'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. 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 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-litre cars built prior to February 1962 which, for many enthusiasts, remain the most desirable.
Dating from the first few weeks of production, this vehicle is one of the earliest surviving right-hand drive Jaguar E-Type roadsters (the chassis number sequence commenced at 850001). Un-restored, the car has covered only 65,000-or-so miles from new and there can be few of its kind left in such original condition.
'564 DFJ' was purchased by the current owner in February 1965 from Jaguar dealer A J Beal of Exeter and used regularly until circa 30 years ago. Taken off the road, it was stored outside, covered over, for the first five years and then garage stored until today. The provision of Koni shock absorbers and a Lenham hardtop are departures from factory specification, while the foot well and rear bulkhead have been altered to increase legroom. The original hood is included in the sale and the car also comes with owner's manual, data plate, old-style logbook and Swansea V5 document. Offered for restoration and sold strictly as viewed, '564 DFJ' represents a wonderful opportunity for the dedicated E-Type enthusiast.
This car was not in fact converted to Koni shock absorbers.