1973 Jaguar XKE SIII V12 Convertible

If ever there was an auto manufacturer to take lessons learned from racing and apply them to their street cars, it was Jaguar. The legendary D-type was a formidable competitor on the track and Jaguar included all the D’s best traits when it debuted the E-type in 1961.

Arguably the most well recognized sports car of its era, the E-type had a perfect combination of curvaceous lines, high performance and affordable price. This winning combination helped establish it as an instant hit and its popularity has only grown stronger.

The evolution of the E-type is well documented. The initial 3.8-liter model lacked footwell space, had uncomfortable seats, massive brake fade and an engine prone to overheating-yet it was loved. Ten years and numerous improvements later, Jaguar launched a V12 engine in its E-type that provided lots of torque and horsepower. The V12 was not the only improvement for the third and final series of E-types-it was now well appointed with features, while drivability benefited from power steering and brakes. The result was a sophisticated grand tourer.

The V12 model pictured here is fresh from a complete nut-and-bolt restoration to JCNA standards. The no-expense-spared restoration was completed four years ago; since then, the car has remained in a bubble, virtually untouched. It is beautifully finished in red with biscuit interior and is complete with optional wire wheels. The four-speed gearbox makes best use of the powerful 12-cylinder engine and the air conditioning will keep you cool in warm weather.

These late-model E-types mark the end of an era, and their user-friendly operation makes them highly suitable for all enthusiasts to enjoy on a regular basis.

Gary Anderson

Gary Anderson - SCM Contributor

Gary is also Editor in Chief of The Star, the magazine for the Mercedes-Benz Club of America. He has been active for many years in the Austin-Healey Club USA and is co-author of MBI’s best-selling Austin-Healey Restoration Guide, as well as editor of the Austin-Healey Magazine. An avid vintage race driver, he ran his 1960 MGA in three Monterey Historics, four Wine Country Classics, and the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix. He is the author of Motoring: Getting the Maximum from Your New Mini, a comprehensive guide to the new MINI Cooper, available through Amazon.com.

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