The iconic Jaguar E-Type is one of the most beautiful cars in the world and it certainly deserves its status. However, as with all things it’s not without its problems. So if you’re thinking of buying one it is worth having some fundamental knowledge to avoid making a costly mistake.
When Jaguar launched the E-Type in 1961 it was a car that needed to deliver on the promise of a fast and thrilling driving experience. But it was also a car that needed to satiate the demands of the market – hence its name: the XK – and that meant complying with increasingly stringent emissions and safety regulations. Go here
This led to the development of the Lightweight E-Types. These used aluminium bodies developed by the Experimental Department at Browns Lane under chief engineer William Heynes. In order to keep weight down the designers opted for thinner steel, unique aluminum panels and perspex glass. The engine was also reworked to produce more power than the 3.8 litre XK straight six and, critically, to meet emissions standards.
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Despite their low-cost construction the cars still looked the part with those all-familiar curves and 15-inch wire wheels shod with 185 section Pirelli Cinturato tyres. The defining feature, though, was the flat floor of the Series 1 cars. This allowed the drivers’ feet to sit closer to the road and was a practical modification that has arguably helped make them the most desirable of all the E-Types.