“The most beautiful car in the world” proclaimed the great Enzo Ferrari. Compliments from “the old man” were few and far between, but almost non-existent when pushed in the direction of competitors. Gracious, proud and drop dead gorgeous the Jaguar E-Type is not just a very pretty car, it is a British icon.
1961 saw its introduction to the world as a car built on Jaguars success in motorsport. The Jaguar E-Type was in fact the worlds fastest road car when new and promised stunning performance to match those good looks. Powered by a 3.8 litre six-cylinder engine, 0-60MPH was achievable in only 7.1 seconds and the car could go onto a top speed of 150MPH. Both coupe and convertible variations proved popular and with the introduction of a 4.2 litre engine in 1964, that offered more torque, the E-Type was well and truly at the top of its game. A more practical 2+2 Coupe was added to the range in 1966. Back then new a Series 1 model cost £2,097 but today these cars are worth up to and over £100,000.
1968 ushered in the Series 2, a machine that improved upon some areas such as cooling over its predecessor and also was fit for US consumption. The symbolic headlights were now open and the ovular air intake had grown wider. Though only on sale for three years, the Series two still clocked up 18,809 sales.
The Series 3 was to be the last example of the Jaguar E-Type. A brand new engine in the shape of a V12 was offered with a displacement of 5.3 litres. The wheelbase for this car was much longer than the Series 1 and 2 with the car only being offered as a 2+2 coupe or convertible. The last Series 3 Jaguar E-Type rolled off the production line in 1974, 13 years after the very first.
Its long production life is a testament to the cars popularity and today collectors fall over each other to get their hands on an early example. A true British sports car through and through, the Jaguar E-Type more than deserves its place on this list.