1963 Jaguar E-Type 3.8 Series 1 Roadster
|Engine||In-line six-cylinder, 3800cc|
|Gearbox||4-speed manual with overdrive|
A unique blend of speed, style and sex appeal, Jaguar’s E-type created a sensation when it was first unveiled to the public at the 1961 Geneva Motor Show. Malcolm Sayer’s stunning shape worked equally as well in roadster or fixed-head guises but the E-type was not just a pretty face – under that long bonnet the race-bred 3.8-litre XK engine developed 265 horsepower, pushing the new Jaguar to speeds hitherto achieved only by Italian exotics costing much more. Indeed, no other manufacturer could match Jaguar’s ability to offer genuine 150 mph performance at such an affordable price. Living up to the old saying that racing improves the breed, the E-type’s monocoque construction method was developed from the legendary D-type racers, while the new independent rear suspension set-up had been trialled on the experimental E2A racer. Disc brakes, a feature found on racing Jaguars for a number of years, were fitted all round – inboard at the rear to reduce unsprung weight. The DOHC in-line six had triple SU HD8 carburettors, a 9.0:1 compression ratio, developed 265 bhp at 5500 rpm and, just as importantly, 260 lb/ft of torque at 4000 rpm to give the E-type great flexibility. Jaguar built 7,818 E-type 3.8-litre roadsters and these early cars retain a purity – both in the styling and driving experience – that became increasingly diluted on later versions. Today collectors recognise the importance of the original 3.8s and they are now the most sought after of all E-types, with values climbing steadily in recent years.