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The E Type

 From the moment it was unveiled to the public, when a dustsheet was lifted to reveal a gleaming sports car at the 1961 Geneva Motor Show, the E-Type Jaguar was a sensation. Speedy and stylish, with long, low lines and a voluptuous racing bonnet, it captured the glamour, dynamism and optimism of Britain in the early 1960s.

 Many of the television villains in early episodes of The Avengers drove an E-Type, which was also the chosen sports car in the 1960s of Beatle George Harrison and superstar footballer George Best.

 Jaguar’s designer Malcolm Sayer and chief engineer William Haynes began work on the E-Type in the late 1950s under the supervision of the company’s founder William Lyons, who was passionate about design and a superb salesman.An aerodynamicist who had trained in the aircraft industry, Sayer designed the E-Type in accordance with mathematical principles. His calculations refined the sinuous silhouette of 1950s Jaguar racing cars into a sleek, sculptural form which, thanks to Haynes’ engineers, achieved a top speed of 150 miles per hour. At £2,097 for a roadster, the E-Type offered sporting luxury to chic 1960s drivers at half the price of a Ferrari or Aston Martin.

Jaguar produced 72,500 E-Types at its Coventry factory between 1961 and 1974. Two out of every three E-Types were exported, mostly to the US, where it was called the XKE. Sayer’s sleek silhouette informed the design of later models of the E-Type and has influenced other Jaguars ever since.



E Type Spotters Guide

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