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History of the Jaguar E-type
The Jaguar E-Type is one of those cars that has somehow entered the British psyche and now seems inextricably bound up with our definition of Britishness. It now sits, rather comfortably, somewhere between the Monarchy and cream tea and in a way it always has, right from its initial launch in 1961.
Its combination high performance, keen pricing, and stunning looks made the Jaguar E-Type an instant worldwide hit for Jaguar Cars Ltd, and it went on to sell more than 70,000 until they were withdrawn fro the production line in 1974.
The Jaguar E-Type was styled largely by Malcolm Sayer, an aerodynamicist new to Jaguar Cars, with some input by Sir William Lyons. Their joint creation still continues to be voted as the most beautiful car in the world – an accolade awarded to it by Enzo Ferrari upon its release.
The Jaguar E-Type was conceived as the antidote to the increasingly hefty XK-series cars. Since 1948 Jaguar had been expanding upon their enormously capable XK-series engine, and the time had come for something new.
The newly unveiled Jaguar E-Type was, however, powered by the old XK-series engine in 3781cc guise. This was paired with four-speed Moss transmission, which lacked overdrive.
The body of the Jaguar E-Type was certainly a break with tradition though, featuring a central steel monocoque chassis a year before it made an appearance in motor sport.