1961 Jaguar E-Type SI
Year of manufacture1961
Number of seats2
The ex-Jaguar Demonstrator, 64th production
1961 Jaguar E-Type Series 1 'Flat Floor' 3.8-Litre Roadster
Registration no. 655 MYC
Chassis no. 850064
'Here we have one of the quietest and most flexible cars on the market, capable of whispering along in top gear at 10mph or leaping into its 150mph stride on the brief depression of a pedal. A practical touring car, this, with its wide doors and capacious luggage space, yet it has a sheer beauty of line which easily beats the Italians at their own particular game.'
There have been few better summaries of the Jaguar E-Type's manifest virtues than John Bolster's, penned for Autosport shortly after the car's debut in 1961. Introduced in 3.8-litre form, the E-Type caused a sensation when it appeared, with instantly classic lines and a 150mph (241km/h) top speed. The newcomer's design owed much to that of the racing D-Type: a monocoque tub forming the main structure, while a tubular spaceframe extended forwards to support the engine. The latter was the same 3.8-litre, triple-carburettor 'S' unit first offered as an option on the preceding XK150. An optimistic 265bhp was claimed, but whatever the installed horsepower, the E-Type's performance did not disappoint; firstly, because it weighed around 500lb (227kg) less than the XK150 and secondly because aerodynamicist Malcolm Sayer used experience gained with the D-Type to create one of the most elegant and efficient shapes ever to grace a motor car. Taller drivers though, could find the interior somewhat lacking in space, a criticism addressed by the introduction of foot wells (and other, more minor, modifications) early in 1962. But of all the versions of Jaguar's long-lived and much-loved sports car, it is the very early 'flat floor' 3.8-litre cars built prior to February 1962 which, for many enthusiasts, remain the most desirable.
Dating from the first few weeks of production, this stunning example is one of the earliest surviving right-hand drive Jaguar E-Type roadsters (the chassis number sequence commenced at '850001') and was delivered via distributor Henlys to W Sparrow & Sons of Yeovil, Somerset. Chassis number '850064' was despatched by the works on 14th July 1961, was first registered '655 MYC' on 25th August, and used by Sparrow as a demonstrator. The car has features typical of early production models, including the flat floor and teardrop covers for the external bonnet locks.
Inspected by surveyor and valuer, A E Fogg BSc, LLB in December 1990 (copy included), it had been recently taxed for the first time in several years, having been off the road undergoing a total restoration. The vehicle had been extensively refurbished (by marque expert Martin Robey) and was found to be totally rust-free, having been professionally repainted in original Opalescent Silver Blue. All mechanical components had been overhauled, and the car ran very sweetly with good oil pressure and normal running temperature. All running gear had been overhauled, the only discernible non-original feature being Koni shock absorbers (a period up-grade) and a later production-type radiator. The restoration was unfinished at the time of inspection and was finally completed circa 1992.
Re-inspected by Mr Fogg in March 2005, the car was found to be finished to a very good standard and to have been well maintained, having covered fewer than 8,000 miles in the intervening 14 years. In June 2005, the E-Type was offered for sale at Bonhams' Goodwood Festival of Speed auction (Lot 670), and later that same year passed into the ownership of a 'Mr Anthony', who kept it until 2017 (see email correspondence on file).
The current vendor purchased the E-Type in 2017, since when it has benefited from a 'last-nut-and-bolt' total restoration carried out by renowned marque specialists, XK Engineering at great cost - viewing of detailed works is essential. This painstaking rebuild was only completed in April 2018, and the car is presented in effectively 'brand new' concours condition. Reunited with its original registration mark '655 MYC', this beautiful E-Type comes with the optional works-specification hardtop, Jaguar tool roll, restoration invoices, UK V5C registration document, and a Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust Certificate confirming matching numbers.