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1961 Jaguar E-Type
Transcript of 1961 Jaguar E-Type
During March, at the 1961 Geneva Motor Show, Jaguar Cars Ltd released the first of many E-Type Jaguars, a controversial car that would demonstrate an affordable and elegant form of transport to the world.
The Big Day
When Jaguar finally announced that the E-Type Jaguar would be available for purchase at just £2,098 ($3,582 AUD - equivalent today to $65,000), the likes of Ferrari and Aston Martin were in a state of shock. Enzo Ferrari stated that the E-Type was “The most beautiful car ever made.”
Aside from its staggering looks, the E-Type's 3.8-liter, straight-six motor generated 265 horsepower, making it the fasted production car in the world, reaching 150mph, a fact that made the E-Type even more desirable over similar cars from exotic Italian manufacturers.
Production History & Development
The Series 1 E-Type Jaguar was launched in roadster and coupe variants with a 3.8L straight 6 under the bonnet.
Jaguar launched the Series 1 & 1/2, with minor touch-ups to the styling of the coupe and roadster, as well as an introduced 2 + 2 variant, with a longer wheelbase and an additional 2 seats. All three now had a 4.2L straight 6.
The Series 2 Jaguar E-Type was launched and included touch-ups to the body styling, including a differently shaped grill.
The Series 3 E-Type had a new contemporary shaped grill to allow more airflow to the bigger V12, and we saw the discontinuation of the coupe variation.
For some people, the iconic lines of the E-Type may be desirable, however the daunting task of a restoration is not what they had in mind.
The Eagle Speedster, a car redesigned, and restored by a British company, is a spectacular remake of the original E-Type, teaming iconic lines with modern material, science, safety, and performance.
The man behind the iconic curves of the E-Type Jaguar was Malcolm Sayer, an aeronautical engineer turned car designer.
He was one of the first car designers to apply the laws of aerodynamics to his cars, creating a new shape in the automobile industry. He, along with fellow designer Bob Knight, led a team of designers over a five year journey in order to create the E-Type Jaguar we know today.
The Design Team
The Factory & Company Ownership
The original Jaguar, founded by Sir William Lyons, developed from the Swallow Sidecar Company, which was located in Blackpool, England. Swallow eventually moved to Coventry, where Jaguar was produced for several decades.
After WWII, the Jaguar production plant location was moved to Brown's Lane. In recent years, this plant was closed, and production moved to two locations: Castle Bromwich in Birmingham and Halewood in Liverpool.
Jaguar is currently owned by the Indian Tata Motors, after they purchased Jaguar from Ford in 2008.
The E-Type Today
Today, E-Types can be bought second hand almost anywhere in the world, due to their original popularity.
On carsales.com, the cheapest E-Type (Series II, 2+2) available was $33,000, was original and in alright shape. The most expensive E-Type cost $230,000, a car completely restored to perfect original condition. (Series I, Roadster).
The price of E-Types today vary greatly, and depend on the quality of the car.
The E-Type was a popular car among many, including Steve McQueen, an American actor synonymous with high end, performance cars.
The E-Type also starred, rather ridiculously, in the 1999 movie "Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me". The Union Jack laden E-Type was referred to throughout the movie as the "Shaguar".
One of the two cars in the movie has been sold for $110,000 (As of publication)
The cost, however, of this sensational car, is an eye-watering $1,000,000
During the 14 years on the market, more than 70,000 E-Types were sold, making it the first mass-produced sports car in Europe.