Jaguar Classic, the in-house heritage, restoration and special projects division of Jaguar, will produce an extremely limited run of E-Type coupes and roadsters to mark the 60th Anniversary next year of the original E-Type’s introduction.
Unlike the Lightweight E-Type continuation models from 2014, the cars will not be scratch built, but will instead be based on original 1960s-era cars, fully restored and refinished to reflect the style and appearance of two cars that Jaguar introduced at the 1961 Geneva Motor Show.
Following a similar approach by Aston Martin for their V12 Zagato speedster and coupe that were sold as a ‘set’, the “E-Type 60 Collection” will only be offered as a matching pair of coupe and roadster - they cannot be purchased separately. Only six pairs will be produced, for twelve units in total.
“The E-Type 60 Collection is a lasting tribute for E-type admirers, honouring the car’s legacy and the achievements of the team that created it – many of whom have descendants working for Jaguar Classic today, expertly restoring, maintaining and future-proofing enjoyment for generations to come,” said Dan Pink, Director of Jaguar Classic.
The Geneva Rush
While a replacement for the XK Series had been planned by Jaguar as far back as 1957, it wasn’t until 1961 that the E-Type was officially unveiled and Jaguar chose that year’s Geneva Motor Show for the new model’s debut.
On the eve of the launch, Jaguar’s public relations manager, Bob Berry, drove a 3.8-litre Fixed Head Coupe E-Type from the Coventry factory to Geneva. Needing to have the car on site at the Swiss city’s Parc des Eaux Vives for a VIP test drive event, Berry reportedly drove flat out overnight to make the event.
That car, finished in opalescent Gunmetal Grey and carrying the UK registration ‘9600 HP,’ proved so popular that Jaguar instructed their development engineer and chief test driver, Norman Dewis, to drop everything and take a second E-Type to Geneva to meet the demand for demonstration drives.
That second car, a 3.8 roadster in British Racing Green and bearing the registration ’77 RW,’ was also driven overnight from Coventry to Geneva.
As the first two E-Types presented to the public and media, 9600 HP and 77 RW were the ideal vehicles to pay tribute to for the model’s 60th Anniversary.
“The Jaguar E-type is a genuine icon, as sensational today as the moment it was unveiled in 1961. It’s testament to the E-Type’s advanced design and engineering that it can still be enjoyed and admired as passionately almost 60 years on,” Pink added.
Flat Out and Drop Everything
Jaguar Classic have reportedly acquired all twelve cars for the E-Type 60 Edition programme, with the refurbishment and restoration to be completed at the Jaguar Classic Works facilities in time for the March, 2021, anniversary.
Each car has been described as a “1960s 3.8-litre E-Type”. Presumably, that means models originally built between 1961 and 1964, which carried the 3.8 straight six and four-speed manual transmission as standard and preceded the introduction of the 4.2-litre engine S1 update in ‘64. Other mechanical componentry is expected to be authentic to E-Types from the first years of production, but some modern safety upgrades will likely be incorporated into each vehicle.
In tribute to those Geneva debutantes, each E-Type 3.8 FHC will be finished in a ‘Flat Out Grey’ paint, with the E-Type 3.8 Roadsters to be painted in ‘Drop Everything Green’. Both paints, inspired by the stories behind each car’s dash to Geneva in 1961, have been specially formulated by Jaguar Classic and will be exclusive to the E-Type 60 Edition.
Interiors are expected to be largely authentic to the original E-Type, but each pair of cars will feature a number of 60th Anniversary design details, created in conjunction with Jaguar Design Director, Julian Thomson.
Jaguar Classic have not revealed pricing for each E-Type 60 Edition pairing of coupe and roadster, but with a 3.8 E-Type restored under the company’s Reborn programme costing around £315,000 (AU$650,000 approx.), pricing for each set is likely to be around the AU$1.5 million mark.
While unconfirmed by Jaguar Classic at time of writing, the full complement of cars for the E-Type 60 Edition have most likely already been sold. What has been confirmed by Jaguar Classic is that the E-Type 60 Edition will not be expanded beyond twelve cars.