1966 Jaguar XKE Series 1 4.2 Open Two Seater  Chassis no. 1E13181 Engine no. 7E9399-9

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Lot 256
1966 Jaguar XKE Series 1 4.2 Open Two Seater
Chassis no. 1E13181 Engine no. 7E9399-9

US$ 130,000 - 150,000
£ 110,000 - 120,000
1966 Jaguar XKE Series 1 4.2 Open Two Seater
Chassis no. 1E13181
Engine no. 7E9399-9
Body no. 4E4891

Jaguar’s postwar sports models were a phenomenal success. Svelte and powerful, the 1948 XK120 received an enthusiastic welcome in Europe and the United States. Its dual overhead cam six was unparalleled, and its modern styling unrivaled by any other British sports car. Successor models XK-140 and XK-150 perpetuated the legend, but by the late 1950s they were looking dated, though their engineering and performance still excelled. In 1958, Jaguar technical director William Heynes and designer Malcolm Sayer convinced their boss, Sir William Lyons, that a new production sports model was needed. Thus was born the E-Type, one of Jaguar’s longest-running and most revered models.

Although enormously popular, the early XKE, as Jaguar’s E-Type was sold in the United States, had a number of shortcomings. The transmission, while sturdy, had an unsynchronized first gear, and the seat backs were non-adjustable, fine for short trips but tiring on a long journey. The cooling system, too, was marginal in some of the warmer American climes.

For 1965, these drawbacks were addressed, the gearbox given full synchros, the seat backs made adjustable, and a new brake booster fitted. The engine was enlarged to 4.2 liters, but horsepower remained the same. Torque output, however, was greater and this made for better tractability in traffic situations. A larger radiator improved cooling.

The car retained its pure form but was now more comfortable and responsive on the road. Plaudits from the press were universal, Motor Trend calling it “unquestionably the fastest car to be made in quantity and offered to the public as a package.” Road & Track enthused that it was “possible to drive at 15mph in 4th gear without jerking or back-lashing,” all the while achieving up to 21mpg. At home in Britain, The Autocar said “It offers what drivers have so long asked for, namely, sports-car performance and handling, combined with the docility, gentle suspension and appointments of a town car.” But for many its greatest asset was that it looked the part, and that nothing else looked like it. Whether “XKE” or “E-Type” it made a statement about its owner and all who rode in it.

This numbers-matching Series I Open Two Seater has been the beneficiary of a frame-up restoration, completed to a very high standard. The exterior is painted Golden Sand Metallic, offset nicely by the correct-style 1966 interior and Everflex soft top in black. All chrome and trim is exceptional, and the engine compartment is fully detailed to show standards. It is equipped with a Blaupunkt AM/FM radio, and comes with a Jaguar Heritage Certificate of its production record.

The car runs, drives and handles exceptionally well, the odometer showing 62,000 miles. The 4.2 liter engine runs strong, the fully-synchronized four-speed transmission shifts smoothly, and the adjustable seats provide comfort for any driver. Perhaps the best of the early E-Types, the late Series I cars provide power, tractability and comfort, while retaining the covered headlights, switchgear and full instrumentation of the early cars. This Open Two Seater will feel at home in any collection.
1966 Jaguar XKE Series 1 4.2 Open Two Seater  Chassis no. 1E13181 Engine no. 7E9399-9
1966 Jaguar XKE Series 1 4.2 Open Two Seater  Chassis no. 1E13181 Engine no. 7E9399-9
1966 Jaguar XKE Series 1 4.2 Open Two Seater  Chassis no. 1E13181 Engine no. 7E9399-9
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