Wed, 20th Jun 2007 0:00

The Pavilion Gardens

  Lot 56

1961 Jaguar E-Type 3.8 Lightweight Roadster Evocation

Sold for £50,062

(including buyers premium)

Lot details
Registration No: 475 TOD
Chassis No: 850051
Mot Expiry: March 2008

One of the great motoring icons of the last century, Jaguar's E-type is a car that has always inspired loyalty and devotion. Born out of the fabulous D-type racer, the newcomer soon acquired a strong competition heritage of its own (as witnessed by Briggs Cunningham and Roy Salvadori's strong drive to 4th overall in the 1962 Le Mans 24-hours etc). Faster and more glamorous than virtually all its production rivals, it put many so-called 'sportscars' to shame at its 1961 Geneva Motor Show launch. Certainly few could live with its reputed 150mph top speed or the savage acceleration that allowed it to touch 60mph in less than seven seconds. In an age when a decent family saloon could call upon its engine for 65bhp, the E-type's 3781cc, DOHC, straight six claimed an additional 200bhp. While Ferrari's lauded 250 GT SWB and 250 GTO made do with 'live' rear axles, the E-type utilised a sophisticated independent rear set-up with inboard disc brakes. Rack and pinion steering enabled a driver to make the most of the monocoque chassis's excellent roadholding and handling, putting it light years ahead of American designs like the Corvette.

Finished in silver with black leather upholstery, this particular example is described by the vendor as being in "excellent" condition with regard to its 3.8 litre engine, four-speed Moss gearbox, electrical equipment, interior trim, chassis, bodywork, paintwork and wheels / tyres. The fifty-first production E-type Roadster built (or so its quoted chassis number of '850051' would imply), '475 TOD' was manufactured on June 22nd 1961. Dispatched by the factory twenty-two days later, the Jaguar's first recorded keeper was a Mr E.G. Dawes of Torquay (Devon). Reportedly converted to its current Lightweight E-type look-a-like configuration by marque specialists J.D. Classics in 2000 / 2001, the work is understood to have been commissioned by ex Ferrari F1 driver Eddie Irvine and to have "cost in excess of £30,000". Despite sporting a Lightweight-style vented hardtop and bootlid not to mention Perspex headlamp covers, Le Mans-esque front sill darts and Dunlop-pattern peg drive alloy wheels (complete with three-eared 42mm spinners), '475 TOD' has apparently been set-up for "comfortable road / rally use" rather than as a 'balls out' racer.

Nevertheless, it features a very impressive specification. Treated to upgraded electrics including "a high-charging alternator, electronic ignition, modern starter, battery isolator package, halogen headlamps and performance plug leads", the two-seater also received attention to its cooling system in the shape of "a new aluminium radiator, uprated fan, aluminium header tank and Kevlar reinforced water hoses". Fitted with "externally adjustable Leda shock absorbers all-round, billet aluminium steering mounts, new wheel bearings, GT anti-roll bar / bushes and an overhauled / shotblasted / refinished rear suspension unit", its stopping power has been improved via "a high power brake servo, AP cross-drilled 315mm brake discs and modified later-type rear callipers". Inhaling via triple Weber carburettors on the correct manifold and exhaling via custom-made tubular headers linked to a stainless steel big bore exhaust system, its powerplant is fed by an uprated modern fuel pump. To the interior, the four-point competition harnesses and padded transmission tunnel lend a purposeful air (though, the Roadster pleasingly retains a toggle-switch dashboard and wood-rimmed steering wheel).

Passing through the hands of Eagle E-types in 2004, this stunning 'Lightweight' evocation is offered for sale with Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust production trace certificate, MOT certificate valid until March 20th 2008 and historic class (free) road tax until March 2008.


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