Arizona | Lot 177
1961 Jaguar E-Type Series 1 3.8-Litre Roadster
$224,000 USD | Sold
| Scottsdale, Arizona
22 January 2021
- An early flat-floor, welded-bonnet-louver Series 1 E-Type
- California car; Numbers-matching engine, cylinder head per accompanying JDHT certificate
- Concours-quality frame-off restoration in factory-correct Opalescent Bronze by marque expert Dave Ferguson
- Upgraded with larger brakes, five-speed transmission; four-speed Moss gearbox accompanies sale
It depends upon which “side of the Pond” from which you hailed as to whether you referred to it as an E-Type or an XKE; either way, this Jaguar was arguably the sexiest car of the 1960s. It followed the proven Jaguar formula—sensational looks and sensational performance, at a sensationally low price—first introduced with the XK120 in 1949 and restated with vigor in 1961. Replacing the voluptuousness of the former XK150 was the sleekness of the new E-Type. What remained, however, was the undeniable sex appeal of a Jaguar.
The car took the automotive world by storm when it was introduced at the Geneva Auto Show in March 1961. Enzo Ferrari called it “The most beautiful car ever made.” New York’s Museum of Modern Art recognized the significance of the E-Type's design by adding a blue roadster to its permanent design collection, one of only six automobiles ever to receive such distinction. Production began in 1961 and continued through 1974 while evolving into three distinct series.
According to its Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust Certificate, this left-hand drive Series 1 E-Type was built on 2 October 1961 and dispatched to New York on 12 October 1961. Exactly 30 days later, it was delivered to its first owner in Los Angeles, California. Three subsequent owners have had possession of the car prior to the consigner purchasing it in 2016: the second owner purchased it in the late 1960s, Kirk Fry of Palo Alto, California took ownership in 1976, and the fourth owner in 2002.
A frame-off concours-level restoration was completed by well-known restorer and marque expert Dave Ferguson in 2013. Both video-recorded and photographed, proof is provided for the exhaustive detail of the work completed. Refinished in its original color of Opalescent Bronze, it was also fitted with a striking new leather interior matching the beige original (aptly described as “pumpkin”). Rather than being re-fitted with the original fawn color top, the Jaguar was enhanced with a new black convertible hood.
Larger front disc brakes were installed to improve stopping power along with a five-speed manual gearbox for effortless cruising. The correct four-speed Moss gearbox is, however, included with the sale. New wire wheels were mounted, and an electronic ignition changed to negative ground was also added. It is noteworthy that the majority of the car’s original parts were used in the restoration, including headlamp covers, windscreen, fluid reservoir, nuts, bolts and washers to maintain authenticity.