1961 Jaguar E-Type Semi-LightweightA
fter several victories at the 24 Hours of Le Mans during the early-to-mid 1950s that concluded in 1957, the Jaguar XK 140 was in need of replacement. Jaguar's solution was to develop the company's first monocoque sports car, with the earliest example being the E2A prototype which was raced at the 1960 Le Mans by privateer Briggs Cunningham.
By this point in history, Jaguar had retired from competition but still valued the publicity motorsport offered. To this end and prior to the E-Types introduction in 1961 at Geneva, director Lofty England offered early production roadsters to competitors with close Jaguar relationships, including John Coombs and Equipe Endeavour. The cars were raced with much success by drivers that included Graham Hill and Roy Salvadori until the introduction of the Ferrari 250 GTO in 1962. Coombs was one of the 250 GTO customers, who lent it to Jaguar's Experimental Department to study and assess. This knowledge was used to transform the E-Type into a machine capable of surpassing the GTO in terms of performance.
A total of twelve examples were built to what became known as the lightweight specification. They were given an aluminum hardtop, lighter steel monocoque, and a D-Type engine. In this guise, the car weighed 45 kg lighter than the Ferrari. The 3.8-liter engine with dry-sump lubrication developed 300 horsepower. They were given a full aluminum monocoque and body panels, revised suspension geometry, vented boot lid, wider rear track, and Dunlop alloy wheels.
Along with the initial 12 examples, the factory planned for an additional six cars. These lightweight E-Types competed from 1963 at races that included Sebring, the Nurburgring, and Le Mans. The mid-to-late 1960s was met with an escalating feud between Ford and Ferrari, and Porsche's commitment to the International GT competition saw a new prototype racer introduced nearly every year, with the Zenith being the 917.
The purpose of the lightweight E-Type had been to generate sales for the road-going versions, but with more orders for E-Types than could be built, there was no need for a factory team.
Years later, in 2014, Jaguar announced that they would build the final six 'continuation' lightweight E-Types at Brown's Lane. The first, 'Car Zero', was unveiled at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance, and the rest sold for £1,200,000.by Daniel Vaughan | Mar 2020
Related Reading : Jaguar E-Series History
The Jaguar E type, also known as the XK-E, brought style and performance together to create a mass-produced supercar. The road-going sports car was conceived in 1956 as a replacement for the D-type. In March of 1961, the E-Type was officially introduced to the world at the Geneva, Switzerland Motor show. Its design was created by an aerodynamic engineer named Malcolm Sayer. The front-engine,....Continue Reading >>
Related Reading : Jaguar Lightweight E-type History
The Jaguar E-Type was launched at the 1961 Geneva Motorshow and it was not long before the road-going car made its way to racing tracks. The vehicles lineage was rooted in sports car racing, with its chassis and engine sourced from the three-time Le Mans-winning Jaguar D-Type. In production trim, the E-Type was incredibly fast and nimble, but there was room for improvement. For starters, it steel....Continue Reading >>
Chassis Num: S875027
Engine Num: R-1063-9
Briggs Cunningham ordered three of the Lightweight E-Types directly from Jaguar in 1961. This car is the third of the three and one of the earliest left-hand drive E-Types in existence. After arriving at Cunningham's West Palm Beach garage, it was mo....[continue reading]