To be OFFERED AT AUCTION at Auctions America’s Fort Lauderdale event, April 1-3, 2016.
Chassis No. 1R7694
Estimate: $ 80,000 - $100,000 US
The 1961 Geneva Auto Salon marked the first appearance of Jaguar’s revolutionary E-Type before stunned audiences. The replacement for the ageing XK 150, this advanced new car was designed by a small team led by Jaguar boss Sir William Lyons and his chief aerodynamicist Malcolm Sayer. With lessons learned from the D-Type sports racing car, the new E-Type employed a semi-monocoque tub with ingenious bolt-on front subframes to support the engine and independent front suspension. The rear was handled by Jaguar’s clever modular independent rear suspension, pioneered on the Mk10. The E-Type boasted four-wheel disc brakes, torsion bar front end, and a 3.8-liter twin-cam inline six.
This high tech chassis was wrapped in a gorgeous body that was quite unlike anything that had been seen before, equally beautiful as a coupe or two-seat roadster. Interestingly, co-designer Malcolm Sayer had no interest in making the car beautiful, his concern was that form would follow aerodynamic function. Ironically, the E-Type was not very aerodynamically efficient, but it was achingly beautiful. In 1965, Jaguar updated the E-Type for even better performance. The engine was bumped to 4.2-liters and 265 horsepower and the Moss gearbox was replaced with a smooth-shifting, synchronized four-speed. The addition of a servo added some shove to the four-wheel disc brakes. These improvements meant the E-Type could hang with a contemporary Ferrari or Aston Martin, but it still cost a fraction of the price. Long considered one of the most beautiful production cars of all time and with the performance to back it up, the E-Type is a perennial favorite among collectors and drivers alike.
The subtly restyled Series II E-Type appeared in 1968 with exposed headlights, larger tail lights and a tweaked cockpit design. There were also some minor mechanical upgrades, including a switch to dual Stromberg carburetors. The Series II once lived in the shadow of the earlier cars, but the styling has aged well and values have risen across the board, with serious collectors taking notice. This 1969 E-Type “OTS” roadster is a very attractive car which was treated to a nice quality restoration some time ago and it remains in excellent condition. It is finished in the classic combination of Primrose Yellow over a black leather interior and black top. Very good quality paint has been laid on a nice straight body, and most of the chrome trim has been restored or replaced. Panel fit is very good and it rides on a set of proper chrome wire wheels shod with period correct narrow whitewall radials. The black interior is in very good condition, having been recently restored with new leather, correct carpet and a new canvas top. Restoration quality is very good overall, and this fine driver would easily hold its own in a casual show.
Performance lives up to the cosmetics, with a strong engine, smooth shifting gearbox and excellent handling. The Series II E-type is fractionally softer than the earlier cars, striking a nice balance between hardcore sports car and a relaxed GT. With attractive cosmetics, a wonderful cockpit and well-sorted mechanicals, this 1968 E-Type would make the ideal choice for an enthusiast seeking a well presented, nicely restored example that they can get out on their favorite back roads, enjoying the throaty exhaust note and sublime handling of the legendary E-Type. 1969 Jaguar E-Type Series II 4.2 Roadster