Jaguar E-Type: History and Series of the Sports Car

Jaguar E-Type is considered one of the most popular sports cars in the world, despite being discontinued in 1974. This is a famous car that you can still purchase at vintage car stores for pretty high prices, especially since this is well-liked by collectors.

Jaguar E-Type

The E-Type is highly revered by car enthusiasts, which is not the same case with other manufacturers like Ferrari and Maserati, who also released sports vehicles in the 1960s. In this guide, we will take a look at the E-Type and the history of how it came to be.

What Is the Jaguar E-Type Vehicle?

The Jaguar E-Type vehicle is a British sports car that was released between the model years 1961 and 1974 by Jaguar Cars Ltd. The car was also called an icon in the motoring world, with a combination of high engine performance, aesthetics and competitive pricing.

The luxury automobile has a maximum speed of 150 miles per hour. The E-Type boasts a long history, as three series of the car were manufactured in a period of 15 years. The car was dubbed “the most beautiful car in the world” by Enzo Ferrari, and this led to the greatest sports car of all time. Although it is no longer being produced, you can still purchase the car in the vintage car marketplace.

There were three series of the E-Type. For Series 1, 38,419 were released. As for Series 2, there were 18,809 E-Types, and then for Series 3, there were 15,287 models released. In total, 72,528 E-Types have been produced, so it is not as rare as you would expect. But it is sought after by collectors, so it would be difficult to buy one.

The First-Ever Jaguar E-Type Released

The first ever Jaguar E-Type model that was released was displayed to the press on the 15th of March, 1961. It was a product of the Jaguar racing team and based on the success of the D-Types at the Le Mans Race. The car gained a lot of popularity once it was announced to the press, leading to high demand from the British media for road tests.

Due to this, there was a road test scheduled on the evening of the 14th of March, 1961. This was right before the release date of the E-Type. So one of the executives of Jaguar, Bob Berry, drove the car right from the factory in Coventry to the Parc des Eaux-Vives in Geneva, and he arrived about 20 minutes before it was ready to release.

First Ever Jaguar E Type Released

One of the factors that set the E-Type aside from other luxury automobiles of that time was the stylish bodywork. It came with a centered twin exhaust and faired-in headlights that you couldn’t get from any other car on the market. Apart from the iconic look, the E-Type was impressively affordable. The launch price was £2,250, which will be £38,000 today.

This made it more affordable than any other luxury automobile, unlike today that it is now a pretty expensive vintage car. Other modern features on the E-Type that set it apart from cars of that time were the all-around disk brakes and independent rear suspension.

Origin and History of the Jaguar E-Type

The E-Type is a rear-wheel drive grand tourer that is designed as either a two-seater coupe or a two-seater convertible. It was first released in 1961, and by 1966, the company released a 2+2 four-seater version of the coupe. In the later models released, they were dubbed “Series 2” and “Series 3.”

Due to this, the earlier cars were called “Jaguar E-Type Series 1.” The E-Type became a replacement for the XK range. When the XK140 was released, it was clear that the design was outdated, dating back to 1948, and so Jaguar needed a new car. Despite this, they did not have the funds needed to design an all-new car. So the E-Type was a revision of the XK140 with different changes to the design.

Before the E-Type, there was the D-Type from Jaguar, which was sold for £1,000 each. There was also an E prototype which was being worked on by the team. The prototype was smaller than the D-Type, with a wheelbase of almost 8ft, which is five inches longer than the D Type. It was a simple and clean model with some elements of the D-Type.

  • Debut at Geneva

After two prototypes, the Jaguar E-Type was finally ready to be revealed in 1961. This was done at the 1961 Geneva Motor Show on the 15th of March, and it was unveiled to the assembled world press. A crowd was assembled around the Jaguar stand, waiting for the display of the E-Type, but there was only one available.

The press started to demand another E-Type to be brought out, so the company called the factory urgently to bring another car out. The car was brought to Geneva to please the press. This is one event that caused the E-Type to gain a lot of popularity among buyers around the world.

  • Production of the E-Type

The Jaguar factory was located at Browns Lane, but production was slow because Jaguar did not expect the demand after the unveiling. For instance, in August 1961, the company produced 372 Roadsters and 11 Coupes, but at the end of the year, it had to push out 1,729 Roadsters and 431 Coupes.

Production of E Type

The high demand for the E-Type made it a best-selling luxury automobile from Jaguar, and the company focused on production to meet this demand. This is why the labor-intensive production methods at the Browns Lane factory moved to a more streamlined, automated process.

It’s important to note that the E-Type took a while to be released. Only a handful of the team members designed the E-Type, and there were about five prototype examples that were tested between two to three years before it was released in the market for sale. Despite this considerably small team, the Jaguar E-Type gained a lot of success.

Jaguar E-Type In the American Market

For the North American market, the Jaguar E-Type was renamed the Jaguar XK-E. The car was so popular in the US market that the company freely complied with American rules and even implemented this across the entire manufacturing process. Just a month after the E-Type was unveiled in Geneva, the XK-E was to be released in the United States.

The XK-E was unveiled at the New York International Motor Show, with two Open Two Seaters and two FHC models. The car was advertised with a popular model in order to publicize the elegance and glamor of the car. This worked as six cars were sold in 30 minutes, and immediately after, there was a waiting list.

There was high demand for the XK-E in the American market. There were over 2,000 orders, and many came with $1,000 deposits. From the orders, it was clear that the demand would continue for a while. The show earned $30 million at their American show, with most of this going to the E-Type.

