Jaguar E-Type has been voted the UK’s favourite sports car

Article by Christian Andrei, on July 6, 2011

Jaguar E-type is the favorite sports vehicle in the United Kingdom, based on the votes cast by classic car lovers and race goers in an online poll run by the organizers of the Silverstone Classic. The iconic brand celebrates its 50th anniversary this year.

There were almost 3,000 participants who cast their votes on what their favorite is among a list of 15 vehicle models. The E-type claimed nearly one in four votes, beating the evergreen Morgan, which took second place.

The TVR Griffith was ranked third. The Silverstone Classic, the biggest classic motor sport festival in the world, takes over the Northampton circuit on July 22 to 24.

According to Nick Wigley, event director of Silverstone Classic, Britain is popular for its sports vehicles but until now, no one has ever been able to state which of these cars is the best.

On another note, this month’s Silverstone Classic marks the birthday of the E-type. It will enter two headline races with up to 58 examples taking to the grid. Organizers of the event are also hoping to set a world record with of 1,000 road-going examples parading around the 3.66-mile long Grand Prix circuit.

The three-day festival will definitely be full-packed with action. With 22 races planned, fans are guaranteed plenty of action from a wide range of historic and classic sports vehicles.

The Jaguar E-Type is also known as the XK-E in the United States market. The E-Type was manufactured by Jaguar from 1961 through 1975. More than 70,000 units of the E-Type were sold during that period, helped by competitive pricing, top performance and outstanding looks. It is widely regarded as being an icon for motoring in the 1960s.

Series 1

The Series 1 was first introduced in March 1961. Although it was first intended to be for export only, the car was soon launched in the domestic market in July of that same year. The first generation Jaguar E-Type had a triple SU carburetted 3.8 L engine. The Jaguar XK6 engine had six cylinders.

For the first 500 cars, Jaguar incorporated flat floors and external bonnet latches into the car. Today, these cars are much more valuable than the other first gen E-Types.

The design also evolved since then. Soon after the launch, the floors were given a concave shape instead of flat, providing more legroom. Meanwhile, the external latches were transferred indoors. The engine capacity was also increased to 4.2 L in 1964.

All E-Type vehicles had independent coil spring suspension at the rear that had torsion bar front ends, as well as four power-assisted wheel disc brakes, which Jaguar had been putting on their cars by default since 1958, making them the among the first automakers to do so.

The most distinct features of the Series 1 were the glass-covered headlights, exhaust tips beneath the rear license plate, signal lights and tail lights above the bumpers, and the front’s small mouth.

The E-Type’s 3.8 L cars had an aluminium-edged instrument panel and console, leather bucket seats, and, of course, the Moss box (four-speed gearbox). The 4.2 L variety was distinguished from the earlier models by the badge that says "Jaguar 4.2 Litre E-Type" instead of the basic Jaguar logo. Add-ons included the detachable hardtop and the chrome wheels.

It is very difficult to find the original E-Type hard top, especially those that are in mint condition, with all the chrome still intact, and in its original paint. This is the reason why there are quite a number of third-party resellers that have manufactured a similar hard top that conforms to the exact specifications of the original. These reproductions cost up to triple the price of a vinyl or canvas top.

In 1966, Jaguar launched the 2+2 version of the E-Type. The 2+2 allowed people to choose between manual and automatic transmission. It had a longer body and different roof angles than the earlier models. It also had a more vertical windshield.

A few people know about the open headlights on the later models of the E-Type. These headlights came out between the end of production for Series 1 and just before the start of "Series 1 1/2." The open headlights are found only on a few units, making it one of the rarest E-type cars out in the market.

Speaking of the Series 1 1/2, these transitional series cars were built starting 1967. The Series 1 1/2 had no difference from the Series 1 if you look at it from the outside. But Series 1 1/2 cars had more features, such as different switches, open headlights, and a couple of de-tunings. Some cars in this series also feature seat backs that were adjustable and had twin cooling fans. More importantly, Series 1 1/2 saw the gradual introduction of features that would be used in Series 2 cars. In time, Series 1 1/2 cars were widely regarded as having Series 2 features housed inside the Series 1 body type.

The first 3.8 L E-type car was ready by 1961, and that was tested by British magazine The Motor. The first production car had top speeds of a little more than 149 mph and could go from 0 mph to 60 mph in 7.1 seconds. Its fuel consumption was rated at 21.3 miles for every imperial gallon of fuel you loaded up. That test car reportedly cost £2097 with taxes thrown in.

Topics: jaguar, jaguar e-type, uk

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