2011: Year of the E-type

It’s 50 years since Jaguar launched the E-type, as everybody must know by now. You can hardly turn a corner without seeing some reference to the fact. E-types are everywhere, and quite right too. Yes, there are Skoda family saloons today offering the same acceleration, and 150mph performance, but the E-type remains firmly in its place as one of the most important cars ever offered to the world, which in 1961 was a very different place.

The best places at which to celebrate the E-type’s anniversary will be Goodwood and Silverstone. Jaguar’s most famous sports car will be honoured at the Goodwood Festival of Speed (1-3 July), the Goodwood Motor Circuit Revival (16-18 September) and at the Silverstone Classic (22-24 July). All three events promise to be excellent. The central feature of the 2011 Festival of Speed, always visually arresting, will be dedicated to the E-type. Examples of every outstanding racing E-type will be seen in action on the hillclimb and there will also be a separate class for E-types in the Cartier Style et Luxe concours d’elegance. On top of that, Jaguar’s many victories in the Le Mans 24Hrs will also be celebrated.

Three weeks after the Festival, it will be E-type time again at the Silverstone Classic, the world’s biggest classic motor racing festival. Jaguar owners’ clubs in the UK have chosen it as the number one event worldwide to mark the E-type’s half century. It is confidently predicted that Silverstone will see THE greatest ever assembly of E-types to date, with eager owners bringing their cherished cars from right around the world. Scheduled into the busy weekend, there are two races dedicated solely to competition versions of the model. Organised by the Historic Sports Car Club (HSCC), a record grid of more than 50 race-prepared E-types is predicted.

2011: Year of the E-type 2011: Year of the E-type

There will be yet more Jaguars at the Revival races on the Goodwood circuit in September. Saturday’s feature race, the Fordwater Trophy, will be a 45-minute two-driver race for E-types only. The official 2011 Goodwood Revival poster depicts a famous lightweight version that John Coombs entered in Goodwood races in the 1960s. An SS100 Jaguar won the very first motor race at the West Sussex circuit in September 1948, and the marque went on to enjoy great success there during Goodwood’s first active motor racing years, from 1948 to 1966.

Tickets and further information for the 2011 Festival of Speed, Moving Motor Show and Goodwood Revival can be found on the Goodwood website (www.goodwood.com), or via the Ticket Hotline, +44 (0)1243 755055. Silverstone Classic tickets are available in advance via +44 (0)871 231 0849 or online from www.SilverstoneClassic.com.

Text: Charis Whitcombe
Photos: Classic Driver

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