Image credits: © Jaguar.

1961 Jaguar E-Type Series 1

The year 2011 marks the 50th anniversary of one of the most famous and desirable cars in automotive history - the Jaguar E-Type.

Jaguar will be celebrating this special anniversary year at high-profile motoring events throughout 2011.

The company will mark the anniversary at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show and go on to celebrate at Goodwood's Revival and Festival of Speed, the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance, the Nurburgring Old Timer Grand Prix and a host of Jaguar customer, dealer and lifestyle events worldwide.

When it was launched in 1961, the appeal of E-Type transcended the automotive world. Such is the inherent rightness of its proportions, stance and purity of line, that it is a permanent exhibit in New York's Museum of Modern Art.

The now iconic E-Type set new standards in automotive design and performance when it was launched in 1961. Its influence is still apparent in Jaguar's modern range: cars that offer a peerless blend of performance, comfort, cutting-edge technology and award-winning design.

'Half a century of progress has not diminished the significance of the E-Type,' said Mike O'Driscoll, Managing Director Jaguar Cars and Chairman Jaguar Heritage. 'It was a sensation when it was launched, and remains Jaguar's most enduring and iconic symbol. The E-Type is simply one of the most exciting cars ever created and a legacy to the genius of Jaguar's founder, Sir William Lyons.'

E-Type owners included celebrities such as George Best, Brigitte Bardot, Tony Curtis and Steve McQueen and the sports car became as synonymous with the Swinging Sixties as the Beatles and the mini skirt.

'It is impossible to overstate the impact the E-Type had when it was unveiled in 1961,' said Ian Callum, Jaguar Design Director. 'Here was a car that encapsulated the spirit of the revolutionary era it came to symbolise. The E-Type is a design that even today continues to inform the work we do in styling the Jaguars of the future.'

Unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show in March 1961, Jaguar's E-Type caused a sensation. Capable of achieving 150mph, but costing a fraction of the price of rivals with similar performance, it was the affordable supercar and became an instant icon - remaining on sale for 14 years.

E-Type facts:

• The E-Type was presented to the world's press at the restaurant du Parc des Eaux Vives in Geneva on 15th March 1961. Such was the media excitement and clamour for demonstration runs up a nearby hillclimb that Jaguar founder Sir William Lyons instructed chief test driver Norman Dewis to drive through the night from Coventry to bring another model to Switzerland.

• Even Enzo Ferrari admitted it was 'the most beautiful car in the world.'

• The E-type's straight-six engine had powered Jaguar to five Le Mans victories in the 1950s and by 1961 in 3.8-litre form produced 265bhp and 260lb ft of torque, making the car a genuine 150mph proposition and, like its XK120 predecessor, the fastest production car in the world.

• At launch the E-Type cost £2,256 15s, including purchase tax and the all-important optional wire wheels, the equivalent today of just £38,000.

• The E-Type's perfectly proportioned bodywork was the work of Malcolm Sayer, an aeronautical engineer by training who also applied his aerodynamic expertise in shaping the earlier Le Mans-winning C and D-Type racers.

• The E-type remained in production for 14 years, selling more than 70,000 units, making it Europe's first mass-produced sports car.

Source - Jaguar

Vehicle Profiles


Chassis Num: 875494
Engine Num: R1652-9
Gearbox Num: RB755JS

The Jaguar E-Type sports car made its debut at the 1961 Geneva Motor Show where the company proved to the world once again that they could build an incredible performance car with equally impressive appearance. Even Enzo Ferrari agreed, remarking tha....[continue reading]


Car number 246 represents the first generation of the 3.8-liter powered, open two seater, Jaguar XKE roadster family. It boasts a 265 horsepower dual overhead cam engine outfitted with a 160 mile-per-hour high speed rear end. Simply revolutionary f....[continue reading]


Chassis Num: 885004

This E-Type Fixed Head Coupe is the 1961 New York Auto Show coupe and it sat alongside three other E-Types. Standing beside it initially was model Marilyn Hanold - although she was urged to move out of the way by the photographers. Chassis number 885....[continue reading]


