✨ “Take it easy driving – the life you save may be mine.”
― James Dean


Saturday, 10 May 2014

1969 Jaguar E-Type 4.2 Series II Coupe

This particular model is Olde English White with Black leather interior, wooden steering wheel and Chrome Wires. This car was found in good nick with its tool-kit, jack, lead hammer and tool for knock-ons.

There has been a huge upswing in the classic and vintage car market recently - prices have sky-rocketed and available stock is becoming more and more scarce. I would imagine a great factor is the fact that a lot of our stock is grabbed up by overseas collectors due to the fact of our vehicles being largely rust free and as the rand weakened and greater prices were realised overseas, many of our cars are being exported.

 One of the greatest of all British sports cars ever to be manufactured (and this fact is supported by the many conversions and build-up kits being offered to the enthusiast), was the Jaguar E-Type - (Roadster in particular, as far as I'm concerned) and it was an instant classic, an exercise in cool, aerodynamic theory and unashamed showmanship, producing probably the most beautiful sports car of the 60's.`

From the outside, the 3.8 and 4.2 Series I E-Types are had to tell apart, but the bucket seats are a giveaway : this one below is a 3.8 roadster.

Below: The Series I and Series II compared - the later car has open headlights to comply with American safety regulations.

It had the ability to live up to it's looks, too. The 150mph (241kph) that Jaguar claimed for the E-Type was devastatingly quick in 1961 (in reality, only the tweaked-up press cars could achieve it, and 140 (225) was nearer the truth), making the new Jaguar Britain's fastest production car. Better still, it was probably Britain's greatest bargain price-wise, undercutting its nearest rival, the Aston Martin DB4, by a third.

That curvy shell, inspired by the Le Mans-winning D-Type racer, was immensely stiff - all the better to take advantage of it s new wishbone and coil-spring independent rear suspension.

Combining near-limousine ride comfort with vice-like grip, even on the slender cross-ply tyres that looked like something off a bike to modern eyes, the new Jaguar handled superbly. Providing the power was the 3.8litre XK engine, already 13 years old but still well worthy of the new chassis.

The same couldn't be said of the elderly, slow-shifting Moss gearbox, a feature of all Jaguars since the 1930's or the disc brakes that were spoilt by an uncertain-feeling pedal.

Pop stars, racing drivers and royalty jostled for position in an ever-lengthening waiting list for the car. Lew Grade wanted to borrow one for his new British TV series, The Saint, but Jaguar turned him down - they could sell every car they could make.

 Despite the demand, development continued. The bigger 4.2 engine from 1964 was torquier and and came with a much better gearbox and brakes. Seats and trim improved, as did the electrics, making the 3,2 Series I E's the best of the bunch. Appeals for a roomier car were met by a two-plus-two version in 1966 and there was even an automatic, as Jaguar tried to reconcile the E's performance image with a need to increase sales in America.

The E-Type's design found a place in the Museum of Modern Art and is sensual rather than sexy, for the car was designed from the heart and the world has been in love with it from the start!

Below : On the open road, the E-Type was good for over 140mph (225kph). The car in front is an early Series I 3.8 Roadster, behind is a Series II Coupe. 

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