The first significant up-grade of Jaguar's sensational E-Type sports car occurred in October 1964 with the launch of the 4.2-litre version. Along with the bigger, torquier engine came a more user-friendly gearbox with synchromesh on first gear, and a superior Lockheed brake servo. Apart from '4.2' badging, the car's external appearance was unchanged, but under 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 of around 150mph remained unchanged, the main performance gain resulting from the larger engine being improved acceleration. Like its 3.8-litre forbear, the 4.2-litre E-Type was built in roadster and coupé forms, and in 1966 gained an additional 2+2 coupé variant on a 9" longer wheelbase that was intended to extend the E-Type's appeal beyond the traditional sports car-buying market.
In 1968 all three versions of the E-Type underwent major revision to comply with US safety and emissions legislation, emerging in 'Series 2' guise minus the original's distinctive headlight covers. In addition, enlarged side and rear lights were adopted while a thickened front bumper centre section bridged a larger radiator intake. Interior changes included a collapsible steering column and rocker switches in place of the earlier toggles. From late 1967 the E-Type began to embody some of the aforementioned modifications, these interim cars coming to be known as the 'Series 1½' although there was never a fixed specification for this unofficial 'model'. Consequently it is difficult to establish a production figure, though a total of around 2,800 has been suggested, making the 'Series 1½' one of the rarest of E-Type variants.
Manufactured in April 1967 during this transitional period, this left-hand drive 'Series 1½' Roadster was built for export to the USA and originally finished in Midnight Blue with matching leather upholstery, black hood, blue carpets and a manual gearbox. It has only recently been imported to the UK and is presented in generally excellent condition. There are import and title documents with the car confirming that it was imported from the sunny State of Florida, together with some original documentation (and even the original radio for the car when it was in the USA). Clearly the beneficiary of a fairly recent restoration (although there is no paperwork to confirm exactly when) the car sits well on its chromed wire wheels and is said to drive extremely well. Offered with current MoT/tax and Swansea V5C document, this rare E-Type affords the prospect of pleasurable driving as well as being a potential long-term investment.