For those who don’t know, 2011 is a very important year for Jaguar as this year marks the one of the most famous model of the British manufacturer: the E-Type. As a result, Jaguar announced that it will celebrate this special anniversary year at high-profile motoring events throughout 2011.
This means that the firm will mark the anniversary at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show and go on to celebrate at Goodwood’s Revival and Festival of Speed, the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, the Nurburgring Old Timer Grand Prix and a host of Jaguar customer, dealer and lifestyle events worldwide.
The Jaguar E-Type was launched back in 1061 and set new standards in automotive design and performance. The car was unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show in March 1961, and caused a sensation due to the fact that it was capable of achieving 150mph, but costing a fraction of the price of rivals with similar performance.
As expected, the E-Type made quite a buzz among celebrities as Jaguar says that some of E-Type owners included celebrities such as George Best, Brigitte Bardot, Tony Curtis and Steve McQueen.
When the Jaguar E-Type made its debut at the Geneva Motor Show in March 1961, this new supercar instantly became an icon. After all, it could run as fast as 150mph but is not as pricey as other supercars boasting a similar performance.
It was such a hit that it remained on sale for 14 years with over 70,000 units sold during the period, making it the first mass-produced sports car in Europe.
When Jaguar presented the E-Type to the global media at the du Parc des Eaux Vives restaurant in Geneva on March 15, 1961, the press also pushed for a demonstration of the vehicle’s capability with a run up a nearby hillclimb.
The media uproar for the new model had been so strong that Jaguar founder Sir William Lyons instructed chief test driver Norman Dewis to drive another model from Coventry to Switzerland. When it first became available to the public, the E-Type was priced at £2,256 -- including purchase tax and optional wire wheels -- equivalent to around £38,000 today.
It was powered by a straight-six engine that gave Jaguar five Le Mans victories in the 1950s. By 1961, this engine – bearing a displacement of 3.8 liters – was capable of delivering 265bhp of output and 260lb ft of torque, which made the car powerful enough to reach 150 mph and make it the fastest production car in the world.
Its body work was credited to Malcolm Sayer, an aeronautical engineer by training. Sayer was also responsible for shaping the earlier Le Mans-winning C and D-Type racers. No less than Enzo Ferrari had claimed that the Jaguar E-Type was "the most beautiful car in the world."