Jaguar E-Type: How Jaguar’s 1961 dream car fell short of the hype

18 August 2017

The E-Type Jaguar’s legendary status makes it a difficult car to write about without falling into truisms. Rare indeed has any new model invoked such passion and admiration. Enzo Ferrari proclaimed it to be the most beautiful car ever made and celebrities including Frank Sinatra apparently wanted to buy one without even driving it when Jaguar’s most famous sports car made its debut at the Geneva Salon in March 1961.

In 2017 Jaguar announced the Reborn E-Type. The above two images reveal just how elegant the classic shape looks more than 60 years after its first public appearance (at the 1961 Geneva Salon). 

Three key elements explain the phenomenal appeal of the car. Firstly, to most observers it was gorgeous. Secondly, it was anywhere between one-third and half the price of other sports cars with similar performance. Thirdly, it had a claimed top speed of 150 miles per hour. These three factors were so overwhelming that the car immediately achieved a kind of hero status that it did not perhaps wholly deserve.