1961 Jaguar E-Type SIE-Type Series 1 3.8-Litre Roadster
Year of manufacture1961
- Early outside-bonnet latch, flat-floor, welded-louver Series 1
- One of the original 385 left-hand-drive roadsters with these features
- Numbers-matching chassis, body, engine, and cylinder head per accompanying JDHT certificate
- Desirable triple black color combination
- Sold new in California
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 875155, is one such car. With a build completion date of 30 June 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. Of the 1,729 open-air E-types built for the 1961 model year, just 385 were left-hand drive examples exhibiting these attributes.
This very early, left-hand drive example was dispatched on 18 July 1961 to its original Oakland, California owner—a Mr. J. Fletcher—via Jaguar Cars New York Ltd. Originally specified in a triple-black livery, it was the 155th 3.8-liter Roadster produced. By early 1976, this roadster had been retained by a Mr. James Hosford of Los Angeles, California; he commissioned a partial engine rebuild from a local specialist just prior to putting the car up for sale in 1980.
An accompanying bill of lading shows that the car had been sold to a Mr. Roger Styles of Kidderminster, UK and delivered to him via the port of Southampton on 31 March 1980. Handwritten notes and a compendium of invoices show more than £4,000 spent on the chassis between March and December of 1980. In 1984, a Mr. Christian Arrault purchased this E-type with warranty from Bavaria Motors of La Valette, France. The car’s first French road registration was rendered the following month, and Arrault kept this car for the next sixteen years. By 2003, this early E-type had been acquired by a cosmopolitan French couple; invoices listed to their suburban abode near Paris and a beach house in Brittany between 2003 and 2006 illustrate over €5,650 of supplemental maintenance items sourced from a number of specialists in France and the UK.
Recently imported the United States from the consignor’s Monaco residence, this attractive and very early 3.8-liter E-type Roadster sits on a set of period-style Vredestein Classic tires and chrome wire wheels. It retains its numbers-matching chassis, body, engine, and cylinder head per an accompanying JDHT certificate, and still clearly exhibits all of its signature “early Series I” features.
To view this car and others currently consigned to this auction, please visit the RM website at rmsothebys.com/en/auctions/az21.