1962 Jaguar E-Type Series 1 Fixed Head Coupe ‘Fast Road’
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.
Oldtimer Australia is delighted to offer for sale a factory left hand drive 1962 Jaguar E-Type Series 1 Fixed Head Coupe. This is no ordinary E-Type, it is essentially a race car for the road!
The Jaguar Heritage Certificate confirms this example was manufactured on the 16th October 1962 with a date of despatch of 26th October 1962. The original distributor is noted as Jaguar Cars, New York, USA. The car’s original colour scheme was cream with a black interior. The first owner is noted as Brown Grease Gun Co Ltd.
The car’s subsequent early North American history is not known, however, at some stage, it found its way to the Middle East. The current owner acquired the car in 2015 whilst living in Dubai from the local classic and exotic car specialist Tomini Classics. It is understood at that time the car had been recently repainted and was equipped with a 5.7 Litre Chevrolet engine in combination with a 5-speed gearbox.
After acquiring the car, the current owner went on a journey to transform the car into a racing E-Type for the road. He wanted Lightweight E-Type performance from a car that could be reliably and comfortably used on the road. The Chevy engine had to go and the owner sourced a 3.8 litre Jaguar engine from Tester Engineering in the UK. A full synchromesh Jaguar gearbox was required and Tester Engineering also supplied that, which was from a Jaguar E-Type 4.2. The engine was completely rebuilt and it was certainly not a ‘standard’ Jaguar 3.8 litre engine. It was rebuilt to full race specifications, a line honed block that was crack tested & heat treated, a machined & balanced crank shaft, which included new +40 liners, forged race pistons to provide an 11.5:1 compression ratio, Kent cam shafts, 1⅞ inch race valves, race cam followers, side draft Weber 45 DCOE carburettors, a high flow oil pump and a dual point ignition. The engine came complete with the correct manifold & exhaust, an upgraded radiator and associated plumbing. On the dyno the engine produced 326 hp at 6,000 rpm and 305 lb-ft torque at 4400 rpm.
Tomini Classics was entrusted with installing the new engine and gearbox into the car. All this work was completed in October 2016. A huge amount of money has been spent on the car and the engine alone cost around £25,000!
To complete the look, a set of 72 spoke 6.0 x 15 wire wheels were purchased from MWS International Ltd in the UK and fitted to the car.
In 2017 the engine and gearbox were removed from the car in order to upgrade the steering rack and the suspension. A new steering rack, upgraded sports suspension & torsion bars, a new drive shaft and upgraded brakes were all sourced from SNG Barratt and installed by Al-Futtaim Auto Centres in Dubai. The car was also upgraded with electronic ignition. In June 2020 the clutch was upgraded. A new clutch was sourced from M&C Wilkinson in the UK and installed by Al Tayer Motors in Dubai.
To ensure the car could be used in the heat of Dubai, air conditioning needed to be installed. Clayton Classics in the UK supplied a complete air conditioning kit. This system comes with a slightly modified centre console. It works exceptionally well and blows ice cold air.
Various other parts were sourced from SNG Barratt in the UK.
The current owner moved to Australia and decided to bring his beloved E-Type with him. There is an import approval on file dated 12th November 2020.
Since arriving in Australia, the car has been looked after by Brisbane based classic Jaguar specialist, Classic & Prestige Auto Services in Geebung. Prior to being delivered to Oldtimer Australia the car has been serviced. It should be pointed out the engine has a weeping core plug that will be repaired prior to the car being delivered to its new owner.
As soon as you open the door it is apparent that this is no ordinary E-Type. There is a half roll cage and racing harness style seat belts.
So . . . what is it like to drive?
It is with great anticipation that you slide in behind the wheel. You buckle up, get acquainted with the driving position and the controls and then it is time to drive! Insert the key into the ignition, wait a few seconds for the fuel pump to do its work, then give the accelerator a few pumps, press the starter button and the engine immediately bursts into life with a guttural growl! There’s no choke needed with the triple webers. After a few seconds the engine settles into a smooth idle, yet even without having driven a single kilometre you can feel that this car means business. The engine has that ‘edge’ that just begs the driver to get the car out on the open road!
Patience is a virtue and the owner insisted that before driving you must let the engine warm up. That was like watching paint dry . . . fortunately the engine warmed quickly and we’re ready to go! After a short time you get this car . . . the driving experience is just something else. Out on the open road the car just wants to go, but you need to quickly back off as the car just wants to keep accelerating. Not surprisingly, the engine is strong and has plenty of power available throughout the entire rev range. This is one seriously fast E-type. You have to remember that you are on a public road and not at Silverstone! And the noise . . . it is just fabulous! The upgrades to the suspension ensure that the car is tight on the road, the gearbox is easy to use and the gear changes are smooth. The upgraded brakes work well and are more than adequate to pull the big cat up in a straight line as and when required.
This car is for drivers and not polishers. That said, it still presents pretty well. Black suits this car perfectly and it contrasts beautifully against the chrome wire wheels and external trim. The paint work is quite presentable, but there are blemishes here and there. Most noticeable are the stone chips or gravel rash on the nose, which has probably been sand blasted by the Arabian winds as this car rocketed around the desert in the Middle East. Walking around the car you see that all the chrome work is in good condition as is all the glass and all the lenses, though there are a few scratches on the headlight covers. The wire wheels are a feature of this car and are in excellent condition.
The interior presents well. The current owner has had the car re-trimmed with new bespoke leather. The upholstery is neat and tidy, though there is a small tear in the driver’s seat. The rear compartment and the foot wells have been trimmed with diamond stitching giving the car a unique look. Alcantara has been used for the roof lining and the steering wheel. Importantly, all the instruments and controls are in working order. There is an aluminium briefcase strapped in the rear compartment finishing off the look of the car nicely.
This car would have travelled less than 1,000 miles since the Jaguar engine was installed and today, the odometer reads 73,441 miles.
So what we have here is not your ‘everyday’ Jaguar E-Type. This car will suit someone who wants to stand out in a crowd, someone who wants that something ‘a little bit different’ and someone who wants to drive!
This 1962 Jaguar E-Type Series 1 Fixed Head Coupe ’Fast Road’ is not for the faint hearted. It is a beast! And no, it is NOT ‘matching numbers’ or finished in its original colour scheme and it does not have books or tools.
Accompanying the car is a thick file of receipts for all of the work done to the car by its current owner.
After enjoying his 6 year journey with this E-Type, the current owner is looking for a new project and as a result this car is reluctantly offered for sale.
- Desirable early Series 1 Fixed Head Coupe.
- Upgraded to be a ‘race car for the road’.
- 3.8 litre, full race spec engine mated to a full synchro gearbox.
- Modern air conditioning to make the car usable all year round.
- The ultimate driver’s E-Type.
- Jaguar E-Type Series 1 Fixed Head Coupe 'Fast Road'
- 73,441 miles