Just take your time and stare.
Fun fact: The New York Museum of Modern Art has one of these beauties as part of their permanent art collection. Enough said.
Now take a few moments to gaze at that beguiling design to understand why. Little wonder that Enzo Ferrari himself described the E-Type as the “most beautiful car ever made”.
The founder of Jaguar, Sir William Lyons himself didn’t fancy the E-Type at the beginning. He wasn’t convinced it would sell; I’m sure he’s doesn’t mind that he was proved wrong.
When it was launched in 1961, the E-type melted hearts and dropped jaws; celebrities and racing drivers craved it and the British public adored it. According to one story, Frank Sinatra took one look at the car during its unveiling in 1961 and exclaimed: “I want that car and I want it now!”
Steve McQueen, Tony Curtis and Brigitte Bardot, Princess Grace, Tony Curtis, Britt Ekland, George Best, Charlton Heston, Count Basie all drove E-types.
In fact, so great was the hype and interest generated by the E-Type, that Jaguar decided that a second model was required at the show to accommodate more test runs.
Norman Dewis, Jaguar’s then test driver, drove an E-Type through the night from Jaguar’s factory in Coventry all the way to Geneva, Switzerland. Without satnav and minimal road infrastructure, Dewis still managed to arrive ahead of schedule, during which time the car was washed and polished before being presented to the crowd.
Despite modern underpinnings, svelte looks and blistering performance, the E-Type still managed to be a relative bargain selling at £2097 for the Roadster and £2196 for the Coupe, which was considerably less than its more exotic rivals from Ferrari, Maserati and Aston Martin. Oh, and did I mention that it was still faster than all of them too?
The car was shaped at night in a wind tunnel that ate up so much electricity, it could only be operated at night when the rest of Britain was sound asleep.
In 2011, when the E-Type was celebrating its 50th
In the same episode, Clarkson reviews the modern reincarnation of the E-Type; the Eagle Speedster.
A car which manages to capture the aesthetic beauty of the original whilst simultaneously bringing a classic into the 21st Century.
Each restoration takes 2500 hours to complete according to Henry Pearman, founder of Eagle, a small company based in Essex, England.
Unfortunately, this level of craftsmanship and exclusivity doesn’t come cheap as the car will deprive you of a minimum of £500,000 of your pounds if you so desire to have one in your garage.
Recently, Jaguar’s own Classic Works department has begun to restore Series 1 E-Types to their former sixties glory and customers can purchase these marvels directly from Jaguar themselves.