The First E-Type Sold in 1962,1961 Jaguar E-Type Coupe 885104
Lot 417
The First E-Type Sold in 1962,1961 Jaguar E-Type Series I ‘Flat Floor’ 3.8-Liter Coupé 885104
Sold for US$ 81,900 inc. premium
Lot Details
The First E-Type Sold in 1962
1961 Jaguar E-Type Series I ‘Flat Floor’ 3.8-Liter Coupé
Chassis no. 885104
Engine no. P2300-9
“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.” - John Bolster, Autosport.

Introduced in 3.8-liter form in 1961, the Jaguar E-Type caused a sensation when it appeared, with instantly classic lines and 150mph top speed. The newcomer’s 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 same 3.8-liter, triple-carburetor ‘S’ unit first offered as an option on the preceding XK150. With a claimed 265bhp available E-Type’s performance did not disappoint; firstly, because it weighed around 500lbs 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. Taller drivers though, could find the interior somewhat lacking in space, a criticism addressed by the introduction of foot wells (and other, more minor modifications) early in 1962. But of all the versions of Jaguar’s long-lived and much-loved sports car, it is the very early ‘flat floor’ 3.8-liter cars built prior to February 1962 that, for many enthusiasts, remain the most desirable.

Manufactured in 1961, this original California car was first sold in the USA on January 9th 1962 to one Alan Grey, M.D. of Newport Beach and comes with its original manufacturer’s warranty document, service booklet, tool kit, brake bleed hose, jack, owner’s handbook, service manual and garage wall lubrication chart. Chassis number ‘885104’, is a very early model (the numbering sequence for left-hand drive coupés commenced at ‘885001’) and Dr. Haddock’s E-Type Restoration lists only a few coupés prior to this one.

The car is offered fresh from a total top to bottom restoration undertaken between December 1999 and November 2006. Every nut, bolt and rivet has been removed from the car and the monocoque body tub and front and rear sub-frames have been disassembled, refurbished and expertly primed, blocked and repainted. The original engine, transmission, rear axle assembly, steering and suspension components have all been rebuilt along with the brakes, while a new radiator and cooling fan system have been employed to enhance driveability. The engine is a work of art: its aluminum cam covers, carburetors and linkages are buffed and polished, and the block and cylinder head have been refinished in the original black and pumpkin orange colors. This is how Sir William Lyons intended the XKE’s engine compartment to look.

All the Jaguar chromium was removed and re-plated to the highest standard, and a set of five stainless-steel wire wheels, shod with tubeless radial tires, replaced the originals for safety. On re-assembly many original parts were refurbished and some new parts used where safety or efficiency dictated. The interior was restored to its original beige using fine quality leather on the seats, some vinyl trim (where original) and cloth headliner and sun visors. The rear deck has the plywood base with vinyl and chromed rubbing strakes as installed by Jaguar, while the passenger compartment is fully carpeted with the appropriate underlay beneath. The dashboard and propshaft tunnel are finished in the factory star-pattern aluminum.

Offered with restoration photo album and invoices (totalling approximately $80,000) plus California Certificate of Title, this is a very significant car and there cannot be too many examples around possessing its original history and in such magnificent condition. As such it represents a very rare opportunity to acquire a Jaguar legend.
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