1961 Jaguar E-Type SIE-Type Series 1 3.8-Litre Roadster
Year of manufacture1961
$250,000 - $300,000
- Ultra-collectable early E-Type with external hood latches, welded louvers, and flat floors
- One of the original 385 left-hand-drive roadsters with these features
- Restored by Jaguar expert Richard Darnell; subsequently earned 100 points in JCNA competition
- Numbers-matching engine as confirmed by accompanying JDHT certificate
- Twice owned by Indy 500-winning driver Bobby Rahal
- Dramatic triple-black color combination
The Jaguar E-Type, known initially in the North American market as the XK-E, needs little introduction. Widely considered one of the most beautiful automobile designs of all time, with engineering and performance to match its Malcolm Sayer-penned looks, E-Types of all vintages are appreciated and valued today. But certain cars—in particular, early Series 1 E-Types—are exceptionally desirable.
This example, chassis number 875231, is one such car. With a build completion date of July 15, 1961, this E-Type has all the commensurate early Series 1 features. Some, like covered headlights, are readily apparent; others, including the exterior bonnet locks (which require a special, factory-supplied “T” key to open), flat cockpit floors, and ventilation louvers welded, rather than stamped, into the bonnet may require a trained eye to spot.
When delivered to its first owner in California, this Jaguar wore a coat of Opalescent Bronze exterior paint with a Beige interior and Fawn top. It is now finished in black with a black interior and black top, a dramatic combination. Beneath the bonnet is its numbers-matching 3.8-litre inline-six engine, as indicated by the JDHT certificate supplied with the car, paired with a four-speed manual “Moss box” transmission.
The car received a thorough cosmetic and mechanical restoration by California Jaguar specialist Richard Darnell around 2000, after which it earned a 100-point score in Jaguar Clubs of North America (JCNA) competition in 2001—a testament to the high quality and accuracy of the work performed.
Its provenance is further burnished by its time spent in the collection of famed racing driver Bobby Rahal, whose lengthy list of accomplishments includes three Champ Car championship titles and a win at the 1986 Indianapolis 500. He enjoyed this particular E-Type so much, he actually bought it twice, owning it over two distinct periods.
The car is offered with a tool box, copper mallet and grease gun, JDHT certification, and extensive documentation including maintenance records and photographs of the restoration process. If you are seeking a well-documented early E-Type possessing all the qualities that made the lithe Jaguar an instant success and an enduring favorite, look no further than this exemplary—and nationally recognized—Series 1 3.8-Litre Roadster.To view this car and others currently consigned to this auction, please visit the RM website at rmsothebys.com/en/auctions/0520.