The Jaguar E-Type ranks among the most famous cars in the world. For many auto fans, its shape remains to this day a stunning synthesis of athleticism and delectable design language. But beyond the features it shares with all its sibling production m....[continue reading]


Chassis Num: 88005

This Jaguar E-Type, chassis number 88005, was the car first revealed to the European press by Jaguar boss Sir William Lyons on March 15th of 1961, at the Restaurant du Parc des Eaux Vives in Geneva. The car then appeared at the Geneva Auto Salon, and....[continue reading]


Chassis Num: 875771
Engine Num: R3094-9

The Jaguar E-Type was designed by Malcolm Sayer and William Lyons, and used many of the D-Type styling cues, this time in steel. The first example was driven directly from England to the 1961 Geneva Salon by Jaguar tester Norman Dewis. The hood was o....[continue reading]


Chassis Num: 875323

This Jaguar Open Two-Seater was the 323rd E-Type roadster built. It is finished in British Racing Green over a Suede Green leather and destined for the US market. It has spent most of its existence in the Northeast. Since new, the car has undergone a....[continue reading]


Chassis Num: 875138
Engine Num: R 1200-9
Gearbox Num: EB 310 JS

This is a very early E-Type Roadster, with flat floors, external bonnet latches, and welded bonnet louvers. It was the 138th example built and the first E-Type sold in Pennsylvania. The car was given a restoration in the early 1990s and at the time, ....[continue reading]


Chassis Num: 875995
Engine Num: R 2476-9
Gearbox Num: EB 1574 JS

This Jaguar XKE E-Type is an early production car built on November 13th of 1961. Since new, the car has been comprehensively restored to high standards. Upgrades include a Pertronix electronic ignition and performance coil, a CoolCat six-blade fan, ....[continue reading]


Chassis Num: 875053
Engine Num: R1101-9

This Jaguar E-Type Roadster was ordered new at the 1961 Paris Salon by Maclean's magazine editor Ralph Allen. It is an early example that has the hard-to-find external bonnet-latch. It is finished in Opalescent Bronze and was dispatched from the fact....[continue reading]


Chassis Num: 885065

This 1961 Jaguar XKE Series 1 Flat Floor Fixed Head Coupe was was originally dispatched on October 12, 1961 and delivered to its original owner on December 15, 1961.....[continue reading]

Chassis #: 875494 
Chassis #: 885004 
Chassis #: 88005 
Chassis #: 875771 
Chassis #: 875323 
Chassis #: 875138 
Chassis #: 875995 
Chassis #: 875053 
Chassis #: 885065 


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.
It's design was created by an aerodynamic engineer named Malcolm Sayer. The front engine, rear-wheel drive vehicle featured a moncoque body and a tubular front chassis. The six-cylinder double-cam engine had three SU carburetors and produced 265 horsepower. The suspension was independent with disc brakes on all four wheels. It brought together the best or aerodynamics, coupled with the latest technology and propelled by a potent engine. The vehicle was not only fast, it offered excellent performance and handling. Some of the most common complaints it received were the cabin being too cramped and it suffered from poor ventilation.

The E-Type was a popular vehicle. It was fast, performed well, and was competitively priced. Due to the United States safety and emission regulations, some of the horsepower was lost. The headlamp covers were also removed prior to the close of the 1960's.

A 4.2-liter engine and synchromesh gearbox was introduced in 1964. In 1966, the 2+2 coupe was introduced and featured a longer wheelbase. The Series II cars were not as quick as its predecessors. The Series III, however, was a different story. Powered by a V-12 engine they were once again able to propel the E-Type over 145 miles per hour.

Production for the E-Type ceased in 1975, after 72,520 examples being produced. It was replaced by the XJ-S; a vehicle that was larger, heavier, and not as visually appealing.

By Daniel Vaughan | Mar 2006
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