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1967 Jaguar Type E OTS
Historic Cars

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When Jaguar unveiled its Type E at the Geneva Motor Show in March 1961, it was a complete surprise. Surprise, because no one had had any prior information about the future Grand Touring of the Coventry brand, and also because the Type E line totally captivated the crowds. A William Lyons design, a sporty yet comfortable) chassis and first-class performance were the hallmarks of the new Jaguar Type E. Not to mention the unbeatable price then, since it was three times cheaper than a Ferrari and half as much as a Maserati...Since the end of the war, Jaguar has become the symbol of British Grand Touring. The entire genealogy of XK roadsters (120 to 150) has largely contributed to building this sporting image in addition to the many victories in major competitions. But at the dawn of the 1960s, despite all their qualities, the XKs could not hide their age. So, in secret, Coventry is working on the replacement. On 15 March at the Geneva Motor Show, it is the crowd of journalists in the Parc des Eaux-Vives who can admire a preview of the new Coventry star. Then, it is the great crowd at the Geneva Motor Show. The comments and reactions are ecstatic. Every time an E-Type Jaguar appears in the street, there is a crowd. One the stream of stars and personalities who hastened to take orders for the beautiful English car: Françoise Sagan, Johnny Haliday, Bernard Consten, Charles Trenet, Pierre Bardinon, Robert Hirsch, not to mention the crowned heads. But not content with having a line to cut the blow, the Jaguar E-Type could boast of having a royal chassis for the time... The design of the Jaguar Type E has often been attributed to Sir William Lyons. But as in every automobile genesis, there is a captain at the helm, and a whole team behind him working in his shadow. Malcolm Sayer, an aerodynamicist from the aeronautics industry, assumes the authorship of the pencil stroke. Dressing a very light tubular chassis, our English designer gave the Jaguar Type E an immensely long and flat bonnet which quickly contributed to the magnetism operated on the public. The opening of the bonnet is total with the complete block tilting forward and fully uncovering the mechanics. At the front, a small grille looks like a suggestive half-open mouth, leaving the door open to the most fertile imaginations. Two round headlights are under globes and recessed. The rear is Fastback style with the roof sloping down to the slim taillights. The finish on board does not suffer from criticism, quite the contrary, and a large bootmakes it possible to envisage long journeys. Isn't this precisely the primary vocation of a GT? Jaguar owes so much to the XK engine that we can't talk without recalling its history. When the Jaguar XK120 roadster was presented at Earls Court in 1948, the English motor show, the love at first sight with the public was immediate. Its name "XK 120" comes from its engine and performance. Equipped with the XK engine, this Jaguar-designed in-line six, it gave the Jaguar XK120 Roadster a top speed of... 120 miles per hour! Born in 3.4 litres with its cast iron block and an aluminum cylinder head, its distribution was done by two overhead camshafts. Not bad in 1948 ! For its Jaguar Type E, Coventry equipped it with a rebored version of the XK engine. The in-line 6 now has a displacement of 3.8 litres (87x106 mm) and retains its character of a long-stroke engine. This means more torque from the lowest revs. The power announced by the factory is 265 hp SAE at 5500 rpm and a torque of 35.9 mkg at 5500 rpm. With a top speed of 240 km/h and a 0-100 km/h time of less than 8 seconds many motorists in their 'modern' cars are surprised by the good health of the E-Types. The Jaguar Type E has been the object of the most careful attention for its chassis. Indeed, many solutions have been taken from the competition. Thus, for the new GT of Coventry the chassis engineers (Bob Knight and Norman Dewis) have imagined a cradle independent of the hull. It houses the rear suspension, brakes and differential. It is then attached to the body by V-shaped silent-blocks. This isolates the passenger compartment from any interference from suspension and/or road irregularities. For the front part, it is almost a "copy and paste" of the Type D race structure. Two superimposed triangulated levers, including the lower one which houses the front end of the longitudinal torsion arm.To slow down its sharp-clawed feline, Jaguar adopted the principle of disc brakes successfully inaugurated at the Le Mans 24 Hours in June 1953 with the Jaguar Type C. All four wheels are equipped with them and a separate dual braking system is fitted. With a contained weight of 1,220 kg, the Jaguar Type E boasts a very flattering power-to-weight ratio that allows it to claim the status of a true sports car. The handling is very modern and it is above all the ride comfort that is astonishing. It's easy to see why Jaguar would make a name for itself in the chassis business. Its line makes it a collector's item of choice, its technical solutions and its genesis still allow it to be a modern car and its engine, which seemed archaic at the time, now stands out thanks to its reliability. The Jaguar E-Type Series 1 4.2-litre Launched with a 3.8-litre six-cylinder engine, the E-Type was upgraded to a 4.2-litre unit at the London Motor Show in October 1964. It also benefited from a fully synchronized gearbox, and was produced until September 1968. The Series 2 then took over. The long-stroke 3.8-litre twin-shaft six-cylinder engine with cast-iron block was re-bored to 92 mm, giving it a displacement of 4,235 cm3. While it produces the same 265bhp, maximum torque has been increased from 38.6mkg to 42mkg, for greater flexibility. Fitted with an aluminium 'straight port' cylinder head and fed by three SU HD 8 carburettors, it enabled the E-Type to reach the magic 150-mile mark, or 240 km/h. A marvel of smoothness and power, the six-cylinder XK has a wonderful smoothness that contributes to the pleasure of driving an E-Type. Typical of a long-stroke powertrain, it's more round than responsive, and its enormous torque means it can take off at very low revs. The 4.2-litre Series 1 delivers virtually identical performance to the 3.8-litre version. Its essential contribution lies in its synchronised gearbox, which transforms the car's personality and considerably enhances driving pleasure. Interior and finish. The cabin has been slightly modified: new seats replace the bucket seats of the 3.8-litre version, while a glovebox has been placed on the centre console in the middle of the seats. As a result, the car is more comfortable and slightly less sporty than its predecessor. The all-black dashboard abandons the corked aluminium of the 3.8-litre 1 Series. Between the wild, hardcore 3.8-litre and the Americanised Series 2, the 1st Series 4.2-litre represents a perfect compromise. Its engine offers greater flexibility thanks to improved torque, and its fully synchronised gearbox makes a major contribution to driving pleasure. Combining the undiminished sportiness inherited from the 1 Series with improved comfort thanks to its new seats, it still offers the privilege, compared with the 2 Series, of preserving the magnificent original lines of the E-Type. According to Jaguar Heritage our car was delivered new to Thierry Mathews of Bridgport West, Virginia by Jaguar New York on 06 April 1967 in Opalesent Silver blue with blue interior and blue soft top, the livery it still wears today. The car was returned to England in 1977 at Notthingham, before being returned to the Americas at Orwingsburg in Pennsylvania in the hands of John S Delong in 2001. Mark Snowden imported it to the UK before selling it to Sarajit Mitra in 2012, who undertook a complete restoration of the car. The current owner acquired the car in 2014 when it was imported to France and still maintains it scrupulously: this Roadster is a real pleasure to drive. If you're looking for an everyday E-Type that has retained all its original features, you'll be hard pressed to find a better example than this.