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.
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.