Monday, May 12, 2008

The Jaguar E-type

The Jaguar E-type or XK-E was manufactured by Jaguar between the years of 1961 and 1974. The E-type revolutionized sports car design, with performance, handling and looks ahead of its time. It was priced well below competing models, helping it to high sales for a high performance car. In excess of 70,000 E-types were sold over 14 years.

It is often referred to as the E-Type Jag.

In March 2008, the Jaguar E-type ranked first in Daily Telegraph list of the "100 most beautiful cars" of all time. In 2004, Sports Car International named this car number one on the list of Top Sports Cars of the 1960s.

The Series 1 was introduced in March 1961, using the triple SU carburetted 3.8 litre 6-cylinder Jaguar XK6 engine from the XK150S. The first 500 cars built had flat floors and external hood latches. These cars are rare and more valuable. After that, the floors were dished to provide more leg room and the twin hood latches moved to inside the car. The 3.8 litre engine was increased to 4.2 litres in late 1964.

All E-Types featured independent rear suspension with torsion bar front ends, and power-assisted disc brakes. Jaguar was the first auto manufacturer to equip cars with disc brakes as standard.

The Series 1 can be recognized by glass covered headlights (up to 1967), small "mouth" opening at the front, signal lights and tail-lights above bumpers and exhaust tips under the license plate in the rear.

3.8 litre cars have leather-upholstered bucket seats, an aluminum-trimmed centre instrument panel and console (changed to vinyl and leather in 1963), and a 4-speed gearbox that lacks synchromesh for 1st gear ("Moss box"). 4.2 litre cars have more comfortable seats, improved brakes and electrical systems, and an all-synchromesh 4-speed gearbox. 4.2 litre cars also have a badge on the boot proclaiming "Jaguar 4.2 Litre E-type" (3.8 cars have a simple "Jaguar" badge). Optional extras included Chrome Wire wheels and a detachable hard top for the Open Two Seater.

A 2+2 version of the coupe was added in 1966. The 2+2 offered the option of an automatic transmission. The body is slightly longer and the roof angles are different. The roadster remained a strict two-seater.

There was a transitional series of cars built in 1967-68, unofficially called "Series 1½", which are externally similar to Series 1 cars. Because of the American pressure the new features were open headlights, different switches, and some de-tuning (with a downgrade of twin Zenith-Stromberg carbs from the original triple SU carbs) for US models. Some Series 1½ cars also have twin cooling fans and adjustable seat backs. Series 2 features were gradually introduced into the Series 1, creating the unofficial Series 1½ cars, but always with the Series 1 body style.

No comments:

Popular Posts