1964 JAGUAR E-TYPE S1

JAGUAR E-TYPE 3.8 SERIES 1 FHC

The E-type was a game-changing sports tourer. Although the XK was far from being over the hill at the turn of the 1960s, when the E-type appeared at the 1961 Geneva Auto Salon, everything that had come before from Jaguar was rendered obsolete.

Even the way the E-type arrived at the show was special. A member of Jaguar’s PR team, Bob Perry, left Browns Lane in 9600HP (right), the seventh E-type prototype and second fixed-head coupe, at around 7pm on 14 June, driving through the night, arriving at Geneva the following day. He drove to the city’s main Jaguar distributor for a 20-minute wash and polish, before carrying on to the Pare des Eaux Vives for its public unveiling by Sir William Lyons. It was one of those epic drives that has become legendary, and it demonstrates what the E-type was – and is – so good at.

The big news with this car – apart from its beautiful styling honed by Malcolm Sayer, and created to look like an evolution of the D-type – was its price-to-performance ratio. The ?-type was priced at £2097 for the roadster and £2156 in fixed-head coupe form: around half the price of the Aston Martin DB4, and it could outrun its Newport Pagnell rival, thanks to a claimed top speed of 150mph.

That potential maximum was backed up by The Autocar in its 1961 road test of 9600HP, who recorded 150.4mph. OK, that car had been tweaked slightly and shod with Dunlop racing tyres, but the figure was seized upon by Jaguar.

A proven 150mph top speed, allied to new standards of handling, meant the leaping cat would maintain its place at the top of the sports car tree for many years to come.

 JAGUAR E-TYPE 3.8 SERIES 1 FHC-2

1961 JAGUAR E-TYPE S1

ENGINE
3781cc straight six, DOHC three 2in HD8 SU carburettors
POWER
265bhp@ 5500rpm
TORQUE
2601b It © 4000rpm
TRANSMISSION
Four-speed manual, rear-wheel drive
STEERING
Rack and pinion
SUSPENSION
Front: double wishbones, torsion bars, telescopic dampers, anti-roll bar.
Rear: lower wishbones, twin coil-over-damper units
BRAKES
Discs front and rear, servo-assisted
WEIGHT
1234kg
PERFORMANCE
Top speed 150mph. 0-60mph 7.0sec