Lot 152: Jaguar E-Type Series 1 3.8 Litre Competition Car
An obvious instant classic, the E-Type made worldwide headlines on its launch at the 1961 Geneva Motor Show. Here was a sleek and beautiful 150mph car, with a competition pedigree, that could be bought for just over £2,000 - almost half the cost of an Aston Martin or Ferrari. A direct descendant of the XK series and of the competition C and D-Type models that so dominated fifties racing, the E-Type shared its 265bhp 3.8 litre twin-cam straight-six engine with the XK150 'S', mated to a Moss four-speed gearbox with synchromesh on the top three ratios. Beneath the timeless William Lyons/Malcolm Sayer-styled bodywork, which was available in either closed or roadster form, the steel monocoque chassis carried all-independent suspension and four-wheel disc brakes, mounted inboard at the rear. The E-Type, of course, has been raced with outstanding success since the year it was produced, finding favour with racing drivers the world over and examples have subsequently been modified well beyond Jaguar's own development programme. It was none other than the late great Graham Hill who achieved its first success at Oulton Park in April 1961, driving for Tommy Sopwith's Equipe Endeavour, finishing ahead of Innes Ireland's Aston Martin DB4 GT and Roy Salvadori in another E-Type entered by John Coombs. This incredible debut performance raised people's expectations of the E-Type, but as both teams had discovered, the car was not only fast and beautiful road car, but the basis of a potential front running sports racing car with massive potential. The original right hand drive example on offer today was produced in 1962 and dispatched on the 8th March that year to the main Jaguar dealer in Rhodesia. First registered with 'Coniston Farm Ltd., Karoi' the car next crossed the borders into South Africa just after the Rhodesian bush war, and was registered with Mr JJ Vorster, an engineer, in January 1978. In need of restoration, the E-Type was sold to Historic racer Graham Reid, who originally intended to restore the car as a road car. Next acquired by South African Mr JH Dovey in April 2009, he immediately decided that he wanted it rebuilt as an FIA spec Historic GT competition car, and so work began the following month, with 860216 being completely stripped and sent to Pro-Auto for painting and welding. The engine, brakes and suspension were all built to FIA spec and an aluminium bonnet was fitted to help reduce weight, resulting in the car being 150 kg lighter than a standard coupe. In 2010 the car was extensively tested before entering its first event, the Zwartkops International, a pre-1963 Sports and GT race, winning Class C over the two 8-lap races. Finished in opalescent dark blue with a light blue interior, chassis number 860216 is now back in the UK with its current owner, and comes complete with a personalised file containing a huge amount of invoices and photographs documenting the process of converting this car into a fully race prepared E-Type. The file also contains a Jaguar Heritage Trust Certificate, a Historic Technical passport from Motorsport South Africa, a Historic Racing Car Register form and a copy of an article done on the car in Classic & Performance Car Africa magazine. This delightful car should provide enormous excitement on the track where these cars have proved themselves so popular in the past.
HISTORIC COLLECTORS MOTORCARS|
Coys, Blenheim Palace, Woodstock, Oxfordshire, OX20 1PX
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