Jaguar Revives 1963 E-Type - But Why?
Over 50 years ago, in 1963, Jaguar announced plans to build eighteen ‘Special GT E-Type’ models, but for unknown reasons the company only ever produced twelve. Now, all these years later, the manufacturer has announced plans to remedy this grave indiscretion and finally produce the ‘missing’ six.
A Fifty-Year-Old Promise Fulfilled
Jaguar had always intended to produce eighteen of the unique ‘Lightweight E’. Though the mystery remains as to why this never happened, the fulfilment of the promise looks set to reach its conclusion when the remaining six vehicles are crafted. These vehicles will be constructed to the exact original specifications over half a century after they were first drawn up.
The original Jaguar E-Type Lightweight was a creature bred for the race-track. With its long bonnet and perfect sports car looks, the Jaguar E-Type had already become a design icon, and arguably the most coveted car of its time. More than 72,500 were produced between 1961 and 1975. The Lightweight E-Type was the shining star’s more famous sibling, and a legend on the racetrack.
The Lightweights were homologated for GT competition by being designated as a ‘standard’ roadster E-type fitted with a number of options. Although these varied from car to car, it carried around 250 lb less than a standard E-type, courtesy of the feather-light all-aluminium body and engine block, had a lack of interior trim and exterior chrome work, a wide-angle head and a host of further weight-saving features including lightweight, hand-operated side windows.
The Lightweight E-Types were built in 1963, with the last delivered in 1964 by Jaguar’s competition department. Twelve complete cars were constructed in total, eleven of which are believed to have survived. The remaining six were never built, and their designated chassis numbers have lain dormant ever since – until now. These new cars will be the six ‘missing’ vehicles from the original Lightweight E-Type project, originally started in February 1963 with the objective of assembling eighteen ‘Special GT E-type Cars’.
The Phoenix Rises
The pledge marks Jaguar’s first ever recreation projection. The 2014 Jaguar E-type Lightweights will match their predecessors exactly in terms of both proportions and performance. Like the twelve that came before, they will be crafted in Jaguar’s Coventry-based Browns Lane factory, the brand’s spiritual home, from materials hand-moulded by the finest craftsmen. The six reincarnations will feature the iconic aluminium monocoque body and aluminium alloy 3.8-litre six-cylinder engine. Jaguar will allow some modernising features where buyers desire them, and creature comforts such as a choice of paint colour.
The vow seems to be a clear attempt at burnishing Jaguar’s rich heritage and recreating the magic of one of its most iconic cars. The vehicles will be targeted at established collectors, especially those with historic race car interests. Jaguar has already stated that it is these customers who will be prioritised amongst those who express interest when they choose who to sell these six iconic cars to.
Jaguar expects that the cars will be in high demand. No information has been released yet with regards to what these pieces of history will cost, but a seven-digit price tag is assumed, as original vehicles with a proven racetrack record make around $6.7 million.
The first new Lightweight E-type is expected to debut later this summer.
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