'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.' - John Bolster, Autosport.
Introduced in 3.8-litre form in 1961, the Jaguar E-Type caused a sensation when it appeared, with instantly classic lines and 150mph top speed. Its design owed much to that of the racing D-Type: a monocoque tub forming the main structure while a tubular spaceframe extended forwards to support the engine. The latter was the 3.8-litre, triple-carburettor, 'S' unit first offered as an option on the XK150. An optimistic 265bhp was claimed, but whatever the installed horsepower, the E-Type's performance did not disappoint; firstly, because it weighed around 500lb (227kg) less than the XK150 and secondly because aerodynamicist Malcolm Sayer - in collaboration with Sir William Lyons - used experience gained with the D-Type to create one of the most elegant and efficient shapes ever to grace a motor car.
This desirable early E-Type was manufactured in left-hand drive configuration and sold new in the USA. In the immediately preceding ownership since the early 1980s, the car was switched to its current right-hand drive configuration during the course of a complete 'body off' rebuild carried out by renowned marque specialist Jim Rothwell in 1991 (see bills on file). The current vendor purchased the E-Type at Bonhams' sale at the RAF Museum, Hendon in April 2009 (Lot 321) planning to restore it to excellent condition while at the same time incorporating various improvements. Some £40,000-50,000 has been spent thus far on the project, which is only offered for sale following a sudden change in the vendor's personal circumstances. Mounted on a buck, the body has been stripped, repaired and coated in quality primer ready for painting. The engine and gearbox have been removed, checked and found to be satisfactory, and are included in the sale together with the bonnet, boot lid, doors, original interior trim, etc, etc. Sold strictly as viewed, with much of the work already done, this exciting E-Type restoration project is offered with Swansea VC registration document.