1973 Jaguar XKE Series 3 V12 5.3 Liter Roadster
Chassis no. UD1S21850
Testing the E-Type Series III back in 1972, Road & Track magazine reckoned the new V12 power unit, "a sheer delight, by itself almost worth the price of admission. The V12 is a lovely piece of machinery, lovely to listen to and lovely to behold. The exhaust has that hurried sound characteristic of a multiple-cylinder engine where the many explosions per revolution make it sound as if it's running faster than an engine with fewer cylinders. The idle is smooth and quiet with none of the mechanical busyness one normally experiences from the likes of a Ferrari or Lamborghini V12. And the smoothness lingers throughout the rev range."
One consequence of the E-Type's long process of development had been a gradual increase in weight, but a good measure of the concomitant loss of performance was restored in 1971 with the arrival of what would be the final version the Series III V12. Jaguar's new engine could not have enjoyed a more fortuitous parentage, having been designed by Walter Hassan and Harry Mundy, two of the most experienced and respected engineers in the industry. Weighing only 80lb more than the cast-iron-block, 4.2-liter XK six it superseded, the new all-alloy, 5.3-liter V12 produced 272bhp, an output good enough for a top speed comfortably in excess of 140mph. Further good news was that the 0-100mph time of around 16 seconds made the V12 the fastest-accelerating E-Type ever.
Beneath the skin, ventilated front discs improved braking power and the front suspension gained anti-dive geometry. Lucas transistorized ignition and Adwest power-assisted steering were now standard, while automatic transmission was one of the more popular options on what was now more of a luxury Grand Tourer than out-and-out sports car. Flared wheel arches, a deeper radiator air intake complete with grille, and a four-pipe exhaust system distinguished the Series III from its six-cylinder forbears, plus, of course, that all-important 'V12' boot badge. The interior though, remained traditional Jaguar.
This original stick shift example of Jaguars' third and final series of the XKE has been with its present custodian for more than 20 years. During this time the car has been regularly used and enjoyed, yet ostensibly it remains an original and largely unrestored car. The interior in original beige leather has dried a little and the driver's seat has some tears to it. The car was repainted to the current stark red scheme shortly after it arrived in this collection and that is now showing a few signs of its age.
A driver quality car that is ready to do just that, it will surely provide its new owner with the effortless and long legged driving experience that the these late XKE's are so well known for.