After introducing the F-Type Heritage 60 in celebration of the E-Type‘s 60th birthday, Jaguar is bringing out a couple of much more rarified special editions to mark the occasion. Brought to you by Jaguar Classic is the E-Type 60 Collection, six pairs (12 cars total) of E-Types built to mirror the two exact E-Types that were used to debut the storied sports car at the Geneva Motor Show 60 years ago.
As the story goes, the night before the E-Type was to be unveiled in March 1961, Jag PR man Bob Berry hopped into the gray “9600 HP” coupe and drove all night from the company’s factory in Coventry to Geneva (a 12-hour drive these days, according to Google Maps) just to make it in the nick of time. (This was clearly before the era of camera phones and social media.) When they realized they needed a second car the next day, Jag founder Sir William Lyons told test driver Norman Dewis to “Drop everything and bring the open-top E-Type over.” And the green “77 RW” roadster was raced over to Switzerland overnight as well.
Now, Jag is commemorating these two iconic drives with the E-Type 60 Collection. Sold as pairs, the Collection consists of a “Flat Out Grey” E-Type recreated to look like the one Berry drove and a “Drop Everything Green” car that mimics Dewis’ convertible. Each features “E-Type 60” logos on the hood, fuel cap, chassis plate, and tachometer as well as a center console plate engraved with the map of the routes taken by the two former Jaguar employees. Done by British artist Johnny “King Nerd” Dowell, each piece apparently takes 100 hours to carve out by hand. The horn button in the middle of the beech-rimmed steering wheel is made of 24-carat gold. These cars were clearly not made for anyone who identifies merely as a casual Jaguar enthusiast.
Some modern enhancements have been made to make actually driving and living in these cars easier such as a close-ratio five-speed manual transmission featuring syncromesh, helical cut gears, and a reinforced cast aluminum casing. The 265-horsepower, 3.8-liter straight-six lifted from the XK benefits from an electronic ignition, upgraded cooling, is attached to a stainless steel exhaust, but retains a 1961-style alloy radiator. There’s also a Jaguar Classic Infotainment System on board with navigation and Bluetooth.
Somewhat surprisingly, allocations are still available for the E-Type 60 Collection, and in case any interested Jag enthusiasts need any more enticing, the small group of lucky buyers are scheduled to make the Coventry-to-Geneva pilgrimage together sometime next summer.
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