so. Panel fit on the semi-monocoque body is very good, particularly considering the difficulty in restoring and aligning these bodies properly. Since the restoration was completed, the car has seen regular but careful use, and Carmen Red paint work remains excellent. Chrome plating on the bumpers and exterior trim is also excellent and the chrome knock-off wire wheels are wrapped in excellent, high-performance Avon radials.
Biscuit upholstery presents in very good order throughout the cockpit. Correct pattern leather covers the seats, which show only light signs of use and minor creasing but remain very attractive. Proper materials are used on the door panels, dash, console and carpets. A very nice soft top is trimmed in black Stayfast canvas and features a matching boot cover. Correct hardura material lines the boot and the convertible top well, while interior fittings, switchgear and instruments remain in fine working order.
Lifting the forward-hinged clamshell bonnet reveals a very clean and well detailed 4.2 liter XK twin-cam six-cylinder engine. The engine is the original, numbers matching unit with the original cylinder head still in place, as verified by the Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust Certificate. Cam covers, intake and carburetors have been beautifully polished and the fittings and finishes are correct down to the porcelain black exhaust manifolds. It shows light use, but remains very clean and tidy overall. The chassis and front suspension are all visible through the open bonnet, again revealing correctly plated and finished components and an overall clean and well-detailed appearance. As a factory 4.2, it benefits from improved power brakes and the fully-synchronized four-speed manual gearbox and performance is excellent, with huge torque from the big six and finely honed handling.
This is a very fine and well-restored E-Type that is ideally suited to regular use and casual show. It is a car we have had the pleasure to offer in the past, and it has remained in lovely order since we last saw it. It has benefited from regular care and upkeep on top of the high-quality and correct restoration. The beautiful looks, magnificent road manners and lovely presentation make this a truly outstanding and thoroughly enjoyable example of Jaguar’s most iconic car.