Formerly the property of Sir Elton John 1965 Jaguar XKE 4.2-Litre Series I Roadster Registration no. OKE 1 Chassis no. 1E1256 Engine no. 7E4098-9
'If Les Vingt Quatre Heures du Mans has been responsible for the new E-Type Jaguar, then that Homeric contest on the Sarthe circuit will have been abundantly justified. Here we have one of the quietest and most flexible cars on the market, capable of whispering along in top gear at 10mph or leaping into its 150mph stride on the brief depression of a pedal. A practical touring car, this, with its wide doors and capacious luggage space, yet it has a sheer beauty of line which easily beats the Italians at their own particular game.' There have been few better summaries of the E-Type's manifest virtues than the forgoing, penned by the inimitable John Bolster for Autosport shortly after the car's debut. Introduced in 3.8-litre form in 1961, the Jaguar E-Type (XKE in the USA) caused a sensation when it appeared, with instantly classic lines and 150mph top speed. While, inevitably, the car's stupendous straight-line performance and gorgeous looks grabbed the headlines, there was nevertheless a lot more to the E-Type beneath the skin. The newcomer's design owed much to that of the racing D-Type; indeed, the E-Type would be one of the last great sports cars developed directly from a successful competition ancestor. Just as in the D-Type, a monocoque tub formed the main body/chassis structure while a tubular spaceframe extended forwards to support the engine. The latter was the same 3.8-litre, triple-carburettor, 'S' unit first offered as an option on the preceding XK150. With a claimed 265 horsepower on tap, the E-Type's performance did not disappoint; firstly, because it weighed around 500lb less than the XK150 and secondly because aerodynamicist Malcolm Sayer used experience gained with the D-Type to create one of the most elegant and efficient shapes ever to grace a motor car. Developed from that of the original XK120 sports car and refined in the racing D-Type, the double wishbone, independent front suspension was mounted on the forward subframe that supported the engine. At the rear the suspension broke new ground for a large-capacity sports car, being independent at a time when most of its major rivals relied on the traditional live rear axle. Dunlop disc brakes were fitted to all four wheels; those at the rear being mounted inboard alongside the differential to reduce un-sprung weight. Only in terms of its transmission did the E-Type represent no significant advance over the XK150 whose durable four-speed Moss gearbox it retained, although the latter would be replaced when the 4.2-litre engine was introduced. The 4.2-litre version of Jaguar's sensational E-Type was launched in October 1964, a more user friendly, all-synchromesh gearbox and superior Lockheed brake servo forming part of the improved specification alongside the bigger, torquier engine. Apart from '4.2' badging, the car's external appearance was unchanged, but beneath the skin there were numerous detail improvements. These mainly concerned the cooling and electrical systems, the latter gaining an alternator and adopting the industry standard negative ground, while the interior boasted a matt black dashboard and improved seating arrangements. The top speed remained unchanged at around 150mph, the main performance gain resulting from the larger engine being improved flexibility. In 1968 the E-Type underwent major revision to comply with US legislation, emerging in 'Series 2' guise minus the distinctive headlight covers that contributed much to its aerodynamic efficiency and stunning good looks. Thus of all the many E-Type variants, it is the Series 1 4.2-litre Roadster that the majority of enthusiasts consider the most desirable, combining as it does the purity of the original concept with 'fresh air' motoring, improved reliability and the larger engine's superior performance. Jaguar/Daimler Heritage Trust records show that this Jaguar E-Type was originally supplied in right-hand drive configuration and finished in Carmen Red livery complete with black interior and matching hood, its specification today. Completed on 7th May 1965, the E-Type was despatched via Henlys on the 19th of that same month to Boon & Porter Ltd. The car's first owner was Allen Hudson of Croydon, Surrey but its subsequent history is not known prior to its acquisition in 1987 by Elton John (Sir Elton John following his knighthood in 1998). According to a brass plaque under the bonnet, this E-Type was totally restored in 1979 by John Talman at Michael Cane Restorations of Mill Lane, Godalming, Surrey (later to become Mill Lane Engineering). Thirty years later the restoration has worn well, indicating that it must have been executed to a very high standard at the time. During Sir Elton's 14 years of ownership the Jaguar was maintained by Weybridge Automobiles and kept ready to drive at a moment's notice, though its actual use was quite limited. Sir Elton John and his staff referred to the E-Type as 'OK Elton' on account of its registration, which was carried throughout his ownership. The current vendor bought the E-Type when a selection of cars from Sir Elton's collection was auctioned in 2001. Since acquisition it has been regularly maintained by Jaguar main dealer Harwoods on an annual basis, its most recent service having been carried out on 30th June 2011. While in the vendor's care the E-Type has shared a dehumidified garage with several other classics, covering only 1,000 miles in the last 10 years. As well as a most desirable colour scheme, 'OKE 1' also boasts chromed wire wheels and a Trio radio/cassette, and comes complete with its jack and tool roll. Described by the private vendor as in generally good condition, this most attractive E-Type roadster is offered with Heritage Certificate, current road fund licence, MoT to October 2012 and Swansea V5 registration document.