1961 Jaguar E-Type Series 1 3.8 Litre ‘Flat Floor’ Roadster
Oldtimer Australia is delighted to offer for sale a 1961 Jaguar E-Type Series 1 3.8 Litre Roadster.
The heritage certificate on file confirms this particular example was delivered new in the USA through Jaguar distributor Jaguar Cars in New York. The car was manufactured on 26th September 1961 and despatched on 11th October 1961. The heritage certificate confirms the exterior colour of the car as opalescent bronze, the interior as red and the soft top as grey. The first owner is noted as DJ Palombo.
This is a very early E-Type and hence an extremely rare and desirable flat floor example with welded bonnet louvres.
Subsequent to Mr Palumbo’s ownership the history of the car is known again from the mid-1990’s when it was purchased by John DeLong of Pennsylvania. DeLong was a well-known Jaguar mechanic and parts supplier in the north-eastern part of the USA. When he purchased the car it was complete, however, his intention was to part it out. Unfortunately, as a result the engine, gearbox, along with a few other parts were sold over the years. It wasn’t until the early 2000’s when the values of these early E-Types started to rise that DeLong decided to put the car away. He started thinking about restoring the car, but just never got around to it! The current owner has known about this E-Type for many years and as far back as 2008 he tried to purchase the car from DeLong. It wasn’t until 2014 that DeLong agreed to sell the car to him together with a period correct engine. A deal was done and the current owner subsequently imported the car into Australia. There is an import approval on file for the car dated the 15th December 2014.
In 2015 the current owner started the huge task of restoring the E-Type to its former glory. When he started planning the restoration he made a conscious decision to keep the car original and not convert it to right hand drive.
Unfortunately, the car had sustained damage during the trip from the USA to Australia which further complicated the task. Photos on file show the car arrived with two huge dents in the bonnet and a dent in the rear boot floor panel. First step in the process was to strip the car and sandblast it. This revealed more problems which needed to be rectified. There was rust in the floor pans and some old repairs were exposed which were poorly done. The job to repair the body and replace some panels as necessary was given to Caloundra Advance Collision Repairs based on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland. This was a big job that took almost two years and deep pockets to complete! Caloundra Advance Collision Repairs also repainted the car.
The owner is a long term Jaguar enthusiast and he has personally restored a number of classic Jaguars. Following panel and paint the car was ready for reassembly and he jumped straight into the task.
There are lots of invoices on file for a variety of parts ordered from all the main Jaguar suppliers like SNG Barret, Jagdaim, XK unlimited and Martin Robey.
The project progressed slowly through until 2019, however, by this time the owner decided that he needed some help. He engaged classic Jaguar specialists Concours Sportscar Restoration in Tuggerah, NSW to finish the restoration. An agreement was reached and twelve months later the car was completed.
The end result is what you see here today . . . and it is simply STUNNING!
This 1961 Jaguar E-Type Series 1 ‘flat floor’ Roadster with welded bonnet louvres is presented in its original colour combination of opalescent bronze with a red interior and a grey soft top.
There is no doubt the owner, Gavin King and his team, as well as all others involved in this project have done an amazing job restoring this car.
Since the restoration was completed this E-type has been used sparingly. The current owner has taken the car out for the occasional Sunday drive. Needless to say this car has turned heads everywhere it goes.
When you first see the car the first thing that stands out is the colour. Not many E-Types were delivered in opalescent bronze. Back in the day it would have been a brave choice to select opalescent bronze over one of the standard colours such as Carmen red, British racing green or black. The colour is fabulous! It really suits the car and contrasts perfectly with the red interior.
Even though the car was painted around five years ago and completed a few years ago, the paint work is in excellent condition with a deep gloss and a strong depth of colour. There are a few very minor imperfections, but you have to look really hard to find them. The same can be said for the chrome work on the car. The external trim is minimalistic and in good condition. This E-Type is fitted with chrome wire wheels which are shod with 185/70/15 Pirelli Cinturato CA 67 which are date stamped 1517 (week 15, 2017). Both the wheels and tyres are in excellent condition.
