What is beauty? A song will tell you that it is in the eye of the beholder. The dictionary says it is “a combination of qualities that pleases the senses.” An artist will ramble on about perfect proportions. Though all of these things are correct, personally I think beauty can be summed up in one line. Something that invokes an emotional response. Enzo Ferrari once said that the Jaguar E-Type is “the most beautiful car in the world” and up until recently I have waved that quote around like a nations flag. I have had the pleasure of driving a Jaguar E-Type and from the moment you lay eyes on it, there is no getting away from its elegance. But now I’m afraid Enzo is wrong… As legendary as he was, he did not possess the ability to see into the future, so I guess we can forgive him for this one. No, the most beautiful car in the world is not the Jaguar E-Type. It is the Eagle Low Drag GT.
You may have heard of Eagle before. The small British company have been supplying and tinkering with Jaguar E-Types for the past 30 years. If you want some of the best examples of this british icon these are the guys you go to. The Eagle Speedster is a car that they have produced themselves in the image of the Jaguar E-Type. Think of it as a greatest hits model with all of the best bits from the E-Types styling history along with some extra flare and modern-day engineering. That is indeed a handsome car, but Eagle have always wanted to go one step beyond the Speedster.
Back in the 60’s Jaguar were experimenting with a more aerodynamic racing variant of the Jaguar E-Type called the Low Drag Coupe. Jag built just one of these cars and in the end it was never officially raced by the company. Other privateer teams built two of their own Low Drag models and so Eagle’s new car is the culmination of three designs but built for the 21st century. This Low Drag GT is still in a sense a Jaguar E-Type but every nut, bolt wire and piston has been fettled to work reliably and to a standard that you would expect from todays sports cars. The Eagle is in essence is a paradox. It is a delicious slice of chocolate cake that doesn’t make you fat, the six-pack without spending hours at the gym, the classic car without those classic car headaches.
Visually, you could get drunk off of how utterly stunning this machine is. Its long proud bonnet stretching off into the horizon, bulbous cockpit and curves only a supermodel could dream of are all absolutely delicious. The car oozes character from each beautifully crafted detail and although the photographers have done a great job on this car, I bet even these excellent portraits do not do the car justice. It is sleek, unique and familiar both at the same time with a silhouette that is timeless.
Within its masterfully sculpted aluminium body sits a cockpit that has had all of the care and attention of a fine watch put into it. Aircraft inspired gauges and toggle switches set the mood within this mobile piece of art. Under the bonnet is a 4.7 litre fuel injected aluminium engine which promises plenty of torquey acceleration.
With luxuries such as power steering coming from the present-day and architecture inspired by the past, the Eagle Low Drag GT could well be the perfect grand tourer. I guess in a way Enzo was not completely wrong. The most beautiful car in the world is still an E-Type, just built by Eagle and not Jaguar.
Photography by James Lipman