As anyone who has owned or worked on a Jaguar E-type can tell you, there’s a lot there to anger a person. Still, everyone – owner, mechanic, or just a passerby – will never say the E-type is ugly. And now that we’re 60 years on with the E-type living in our world, the Coventry outfit has decided to mark the occasion with a new, extremely limited series of these beauties, courtesy of Jaguar Classic.
In case you didn’t know, Jaguar Classic is the factory arm that serves as the official source of authentic cars, expert services, genuine parts, and unforgettable experiences for Jaguar devotees the world over. For example, Jag Classic handles the E-type Reborn restorations and builds exclusive “new original” Jaguar Continuation Cars. And in this instance, they seem to have invented a time machine that can whisk you back to Geneva, 1961.
Jaguar E-type 60th Anniversary
The Geneva Motor Show in March 1961. That was when Jaguar first displayed the then-new E-type to the world. Two models, in fact, a convertible and a coupe. It is these two exact cars that Jaguar Classic has decided to recreate in stunning detail. Jaguar Classic is creating six limited-edition matched pairs of restored 3.8 E-type sports cars, each pair known as the E-type 60 Collection. Yes, six. S-i-x. All the fingers on one hand, plus an extra. When I said “limited edition,” I was not kidding around.
First up, we have six 9600 HP-inspired E-type 60 Edition fixed-head coupes. That’s British for “hardtops.” The “9600 HP” part comes from the license plate that adorned the Geneva show car. The coupes will be finished in a unique Flat Out Grey paintwork with Smooth Black leather interior and feature many 1961 tribute details.
To match the coupes, you’ll see six E-type 60 Edition roadsters, dubbed the “77 RW” for the plates the drop-tops wore in 1961. The converts will be painted in a unique Drop Everything Green color and come with a Suede Green leather interior.
These 1961 tribute details include bespoke design elements such as a commemorative E-type 60 logo adorning the hood, fuel cap, chassis plate, and clock face in the tachometer. Julian Thomson, Jaguar Design Director, is responsible for these touches. Other special touches, like the custom-designed and engraved center console, celebrate the epic road trips taken by Norman Dewis and Bob Berry to get the sports cars to the 1961 launch. The center console art was conceived by artist King Nerd. Yeah, that’s a real person. I checked.
Each piece of center console art takes more than 100 hours to create by hand.
Engine & Powertrain
Each E-type 60 Edition features a close-ratio five-speed manual gearbox mated to the 3.8-liter inline six-cylinder Jaguar XK engine. This is a good move, given that the original four-speed had a “kind-of-too-tall” fourth (if you ask me). Also, that big 3.8-liter six is a hallmark of a plant. All of the kinks were worked out decades ago, so you should be good to go.
Speaking of good to go, Jag points out that there have been understated enhancements for added usability and drivability. These include the Jaguar Classic Infotainment System with satellite navigation and Bluetooth connectivity, a stainless steel exhaust system (that’s a plus!), electronic ignition (an even bigger plus!), and a cooling upgrade that includes an alloy radiator (don’t get me started on how big of a plus this is!).
If you’re lucky enough to get one of these Jaguar E-type 60 Collection cars, you’ll get to spend a chunk of your summer in 2022 taking part in the ultimate E-type pilgrimage: a Coventry-to-Geneva drive experience in your new Jag to create your own E-type memories. You can expect breath-taking scenery through the Alpine passes, exclusive hotel stays, and fine cuisine throughout the trip.
Sigh. I will not be one of those six people since Jaguar has seen fit not to allocate one to me. Such is life.
Tony Borroz has spent his entire life racing antique and sports cars. He is the author of Bricks & Bones: The Endearing Legacy and Nitty-Gritty Phenomenon of The Indy 500, available in paperback or Kindle format. Follow his work on Twitter: @TonyBorroz.