Early E-types had a variety of distinctive styling features that complemented the elegance of their lines, though not all of them were practical
 
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The new E-type had understandably received rave reviews at the Geneva Auto Show in March 1961, so Jaguar Cars Inc. geared up for another public relations coup as the new model arrived in the U.S. The launch was accompanied by all the pomp and circumstance Jaguar and the auto show management could muster, an acknowledgement of the importance of the U.S. market. The New York International Auto Show was held in April 1961, and to say that the two cars shown-the roadster and fastback coupe-were the show sensations is an understatement. Six cars were sold within 30 minutes of the show's opening, and the E-type was an immediate hit. Owing to a lack of supply, it was some months before journalists were allowed to drive the E-type. The first Road & Track road test appeared in the September 1961 issue. Under the header "Sensational is the word for this Coventry Cat," the introduction read as follows: "If a new car ever created greater excitement around our office than the new Jaguar XKE, we can't remember it. And to sum up this car in the third sentence of a report may be unusual for us, but it is easy to do. The car comes up to, and exceeds, all our great expectations." The E-type offered here is an outstanding early example, built on January 26, 1962, and delivered to Mr. E. Lagerquist of East Crescent Ave. in Ramsey, NJ. Now offered by the fourth documented owner, it has traveled approximately 1,200 miles since its complete and thoroughly comprehensive restoration five years ago. The restoration file that accompanies the car totals approximately $95,000 in receipts and includes the original ID plate. This stunning car also comes with a jack, hammer, hood cover, original manual, recent service records and Jaguar-Daimler Heritage Trust Certificate. Showing virtually no signs of age, this Jaguar has been recently maintained and is in excellent order. The engine bay is well detailed and all mechanicals are fully operational and ready to go.

SCM Analysis

Detailing

Vehicle:1962 Jaguar E-type Series I 3.8 convertible
Years Produced:1961-64
Number Produced:7,827
Original List Price:$5,595
SCM Valuation:$35,000-$55,000
Tune Up Cost:$500
Distributor Caps:$45
Chassis Number Location:ID plate on center of firewall
Engine Number Location:stamped on engine block above oil filter
Club Info:Jaguar Clubs of North America c/o Nelson Rath, 1000 Glenbrook, Anchorage, KY 40223
Website:http://www.jcna.com
Alternatives:1963-65 Porsche 356 SC cabriolet, 1953-63 AC Ace roadster
Investment Grade:B

This car sold for $82,250 at Christie’s Greenwich sale, held June 5, 2005.
Combining collectibility, performance, and style within a usable and (relatively) affordable package, the Jaguar E-type is one of the most desirable classic sports cars on the road. The 1962-64 3.8-liter Series I E-types, especially those in the open, two-seater body style, are among the most desirable variants of the model. To Jaguar cognoscenti, only the relatively rare 1961 E-types with flat floors and external bonnet latches have greater intrinsic value.
Though most of the powertrain was carried over from the last of the XK 150s-including the overhead-cam straight-six, with its three SU carburetors and four-speed transmission-the E-type chassis was all new, with independent rear suspension and inboard brakes that provided better handling on the road or the track than any production car of the time.
These early Series Is had a variety of distinctive styling features that complemented the elegance of their lines, though not all of them were practical. The small grille opening, accented with a simple chrome bar displaying the Jaguar “Growler” logo, has become has become an iconic Jaguar styling cue. Nevertheless, a larger opening would have produced fewer engine cooling problems.
The headlamps enclosed in glass covers edged in chrome complete the sensuous lines of the fenders, but the glass scratches over time, and cool humid days cause moisture to collect on the inside. Automotive lighting being what it was in the ’60s means the resultant loss of candlepower is ill-afforded.
Tiny eyebrow chrome bumpers cap the corners of the fenders, though they do little more than provide a design highlight-or a target for a
parallel-parking SUV. These bumperettes were never up to the task of actually protecting the body panels from bumps, and they themselves are prone to getting dinged or mangled.
On the interior, the dash is faced with aluminum stamped in a raised dot
pattern, which gives the instrument panel an aeronautical look but is difficult to maintain. The seatbacks have a lovely curve, but prove to be uncomfortable on long tours.
Jaguar addressed some of the E-type’s shortcomings in 1964, when a more powerful 4.2-liter engine was fitted, along with a completely re-
engineered, fully synchronized transmission and an improved clutch. On the interior, the stylish, thin-backed seats were swapped for ones with softer cushions, and the aluminum facings on the dash and console were replaced by more practical vinyl.
In spite of these improvements, and a whole variety of other running changes, Jaguar didn’t make a formal name change until much later, when the Series II E-type was introduced in 1969. Because of the number of
running changes made between late 1967 and early 1969, the majority due to smog and safety regulations, many owners refer to these cars as “Series I 1/2s.” However, the Jaguar Clubs of North America do not recognize this designation for judging, and there is no general agreement on what exact period this term should identify.
While nomenclature is being discussed, it’s worth noting that in Europe these models were always referred to as E-types when new, harking back to Jaguar’s glory days at Le Mans. In North America Jaguar marketing instead chose to evoke the XK 120’s U.S. road-racing victories and used the term XKE, subsequently immortalized by Jan and Dean in “Dead Man’s Curve” and The Rip Chords in “Hey, Little Cobra.”
Hard-core aficionados generally prefer “E-type.” At the risk of starting another “lively discussion” like the one we created a few months back over the correct way to refer to a Healey 100-4, we’ll just say that either term for the Jag is acceptable.
The Sports Car Market Pocket Price Guide suggests that the appropriate value range for ’61-’64 Jaguar convertibles is $35,000 to $55,000, and in fact, it is possible to find a very presentable example in that price range. Nevertheless, the $82,250 fetched by the car pictured here is certainly not unusual.
With increased competitiveness in E-type concours judging at JCNA events and growing experience at preparing such cars, flawless 100-point cars are occurring more and more often. As the cubic dollars continue to be spent, six-digit figures are not unusual for the best of the best when they sell at auction.
As this car was not a fresh restoration, but one that was already five years old, I wouldn’t have expected it to crack the $100k barrier, and it didn’t. But the seller should still consider himself fortunate to have gotten back three-quarters of his restoration costs, while the buyer can be happy that he got such a discount on the restoration, and as we often say, “the car for free.”
(Historical and descriptive information courtesy of the auction company.)

One Comment

  1. Avatar
    Barthelmeß Werner

    Dear Ladies and Gent,

    please can you send me a copy of the Article Sport Car Market 2007 September Page 38 about the E-Type 875994.
    A digital Version would be fine.
    Many thx and a good day
    best regards

    Werner Barthelmeß