There were different reasons why the E-Type was popular in the United States. The interior was well-equipped, with a luxurious trim like the deep carpets and leather. It also looked more attractive and dynamic, and it came with an independent rear suspension that set it apart from other cars.

E-Type Series 1

Series 1 was released from 1961 to 1968 by Jaguar, and it was initially for export only. Four months later, the car launched in the domestic market. The cars included a 2-door fastback coupe, 2-door 2+2 fastback coupe and 2-door E-Type roadster. The two-seater coupe was called the FHC, while the convertible was the OTS. The 2+2 was released in 1966.

E Type Series 1 Details

They were powered by 3.8-liter XK I6 and 4.2-liter XK engines. The Jaguar models also came with 4-speed manual transmission or 3-speed automatic transmission. From 1966 onward, only automatic was available and on the 2+2 model alone. The E-Type debuted as a rear-wheel drive grand tourer.

The Series E-Type can be differentiated by engine sizes. From 1961 to 1964, the E-Type came with a 3.8-liter engine and was designed with partial synchromesh transitions. But from 1965 to 1967, it was upgraded to a 4.2-liter engine, which increased the torque and horsepower of the cars.

A total of 38,419 units were released by Jaguar during the production years. Some of the features added for the American market include the open headlight, black rocker switches, de-tuning for emissions, ribbed cam covers and bonnet frames.

E-Type Series 2

Series 2 is the second generation of the Jaguar E-Type and lasted between 1968 and 1971. The cars came in different body styles, including 2-door fastback coupes, 2-door 2+2 fastback coupes and 2-door roadsters. The engine was also a 4.2-liter XK I6, which was provided on all the vehicles released.

There were different changes in the Series 2 E-Types due to the US National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration. For one, there was the removal of glass headlight covers, and this was implemented on all the E-Type vehicles worldwide.

Other added features included the wrap-around rear bumper, tail lights repositioned to below the bumpers, bigger front indicators, and an enlarged grille with twin electric fans to improve cooling. Also, the US led to changes like a steering lock, which replaced the ignition switch to the steering column. There was even a collapsible steering column in case of an accident.

Only 18,809 units were released for Series 2. The engine for this series was pretty unique, too, as it can be identified by the smooth polished cam covers that make it look industrial. For the US market, the engine was de-tuned, replacing the SUs with twin two-barrel Strombergs. This led to 246 horsepower and 263 pound-feet of torque.

E-Type Series 3

Then there is Series 3, which lasted from 1971 to 1974. It was also called the Jaguar V-12 and came in body styles like the 2-door 2+2 coupe and the 2-door roadster. It was powered by a 5.3-liter Jaguar V12 engine. The final model was manufactured in 1971, and the short wheelbase type was discontinued.

E Type Series 3 Review

The Series 3 E-Type mode even featured a badge on its back to prove the Jaguar V12 engine. This was combined with power steering and improved brakes, giving drivers 272 horsepower. It could also go from 0 to 60 miles per hour in less than seven seconds.

Some of the characteristics of the Series 3 include the large cross-slatted front grille, wider tires, flared wheel arches and four exhaust tips. Some of the optional features include automatic transmission, air conditioning and wire wheels. At the end of the model year, the company constructed 50 commemorative cars.

The commemorative cars were designed with black exteriors, commemorative plaques in glove boxes, and cinnamon upholstery. Jaguar also provided a single green car for their long-standing customer. There were 15,287 Series 3 E-Types released by Jaguar.

Frequently Asked Questions

– What Is the Worth of a Jaguar E-Type?

The worth of a Jaguar E-Type in the current market ranges from £40,000 to £230,000, depending on the model that you choose. You can go for a fixer-upper model or a pristine one that has been taken care of. The value of the E-Type is based on the condition, although not many collectors would want to purchase it.

In the case of a Jaguar V12, the highest sale price for it is $230,000, and this was sold on the 4th of February, 2021. But the lowest sale price that has been recorded is $12,250, which was for a 2+2 vehicle. It’s important to check the value of the Jaguar V12 before you add it to your collection.

– How Many Jaguar E-Types Are Remaining?

There are 4,565 Jaguar E-Types remaining in the UK that are licensed for road use. Most of the remaining cars are used by collectors, so they are not driven, only stored. If you eventually purchase an E-Type, you can most likely use it for your collection.

What Makes the Jaguar E-Type a Collectible Sports Car?

The Jaguar E-Type is often considered a collectible sports car for enthusiasts. Its sleek design, revolutionary performance, and timeless elegance distinguish it from other vehicles. With its powerful engine and exceptional handling, the E-Type offers an unforgettable driving experience that appeals to car collectors worldwide. In the realm of classic automobiles, the Jaguar E-Type stands as a remarkable piece of automotive history along with the avanti automobile: sports car for collectors.


The Jaguar E-Type is one of the most iconic luxury automobiles in the world, even if it was discontinued in 1974.

Here’s a summary of our article below:

  • Jaguar E-Type is a series of classic cars that was released between 1961 and 1974, with a maximum speed of 150 miles per hour.
  • The E-Type was first released on the 15th of March, 1961, at the Geneva Motor Show.
  • The E-Type was renamed the Jaguar XK-E in the North American market and was unveiled at the New York International Motor Show.
  • There are three Series of E-Type, with different engine types and designs from the American market.
  • The E-Type is still available for sale, but it is not licensed for road use, only as a vintage car.

With our complete guide, you now know the history of the E-Type car. If you’re interested in vintage cars, you can enjoy adding this beauty to your collection!

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