With the top down, as it should be, the interior which is upholstered in red just draws you in. You can immediately tell a lot of time, effort and money has been spent on the interior which was trimmed by Concours Sportscar restorations. Everything looks just right and presents essentially like new. The car is fitted with a period looking after market radio with Bluetooth capability.
This car has been upgraded with some subtle improvement to make it a more usable classic. This includes: a high torque starter motor, electronic ignition, high output alternator (disguised as an original generator), rear brake quick bleed kit (to enable trouble free brake bleeding) and a high cooling capacity radiator with a thermostatic controlled high capacity cooling fan.
After sliding in behind the ornate Jaguar steering wheel and getting comfortable you momentarily pause to take it all in. You feel like you’ve been thrown back in time and you are ready to drive your new E-type out of the Jaguar showroom of your local dealership back in 1961!
You turn the ignition on, give the fuel pump a few seconds to prime the carburettors, push the choke lever and press the starter button. Not surprisingly the engine starts at pretty much the first press of the starter button. It then quickly settles into a smooth idle and after giving the car a little bit of time to warm up you can turn the choke off and it is time to take the car out on the road.
Driving a Jaguar E-type is always a great experience, but driving this E-type takes that experience to a whole new level.
In fact, the way this E-type feels and drives today is probably better then when it left the Browns Lane factory all those years ago. Everything feels rock solid, the engine sounds fabulous and feels very strong, the gearbox is tight and the gear changes are smooth, the suspension is firm and there are no squeaks or rattles. This car is simply astonishing to drive.
The current owner has enjoyed the journey of restoring this 1961 Jaguar E-Type Series 1 ‘flat floor’ Roadster. He is now ready to move on to start his next project and feels it is time for the next owner to enjoy this beautiful car.
Accompanying the car is a Heritage Certificate, restoration receipts and photos, as well as a lovely photobook of the restoration. There is a spare wheel but no jack or tool kit.
- Desirable and collectable early E-type with flat floor with welded bonnet louvres.
- Recently restored to a very high standard.
- Stunning colour combination.
- Drives exceptionally well.
- Ready for its next owner to show, use and enjoy.
The Swallow Sidecar Company was founded in 1922 by William Lyons and William Walmsley. In 1934 Lyons formed SS Cars Limited to effectively take over the operation from Walmsley. The SS brand was quite successful, though their cars had a reputation for having ‘more show than go’. The Jaguar name first appeared as a model name on an SS 2½ Litre Sports Saloon introduced in 1936. For political reasons, Lyons changed the name of his company to Jaguar Cars in 1945.
The SS100 built between 1936 and 1941 is today regarded as one of the great pre-war sports cars, however, it was the launch of the legendary Jaguar XK120 at the London Motor Show in 1948 that really put Jaguar on the map. The car caused a sensation, which persuaded Jaguar founder and design boss William Lyons to put it into production. The XK120 morphed into the XK140 and ultimately the XK150 and in total, just over 30,000 cars were built over 15 years of production.
In 1961, at the Geneva Motor Show, Jaguar introduced the E-Type, which like the XK120 all those years ago, took the motoring world by storm. The body styling was simply gorgeous and technologically the E-Type was an engineering masterpiece and it set new standards in all areas.
Whilst automotive styling is somewhat subjective, the E-Type is often ranked atop lists of ‘the most beautiful cars’ and in fact it has been described by Enzo Ferrari as ‘the most beautiful car ever made’. And it’s not just about the looks as the E-Type is often at the top of other lists such as ‘the best sports car ever built’ or ‘the most significant cars’. It is truly a motoring icon.
As a testament to the success of the E-Type, production evolved through three series from 1961 until 1974 during which time circa 70,000 cars were built.
- Jaguar E-Type Series 1 3.8 Litre 'Flat Floor' Roadster
- 56,819 miles