If the content of your piggy bank is anything like mine it’s nowhere near enough for that special purchase you’ve always promised yourself. You turn the piggy upside down and what do you find? A few buttons? A paperclip? But what if an infinite supply of money fell out of little oink-oink instead? What would you buy?
The E-Type 60 Edition
Near the top of my list would be a Jaguar E-Type. One of the great cars of automotive history. And I would be very happy if that infinite money supply came this year. Because Jaguar is offering six lucky customers the chance to buy a pair of fully restored 3.8 E-Types (yes, you do have to buy two cars) that have been upgraded and customised in honour of the car’s 60th birthday in 2021.
And just to drive the point home. The 60th anniversary E‑Types are only available in pairs. One is the fixed-head coupé and the other is the roadster. Like multi-packs of crisps you can’t separate them out.
But Jaguar is doing this for a reason. It is aiming to celebrate two legendary E-Types from the car’s launch.
The first, the fixed-head coupé, pays tribute to the fixed-head coupé that was driven ‘flat out’ from Coventry to the Geneva Motor Show in 1961. The young Jaguar PR executive who drove the car, Bob Berry, arrived in Geneva with 20 minutes to spare (he was late leaving Coventry) and publicly proved the E-Type’s sports and endurance capabilities.
The second, the roadster, pays tribute to the roadster that was driven overnight for 17 hours by Norman Dewis to the same show. Dewis had been told to ‘drop everything’ and get a second E-Type to Switzerland because the public reaction to the fixed-head coupé had been so wild.
But these 60th anniversary E-Types are not mere restorations. They have been subtlety upgraded and customised to make them unique.
Take the exterior. The fixed-head coupe is offered in a unique Flat Out Grey paintwork while the roadster is finished in a unique Drop Everything Green. No other Jaguars will ever be finished in these colours again.
The heart and soul of the car, the engine, is still the legendary 3.8 litre, six-cylinder XK bloc that graced the original E-Types. But a new five-speed synchromesh gearbox and electronic ignition make for easier driving. And an electric cooling fan makes sure your historic motor doesn’t overheat in traffic. A new stainless exhaust system also produces a deeper and throatier tone for your engine.
The most extraordinary aspect to these cars, however, is the interior. The centre console will feature a stainless-steel engraving of the routes taken by Berry and Dewis in 1961. Each engraving takes 100 hours to craft by hand and is designed by renowned artist Johnny ‘King Nerd’ Dowell in consultation with the owner. The fixed-head coupé centre console engraving also features the words ‘I thought you’d never get here’ spoken by Jaguar founder Sir William Lyons upon Berry’s arrival. The roadster features Lyons’ instructions to Dewis: ‘Drop everything and bring the open top E-Type over’.
And that’s not all. The cars also feature the Jaguar Classic Infotainment System with satellite navigation and Bluetooth. The bonnet badge, clock face, fuel cap and chassis plate all sport the E-Type 60 logo. And if you’re drawn to the shiny stuff, you’ll be pleased to know the horn push is in 24-carat gold.
Your Own Continental Trip
And in the unlikely event that your pen is still hesitating above the cheque book, the six owners of these E-Types will take part in a once-in-a-lifetime journey from Coventry to Geneva in 2022. The trip, according to Jaguar, will include ‘breath-taking scenery’ and ‘iconic Alpine passes’ with ‘exclusive stays and fine cuisine’ throughout the trip.
The price of each pair is not disclosed. But I have a feeling a few buttons and a paperclip won’t cover it.