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In a case of history repeating itself, the 1961 Geneva Motor Show was the site of yet another sensation unveiling by Jaguar. Like it had with the XK120 at the 1948 Earls Court show, Jaguar shocked the motoring world by introducing its latest sports car, the E-Type. Drawing heavily from their multiple LeMans-winning D-Type, the new car featured an advanced semi-monocoque chassis with bolt-on subframes, four-wheel independent suspension, disc brakes at all four corners, a 3.8-litre twin-cam inline-six, and of course, that breathtaking styling. The E-Type went on to a long and storied production through multiple variants, though the First Series models are the ones that cemented the E-Type as a design and engineering icon and are a cornerstone of the car collecting hobby.
This superb E-Type is a desirable 3.8-liter Fixed Head Coupe that has been beautifully and faithfully restored by a marque specialist within the last two years. It is finished in its rarely seen original colors of Opalescent Golden Sand over Beige trim per the Jaguar Heritage Certificate. As part of its superb restoration, this matching-numbers Jaguar has several discreet updates to ensure effortless high-performance grand touring ability.
The attention to detail is apparent throughout this superb car. Excellent paintwork and chrome define the high-quality restoration, and the body displays excellent panel fit, particularly around the notoriously tricky doors. It sits properly on the road, rolling on beautiful chrome wire wheels with period-style Vredestein Sprint Classic radials. Brightwork and body fittings are in excellent condition, and true to original specification.
In the cabin, the proper bucket seats of the 3.8-litre models are fully restored, trimmed in the original shade of beige Connolly leather and complemented with matching Wilton wool carpets. The dash and switchgear are all in excellent order, including the correct thin-rim steering wheel and a period-correct Blaupunkt radio. Since Jaguar built this car after July 1963, the dimpled aluminum console and fascia trim are replaced with leather and vinyl - a styling revision that carried over to the 4.2-litre Series 1. With the E-Type coupe, Jaguar was an early adopter of the hatch-back design, and the unique side-hinged affair gives easy access to the generous luggage area behind the seats.
Tilting the E-Type’s distinctive clamshell bonnet forward reveals one of the greatest six-cylinder engines of all time. In production from 1949 through 1992, the versatile and robust twin-overhead cam XK powered a wide range of Jaguars, from small saloons to Le Mans winners. This car retains its original, numbers-matching 3.8-litre block and head per the Heritage Certificate. As part of the restoration, the cylinder head and block were prepared by Jaguar specialist Bill Terry, while the primary build and assembly were handled by another Jag specialist, Predator Performance of Largo, Florida. Like virtually everywhere else on this E-Type, the engine bay is exceptionally well detailed. It has also been sensibly updated with a high-torque starter, spin-on oil filter conversion, big-bore stainless exhaust system, and most significantly – an all-synchro 5-speed gearbox, eliminating the Moss ‘box that is the 3.8’s Achilles’ heel. For the purist, the original 4-speed gearbox is available.
Restored to enjoy on the road, yet detailed to a level worthy of display on the show field, this gorgeous E-Type is a splendid choice for the enthusiast that desires an outstanding example to enjoy in a wide array of driving and concours events.
Offers welcome and trades considered
1964 Jaguar E-type XKE Coupe is listed till salu on ClassicDigest in St. Louis by Hyman Ltd. for $198500.