1960 Jaguar E2A Le Mans Sports Racer

It was left in a corner to be junked, but Guy Griffiths, the father of vintage racing everywhere, talked the factory into selling it to him



By 1960, Jaguar had won the world’s most prestigious race, the 24 Hours of Le Mans, five times-twice with its original competition-tailored C-type and three times with the tail-finned D-type. At that juncture, company head Sir William Lyons decreed that it was time for this sporting pedigree to benefit production with an all-new semi-monocoque design, which was to emerge in 1961 as the E-type.

One prototype for this model-the “missing link” between D-type and E-type-was “E2A,” a fuel-
injected 3-liter sports racing two-seater that was to be raced by American sportsman Briggs Cunningham’s team at Le Mans in 1960. The new “E2A” was to test several features of the forthcoming E-type, not least its independent rear suspension system in place of the live-axle of both the C- and D-type designs. Visually, the new car’s contemporary tail-finned rear bodywork recalled the charismatic D-type, while its handsomely proportioned one-piece forward bodywork presaged the E-type.

The Jaguar experimental department at Brown’s Lane, Coventry, completed the Jaguar E2A Le Mans Sports Racer in February 1960, and it was powered by an aluminum-block, fuel-injected, 3-liter, 6-cylinder engine. It was subsequently finished for the Cunningham team in its American racing colors, white overall with two parallel centerline stripes in dark blue.

Thor Thorson

Thor Thorson - SCM Contributing Editor - %%page%%

Thor grew up in northern Iowa. His father bought a red Jag XK 150 in the late 1950s, and that was all it took; he has been in love with sports cars , racing cars and the associated adrenaline rush ever since. He has vintage raced for more than 20 years, the bulk of them spent behind the wheel of a blue Elva 7. When he’s not racing, he is president of Vintage Racing Motors Inc., a collector-car dealer and vintage-racing support company based in Redmond, WA. His knowledge runs the full spectrum of vintage racing, and he has put that expertise to good use for SCM since 2003.

Posted in Race