The Jaguar E-Type – More Than Just a Pretty Face

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If there is one Jaguar model that has a hugely dedicated following it’s the E-Type. Mention it to anyone with a love for classic cars and they will most likely say it’s one of the most beautiful ever made.

However the E-Type isn’t just a pretty face. Behind the skin it boasts a level of technical sophistication that shocked its contemporaries when it first appeared.

Engineer Bill Heynes had developed a racing version of the old XK six and after the 1956 season it was decided to make a road car from it. The key challenge was ensuring that the new car would not only be capable of matching the Ferraris it faced in the Le Mans races but also comply with stringent US safety and emissions requirements. This link

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The resulting Series 1 cars came in two body styles; a Drop Head Coupe and a Fixed Head Coupe. They were powered by a 3.8 litre version of the XK engine producing 265 bhp at 6,000 rpm.

As well as reducing the weight of the car by the use of unique aluminum panels they used a low drag hood and perspex windows to cut down on wind resistance. This combined with a stripped interior and lack of exterior chrome helped them weigh in at around 250 pounds less than a standard E-Type.

In addition to the 4.2 litre engine the’missing six’ Lightweights were fitted with a stronger Jaguar all synchromesh gearbox making driving them much more refined and less demanding. The result was a series of accomplished grand tourers that can be kept quiet and civilized or transformed into neck straining’muscle cars’ when required.

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