It was called the most beautiful car ever made by a man responsible for some of the most beautiful cars ever made. A lightweight classic sports car that was based on a Le Mans winner. It's also our autoTRADER.ca Find of the Week, a 1962 Jaguar E-Type.
The Jaguar E-Type launched at the Geneva Auto Salon in March of 1961. It stole the hearts of show-goers and ink by the barrel. Designed by Malcolm Sayer, the man who designed the C and D-types that came before as well as the XJ-S that followed. Enzo Ferrari is the one who called it the most beautiful car ever made, after seeing it at the Geneva show.
The E-Type, known in North America as the XK-E to maintain a link with Jaguar's other XK models, debuted with a 3.8L inline six that was borrowed from the XK150S. It made 265 hp and 240 lb-ft of torque, breathing through three SU carburetors. The engine gave the car surprising performance for the time, hitting 100 km/h from a stop in 6.4 seconds, and able to reach 240 km/h flat out. At the time, it was the fastest car ever tested by the UK's Autocar and Motor magazines.
The E-Type handled as good as it looked, at least for the time. The cars had an independent suspension front and rear, unusual and advanced for the time. The chassis was a unibody design, with the engine and front suspension attached to the tub via a sub-frame. It meant low weight for the time, just 1,315 kg. Brakes were discs all around, with the rear brakes mounted inboard to save unsprung weight. The design was based on the D-type, which won the 24 hours of Le Mans three times running, front 1955 to 1957.
Our Find this week is a 1962 model. One of the first years of production, known as a Series I. That means the 3.8L six (changed to 4.2L in 1965), covered headlights, and the simplest bodywork. Later cars added more grilles and vents to handle a series of larger engines.
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The seller gives an extensive history of this car, beginning with the original 1962 sale to M & A Kooheji in Bahrain. Here is the story, from the seller:
"The car on offer here, VIN 877656, is a meticulously restored, very well documented, numbers matching, Series I E-Type. Starting with the Jaguar Heritage Trust Certificate this shows the car was built on July 03, 1962 and dispatched on July 13, 1962. It is listed as Opalescent Dark Green with Black Interior and Black Hood (top). It was dispatched to M & A Kooheji, the distributor in Bahrain, Persia (as known at the time), but delivered to Mr W.B. Woodward in the United States. There is no documentation but it was believed to be part of a commercial trade agreement. 877656 left the factory with the two available options, chrome wire wheels and an original factory removable hardtop.
"Mr. Woodward kept 877656 for an unknown number of years in Detroit MI and then Kansas City KA before selling it on to Mr. Vaughn Burkholder of Wichita KA.
"There are no records available of Mr. Burkholder's ownership. It is believed during Mr. Burkholder's ownership the car had a bare metal repaint. At that time some of the black interior trim was changed to green and Series II bucket seats were added.
"Mr. Burkholder subsequently sold the vehicle via Kansas City Imports Inc. in September of 1992 to Mr. Fritz Mayhew of Bloomfield Hills MI and Shenfield, Essex, UK. Before purchasing the car Mr. Mayhew had a thorough appraisal completed by Peter Doc Scadron, Classic Jaguar Specialist. Mr. Scadron's three pages of highly detailed notes describe a 30 year old car with 78,965 miles in extraordinary condition. His overall opinion and recommendations, You hit the KC Lottery today - Buy the Car!
"Mr. Mayhew took those recommendations to heart and purchased the car. 877656 was then stripped to bare metal and repainted this time in British Racing Green to factory formula. Metal colour swatches of original Opalescent Dark Green and British Racing Green included. The interior was stripped and completely replaced with correct Biscuit Connelly leather upholstery, Wilton carpets and trim from G.W. Bartlett Co., Inc. Swatches included. The Series II seats and rails were removed and the original reupholstered Series I shell seats and rails installed. A Mohair convertible top to match the interior was installed and the Black Factory hardtop refurbished.
"While Mr. Mayhew was interested in showing the car he did not want a trailer queen. The car was fully serviced and mechanically upgraded to improve safety and functionality on a vehicle he would subsequently drive 500 miles every summer."
In that service, the car received new wire wheels, complete suspension service, upgraded brakes, and seatbelts. Following that upgrade, the car was taken to multiple shows, winning multiple class trophies.
The car came to Canada in 2014, and was again refreshed, including transmission and cylinder head overhauls, and a paint refresh.
This is a beautiful example of one of the most gorgeous cars ever to be built. It's a convertible in dark green with beige interior. Picture a classic sports car in your head, and there is a good chance you're picturing something that looks just like this. And this one, for sale in Vancouver, BC, can be yours, if you're a serious collector that's undeterred by its $257,095 asking price.