- Factory “triple black” with hardtop
- Stunning concours restoration by a marque specialist
- Matching-numbers engine; only 14,954 actual miles
- Accompanied by books, tools, jack, hammer, and JDHT Certificate
The body’s subtle, swelling curves and depressions reflect carefully calculated geometries based on the ellipse. The most prominent feature—the long, projecting hood—is modeled with a distinctive ‘power bulge’ that runs down the hood’s center to accommodate the powerful engine. Louvered air-intake panels penetrate the otherwise smooth surface. The hood curves down to a grille-less nose that sucks in air to cool the engine. The gently swelling fenders terminate in glass cowl headlights that are seamlessly encapsulated into the body. The view of the car’s contours is as compelling to the driver as to the passerby.
These are the words that the Museum of Modern Art in New York City uses to describe one of its larger acquisitions. The sculpture is described as having a “steel body: 47″ × 64½″ × 14′ 7½″.” It is a Jaguar E-Type roadster (or open two-seater) that has been credited to Sir William Lyons, Malcolm Sayer, and William M. Heynes. No one can deny that their magnum opus, this car, has not sunk as indelibly as the most famous of paintings into the world’s consciousness. The E-Type is, quite simply, one of the most famous and instantly recognizable mechanical shapes ever created.
The design of the car was birthed from the D-Type, a full-out racing car with sensuously curved aerodynamic styling that had achieved tremendous success in international competition. As it required a new, competitive production model, Jaguar’s management set about developing the design into a car that was suitable for road use. The famous, feline curves were developed by Sayer, a trained aerodynamicist, using wind tunnel testing and aircraft principles. They were constructed around a lightweight monocoque that had a tubular sub-frame to carry the engine, front suspension and steering, and an independent rear axle.
While the design would evolve over its 13 years of production, it never ceased being as beautiful as when it was first created. No other sports car has made such an impression upon the world.
THE TRIPLE BLACK E-TYPE
The Series 1 4.2-Litre roadster offered here is documented by its Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust Certificate as having been originally delivered to Excel Electric Supply, of California, finished in special-ordered Black with a matching interior, soft top, and factory hardtop. It remained in the hands of its original owner until the late 1960s and was then acquired by its second owner as a “second car.” After he started a family, the car was put into storage, where it remained until his passing over 40 years later. A concours-quality restoration was then begun by Jaguar specialist Shaun Saunders, to see the car returned to its original glamour.
Refinished in its original colors and with correct materials, the body can now only be described as exquisite, with doors that close beautifully along perfect panel gaps and excellent glass-smooth paintwork and brightwork. The engine was rebuilt and, as can be expected of an engine with 14,945 miles (believed to be original), retains its standard bores and crankshaft, as well as a perfect original cylinder head. It is smooth and quiet while delivering great torque. The gearbox was disassembled to replace dried-up seals and gaskets; the differential was rebuilt for the same reasons, with gearing changed to 3.31 to improve the driving experience. New wiring harnesses and associated items were installed, and the brake system incorporates new master and wheel cylinders. New wheels, shod in proper Dunlop sport tires, were also fitted. The car was recently inspected by JCNA judge Jeff Snyder of Jeff’s Resurrections.
Supplied with correct books, tool kit, jack, hammer, and its JDHT Certificate, this is the ultimate iteration of a legendary automotive icon: a well-kept and beautifully restored “California E-Type” in triple black with matching hardtop. They do not come any better than this.