Monterey | Lot 366
1961 Jaguar E-Type Series 1 3.8-Litre Fixed Head Coupe
$260,000 - $300,000 USD | Not Sold
| Monterey, California
17 August 2019
- Highly desirable early flat-floor example
- Matching-numbers engine; original left-hand-drive example
- Finished in its original color combination of Pearl Grey over Dark Blue
- Restored to concours condition by Swiss marque expert
- Accompanied by JDHT certificate
Unlike anything that had come before it, the E-Type was an instant hit upon its debut at the 1961 Geneva Motor Show. With shapely curves almost devoid of ornamentation, it was sleek, smooth, and sexy—and promised 150 mph. In place of a grille was a simple oval air inlet bisected by the thin chrome bar. Bumpers were similarly slight. Headlights were covered in Plexiglas nacelles, an aircraft-inspired touch still much-loved by purists. Change came early to the E-Type, and by the late 1960s, safety and emissions regulations had had their way, compromising appearance and performance. For this reason, it is the early Series 1 cars, of which this is an excellent example, that are most highly prized.
The 78th left-hand-drive fixed-head coupe built, chassis number 885078 was dispatched on 20 October 1961 to Jaguar Cars New York. While the first owner was not recorded and the early history remains unknown, by 2004 this early-production E-Type found its way to Michigan. Photos from this time show the E-Type, now painted red, in need of restoration. Nevertheless, an online advertisement caught the attention of the current owner, who had the perfect restorer in mind—marque expert Josef Palotas, owner of Mühlental Garage in Switzerland. Never one to turn down a project, Mr. Palotas ascertained immediately that all the correct parts remained, including its matching engine and gearbox, and each body panel was stamped with the correct body number.
Seven years later, the E-Type had undergone a complete nut-and-bolt restoration and was nearly unrecognizable. Now in concours condition, chassis 885078 shone in its original colors of Pearl Grey over a Dark Blue interior—one of just two cars ever finished in this combination. Mr. Palotas had done extensive research to ensure that the E-Type was period-correct, as these early flat-floor models differ from the more common later-production models. Small details such as the smaller rear deck lid and smaller gas-cap door ensure that chassis 885078 underwent the most authentic restoration.
Now prepared for any concours on the international stage as well as Jaguar club affairs, this is an outstanding example of the iconic E-Type in its purest form.