The ’60s brought about a time of sweeping economic changes, cultural shifts and gargantuan technological endeavours that gave real scope to the idea that anything was possible. Jaguar took advantage of this by offering a jaw-droppingly beautiful car with high-performance to match. 150 mph top speed, sub-7-second 0 to 60 mph acceleration and all at a reasonable price – that was the E-Type.
1960s jaguar had a lot of racing know-how from its standard XK models and the legendary C and D-Type purpose-built racers that won the 24 Hours of Le Mans three times in a row. That expertise was put to good use with the E-Type that combined jaw-dropping beauty with a powerful DOHC inline-6 engine, independent rear suspension and a stunning body made from glass and aluminium.
Roaring through the Decade: Iconic Jaguar Cars of the 1960s
To give the public a taste of what the car could really do, Jaguar also made 12 prototypes called the Lightweight E-Type that were designed for GT racing. These cars featured a lighter chassis and body built from aluminium, fuel-injected engines with a dry sump design and considerably stiffened suspension. The Briggs Cunningham entry driven by Peter Lumsden and Roy Salvadori finished a very creditable fourth at the 1962 Le Mans 24 hours.
The standard production car had a very basic interior but you could spend an extra PS29 and get yourself a heater/demister, tachometer, twin fog lamps, cigar lighter (which back then actually lit cigars) and windscreen washers. For an extra PS29 you could even have the engine boosted to produce 265 bhp.