Testing the E-Type Series 3 back in 1972, Road & Track magazine reckoned the new V12 power unit, 'a sheer delight, by itself almost worth the price of admission. The V12 is a lovely piece of machinery, lovely to listen to and lovely to behold. The exhaust has that hurried sound characteristic of a multiple-cylinder engine where the many explosions per revolution make it sound as if it's running faster than an engine with fewer cylinders. The idle is smooth and quiet with none of the mechanical busyness one normally experiences from the likes of a Ferrari or Lamborghini V12. And the smoothness lingers throughout the rev range.'
This superior refinement would have counted for little had the Series 3 proved slower than its predecessors, but the new V12 engine was more than powerful enough to offset the weight gain over the preceding 4.2-litre XK six and ensure that performance was undiminished. Weighing only 80lb more than the cast-iron-block six that it replaced, the all-alloy, 5.3-litre, overhead-camshaft V12 produced 272bhp, an output good enough for a top speed well in excess of 140mph. Further good news was that the 0-100mph time of around 16 seconds made the V12 the fastest-accelerating E-Type ever.
Other mechanical changes beneath the Series 3's more aggressive looking exterior included ventilated front disc brakes, anti-dive front suspension, Lucas transistorised ignition and Adwest power-assisted steering, while automatic transmission was one of the more popular options on what was now more of a luxury Grand Tourer than out-and-out sports car. Flared wheelarches, a deeper radiator air intake complete with grille, and a four-pipe exhaust system distinguished the Series III from its six-cylinder forbears, plus, of course, that all-important 'V12' boot badge. The interior though, remained traditional Jaguar. Built in two-seat roadster and '2+2' coupé versions, both of which used the long-wheelbase floor pan introduced on the Series 2 '2+2', the Series 3 E-Type continued the Jaguar tradition of offering a level of performance and luxury unrivalled at the price.
Delivered new to the USA, this spectacular 1972 Jaguar E-Type V12 Roadster was brought over to Europe in January 2000, finding a new home in Belgium. The car is finished in unblemished black, with a beautifully contrasting beige leather interior and matching carpets. We are advised that the roof is in very good order and the chrome wire wheels (a factory option) are impeccable.
The V12 engine starts without hesitation and, with a little easing of the choke, provides a very smooth and exhilarating driving experience. A car cover and an original copy of the E-Type Series 3 V12 Workshop Manual are included in the sale. This is a wonderful opportunity to acquire an example of the rapidly appreciating E-Type V12 Roadster.