Introduced in 3.8-liter form in 1961, the Jaguar E-type caused a sensation when it appeared, with instantly classic lines and a 150-mph top speed. Its design owed much to that of the racing D-type: a monocoque tub forming the main structure, while a tubular space frame extended forward to support the engine. The latter was the 3.8-liter, triple-carburetor S unit first offered as an option on the XK 150. The E-type’s performance did not disappoint: first, because it weighed around 500 pounds (227 kg) less than the XK 150 and secondly because aerodynamicist Malcolm Sayer used experience gained with the D-type to create one of the most elegant and efficient shapes ever to grace a motor car.
However, taller drivers could find the interior somewhat lacking in space, a criticism addressed with the introduction of footwells (and other, more minor modifications) early in 1962. But of all the versions of Jaguar’s long-lived and much-loved sports car, it is the very early “flat floor” 3.8-liter cars built prior to February 1962 which, for many enthusiasts, remain the most desirable.
Dating from the first few weeks of production, this vehicle is one of the earliest surviving right-hand-drive Jaguar E-type roadsters (the chassis number sequence commenced at 850001). There can be few of its kind left in such original, unrestored condition.
Our subject car was purchased by the current owner in February 1965 from Jaguar dealer AJ Beal of Exeter and used regularly until about 30 years ago. Taken off the road, it was stored outside, covered over, for the first five years and then garage-stored until today. The provision of Koni shock absorbers and a hard top are departures from factory specification, while the footwell and rear bulkhead have been altered to increase leg room. The original hood is included in the sale, and the car also comes with owner’s manual, data plate, old-style logbook and Swansea V5 document. Offered for restoration and sold strictly as viewed, 564DFJ represents a wonderful opportunity for the dedicated E-type enthusiast.