Jaguar decides to build the rest of the 1963 Lightweight E-types 50 years later

Article by Christian A., on May 14, 2014

Back in 1963, Jaguar announced that it will offer 18 ‘Special GT E-Type cars’ but the British manufacturer delivered only 12 of the aluminum-bodied Lightweight E-Types. Making a simple calculus, there were six vehicles that weren’t built. Many of you folks would say that Jaguar will never build them, but you know… never say never, as Jaguar has just announced that it will build the vehicles 50 years later!

This is Jaguar’s first ever recreation project and the company will use the six remaining chassis numbers which were originally allocated in 1963. The first new Lightweight E-Type will arrive later this summer and according to Jaguar, each car will be hand-built in-house by its finest craftsmen.

Jaguar says that the Lightweight E-Type will feature the exact specifications of their original 1960s forebears. This means that the vehicles will be powered by a 3.8-liter straight-six engine and will be 114 kg (250 lb) less than the standard E-type thanks to the all-aluminum body and engine black but also the lack of interior trim and exterior chrome work.

As Jaguar is expecting a high demand for the six Lightweight E-Types don’t expect the vehicles to be cheap especially when established car collectors are among the potential customers who expressed their interest in the new ‘old’ cars.

Jaguar revealed that the Lightweight E-type’s main component is the aluminum bodyshell. This is unlike a standard car that uses steel given that by using this type of material, the weight of the production version of the E-type is expected to be lower by 250 lbs. (114 kg).

Even with a gap amounting to half a century, the use of aluminum for the six new Lightweight E-type models guarantees that these new models are related to the current Jaguar range, in particular the XJ range and even the F-TYPE.

According to the brand, these two models are being developed to have aluminum bodies using stringent standards with the goal of lowering the weight. Not surprising then to learn that Jaguar is now ahead of its rivals when it comes to manufacturing models using aluminum for the body.

Despite the use of aluminum technology on volume production cars being a new field, Jaguar has shown that it has the unmatched experience. Jaguar disclosed that when its engineers were given the goal of recreating the aluminum body of the Lightweight E-type, they were able to relate immediately to what others have done 50 years in the past.

While the brand knew that there was a large leap in terms of technology sometime in the early part of the 1960s, it made the decision not to integrate any contemporary fixing processes or even modern materials. Though it was possible to make sure that the high-strength aluminum alloy and bonded structures not be seen, it would have meant deviating from the original design.

It would also not have conformed to the homologation requirements set by FIA for historic racing. However, Jaguar still made sure that it would be able to utilize many of the cutting-edge technology available today. This was to allow and ensure that the open two-seater body components of the Lightweight E-type would display the highest quality while also remaining to be a faithful version. For example, using advanced scanning technology, Jaguar was able to digitally map both the inner surfaces, as well as outer ones, of the Lightweight bodyshell.

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