When we think of motoring around the world and the icons they have produced, there are many stark examples that stand out above the rest that can be easily related to their country of inception. We look at North America and motoring icons such as the Ford GT40, the Corvette and the Mustang, and then we look at Italy and the icons that have been sculpted from the home of Ferrari, the 250 GTO, the 275 GTB/4 and Ferrari’s rivals Lamborghini with the Muira.
But when you think of Great Britain, there is only one car that springs to mind that has stood the test of time where British Motoring is concerned, and that is the Jaguar E type.
Upon its release in Series 1 form, the car produced a huge storm of interest which made even the biggest of Jaguar’s competitor’s fall to their knees in admiring the sheer beauty of the thing. In fact when the car was revealed to the world Enzo Ferrari himself stated it was “The most beautiful car ever made”. This was an era where Ferrari was producing cars such as the 275 GTB/4 and the 250 SWB, some of the best looking cars in motoring history.
With 150 mph performance it wasn’t all just all show and no go too, this came as a huge surprise to the public as speeds over 150 mph in the 60’s were always reserved for the Supercar elite of Ferrari and Maserati. But one factor dwarfed all others when it came to wanting an E Type and that was the astonishing price.
During the early 60’s The Jaguar E Type was up to 4 times cheaper than the nearest rivals from Ferrari, Aston Martin and Maserati. For the price and performance coupled with the stunning beauty it became the bargain of the decade. Through its 13 year lifespan the car sold over 70,000 examples and was updated twice which led the car to have Series 1, 2 and 3 (the latter featuring the gorgeous 5.3L V12 engine that purred rather growled compared with the earlier series straight 6’s).
Recently celebrating its 50th birthday, the E –Type looks no better on the road than it did during the 1960’s, the car’s beauty seemingly growing as it has got older – something that most classic cars cannot claim. This pays testament to the design which has seen it placed at the top of most beauty contests in the world of Motoring, including first in the 100 Most Beautiful cars ever to be made and first in the most desirable car list in the 60’s.
It is no secret many car enthusiasts around the world would look at placing an E Type in their dream car garage. The car is simply flawless in every way, the sculptured arches wrap around the tires while the narrow mouth at the front gives it an aggressive stance. The engine is what makes the car however, the 4.2 L Straight 6 from the Series 2 delivers one of the most desirable sounds imaginable with a lion-like growl as it climbs the rev range.
The E Type Jag has an unshakable reputation that ranks it as one of the most iconic cars of all time. It was the culmination of everything that is great about British engineering and the car was able to show the world what Britain was really capable of when creating a fantastic sports car.
It leaves us with a final question – Can the E Type ever be bettered? I for one do not think so.
James Parker Is Business Developments Manager of Official Merchandise and also permanent blogger and writer.
Most of his work can be found on the Official Merchandise Blog which he manages full-time.
With a huge interest for Automotive/Motorsport and a Formula 1 fan, his passion is in the writing of the industry and sport he has loved for over 14 years now.