1963 Jaguar E-Type SIOpen Two Seater
Year of manufacture1963
Car typeConvertible / Roadster
1963 Jaguar E-type Series 1 3.8 Roadster for sale
Supplied new to North America
Restored to concours standard in the late 1990s
Matching numbers and converted to right-hand drive
The Series 1 3.8-litre Roadster is among the most desirable of all Jaguar E-types, and this particular example is still in exceptional condition following a painstaking restoration.
Built on 24 October 1963, chassis number 880402 was dispatched to Jaguar Cars, New York on 11 November. According to the Heritage Certificate, its first owner was E Shelling, who lived in an area called College, near the city of Fairbanks in Alaska. It’s fair to assume that there can’t have been many E-types in Alaska in 1963…
The Jaguar was shipped back to the UK during the 1990s and bought by Lancashire-based restorer Laurence Dyas. He set about extensively rebuilding it and converted it to right-hand drive in the process, and the original engine (RA3998-9) was retained. A number of body panels were replaced and the car was back on the road by 1997, its first UK registration being issued on 29 September.
It’s thought that it covered fewer than 200 miles between then and 2012, but it won a number of concours events during that time – testament to the quality of the restoration. Having been acquired by a new owner, it was pressed into more regular use and in 2019 it took part in the YRD Classic. This Chinese event was organised by FIVA and was based around Shanghai, the six-day route also including the Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces.
Preparation for that trip included the fitment of new brake calipers, a carburettor rebuild, the replacement of the radius arm bushes, and the installation of a Kenlowe fan.
Now immaculately presented in its original colour of Carmen Red and with a beautifully retrimmed Tan interior, this matching-numbers Jaguar E-type is offered for sale at The Classic Motor Hub with an album of restoration photographs, a copy of the handbook and 1963 dealer list, and even a manual for the Smiths Radiomobile. Before being delivered to its next custodian, it will also be given a major service at the Classic Motor Hub with all fluids and bushes replaced.
When the Jaguar E-type was launched in 1961, it offered an intoxicating blend of performance and style, and at a much lower price than the few cars that could match it in either area. It was the same formula with which the marque had stunned the motoring world when it introduced the XK 120 in 1948, but the E-type’s fame spread even further than its illustrious predecessor thanks to its status as an icon of the Swinging Sixties.
Aerodynamicist Malcolm Sayer came up with one of the most beautiful automotive shapes ever realised, and at a time when 100mph was still a significant figure, the E-type offered 150mph performance from its triple-carburettor, 265bhp, 3.8-litre straight-six engine.
Beneath the skin, it owed much to the Le Mans-winning D-type. It used a monocoque centre section with a subframe carrying the engine and front suspension. At the rear, independent suspension was fitted at a time when many of Jaguar’s rivals still employed a traditional live axle. The marque had pioneered the use of disc brakes in the 1950s, and the E-type featured them on all four wheels.
‘Driving the car is more like flying than motoring,’ wrote John Langley in the Daily Telegraph. ‘On the M1 I found the car would cruise smoothly and quietly at 110-120mph. Bursts of acceleration rushed it up to just over 140mph on two occasions.’
In Autosport, John Bolster added the following: ‘It has a sheer beauty of line which easily beats the Italians at their own particular game.’
The E-type was offered as both a Roadster and a Fixed-Head Coupé, and in late 1964 the 3.8-litre engine was enlarged to 4.2 litres. At the same time, Jaguar’s own all-synchromesh four-speed gearbox replaced the original Moss unit.
A long-wheelbase 2+2 model was added to the range in 1966, before the heavily revised Series 2 was introduced in 1968.