1974 Jaguar E-Type SIIIE-Type Series 3 V-12 Roadster
Year of manufacture1974
The evolution of the iconic Jaguar E-Type culminated in what many consider to be a truly lovely driver’s car, equal parts sporting and luxurious. The challenge of updating what Enzo Ferrari called ‘the most beautiful car ever made’ was driven by demand from U.S. customers who loved the six-cylinder sports car but wanted more interior room and refinements like air conditioning. At the same time, Jaguar’s engine team were developing a more refined version of its V-12 engine that had been destined for Le Mans.
The firm’s technical director, William Heynes, pushed for the new engine to feature in an extensively redesigned E-type. The new car, the Series III, launched in 1971, boasting the world’s only mass-production V-12, producing 266 bhp—enough to propel the roadster to 146 mph with a 0–60 mph time of 6.4 seconds. The new car featured wider tyres, wider track, power steering as standard, and more powerful brakes. Options included a range of radios, seat belts, and Sundym tinted glass.
Jaguar decided to end E-Type production in style in 1974. Each of a final run of 50 black roadsters, known as the ‘E-Type Commemorative’, featured a commemorative plaque bearing a facsimile of Sir William Lyons’s signature. The very last of these, chassis 2872, went straight to Jaguar’s museum, where it remains today. The E-Type presented here is the last regular-production E-Type to leave the Brown’s Lane production line, excluding the commemorative run, chassis 2822.
Built to right-hand-drive specifications, it was ordered in British Racing Green with tan leather interior and manual gearbox. Purchased by its current owner in 1994, the car spent most of its last twenty-five years at the consignor’s holiday home in Hawaii, where it was well preserved and used sparingly. Having been shipped to the consignor’s home in Austria in 2015, a full restoration was commissioned, which took three years to complete, culminating in a refinishing in its original British Racing Green, along with new tan upholstery.
Notably, it features the correct period chrome wire wheels and an upgraded wooden steering wheel. Original instruments and other original features have been retained. Incredibly, it has not been driven since, but has been carefully preserved to ensure it remains in excellent condition.
Needless to say, this is a historically significant Jaguar that would stand proud in any collection.
Please note that contrary to the printed catalogue, this lot is offered with a reserve.
To view this car and others currently consigned to this auction, please visit the RM website at rmsothebys.com/en/auctions/lf19.