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Lot 155: Jaguar E-Type 3.8-Litre Lightweight Low-Drag Competition Coup�

Goodwood Revival Sale, Bonhams (15 September 2012)

Right from the moment deliveries commenced in 1961, the E-Type began to find its way on to the world's racetracks. In the Grand Touring class for production sports cars the E-Type proved competitive right from the start, Graham Hill celebrating the model's racing debut by winning at Oulton Park on 3rd April 1961. The elevation of the GT class to Manufacturers' Championship status for 1963 prompted Jaguar to develop a small batch of very special lightweight cars to challenge Ferrari. The FIA's regulations for the Gran Turismo category stipulated that a minimum of 100 cars had to be built, but permitted coachwork modifications, thus enabling Jaguar to claim that its lightweights were standard E-types fitted with altered bodywork. (This is the same loophole exploited by Ferrari to get the limited edition 250 GTO homologated, by claiming that they were re-bodied 250 GTs). In fact, all 12 lightweight E-Types constructed in period were built from scratch with aluminium bodies, though they were invoiced as a new standard road car with additional modifications and numbered in the normal production sequence, albeit with an 'S' chassis number prefix. This was not the first occasion that a low-drag body had been tried on the E-Type; Jaguar's Experimental Department had built one in 1962 but the project was shelved. To create the 1963 lightweight version, the E-Type's steel monocoque tub and outer body panels were remanufactured in aluminium and the engine dry-sumped and fitted with an alloy cylinder black, 'wide-angle' head and Lucas mechanical fuel injection, producing in excess of 300bhp. The production four-speed gearbox was used initially before a ZF five-speed unit was adopted towards the end of 1963. '4 WPD', the works development E-Type racer campaigned by John Coombs and driven by Graham Hill, was converted to lightweight specification and served as the prototype. The 12 cars built by the factory were intended for the use of competition orientated Jaguar dealers or specially selected private entrants. Two of them, campaigned by Peter Lindner (Jaguar's Frankfurt distributor) and Peter Lumsden, were fitted with a revised, low-drag tail section devised by aerodynamicist Malcolm Sayer, the man responsible for the standard production E-Type. This move to a more aerodynamic design had been prompted by the fact that although the GTOs had proved beatable on British short circuits, on faster tracks and in events of longer duration they decisively held the upper hand. The best result obtained at international level by a low-drag E-Type was achieved by Dick Protheroe's ex-works experimental E-Type racer (the solitary prototype of 1962), which triumphed at Reims in the face of stiff GTO opposition, albeit in a race of only 25 laps. Sadly, the lightweight and low-drag E-Types failed to fulfil their potential in the endurance classics, though the car did prove able to take on and beat the Ferrari GTOs at shorter distances. Today, copies of this rare competition variant are among the most popular and sought after of all E-Type replicas. Built during 2008/2010 by RS Panels and purchased directly from them, this example has been race prepared with no expense spared by MRM Engineering Services Ltd of Wolverhampton (bills available). Its specification includes an aluminium monocoque and body panels; full internal roll cage; full race 3.8-litre engine by Sigma Engineering (only one race since refreshment); E-Type close ratio four-speed gearbox with straight cut gears; 3.77:1 Salisbury limited-slip differential complete with cooler; and the optional long-range fuel tank. Throughout the 2011 season the E-Type was raced by Graeme Dodd, contesting 15 races in the E-Type Challenge series. Highlights of this successful campaign include a win at Brands Hatch and podium finishes at Silverstone, Oulton Park, Dijon and the N�rburgring. Offered from the well-known Skipworth stable, which includes the �curie �cosse collection, '846 FON' is eligible for various prestigious historic race series including the E-Type Challenge, GT & Sports Car, Gentleman Driver (Masters Series) and the Spa 6-Hour race. The car is offered with MSA Historic Technical Passport (FIA Class GTS12) and Swansea V5C registration document.

Lot Details
Auction Goodwood Revival Sale
Bonhams, Chichester, Goodwood
Lot Number155
Outcome SOLD
Hammer Price£190000
Hammer Price (inc premium)£214300
Condition rating0
Registration number846 FON
Chassis number860291
Engine numberB4352/8
Engine capacity (cc)
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors