Coventry car maker Jaguar Land Rover is gearing-up for a very special celebration in 2021 when it marks the birthday of the iconic Jaguar E-Type.
The Jaguar marque will be forever assosiated with Coventry and in a fitting way to celebrate the E-Type’s 60th birthday a number of specially restored cars will be created on the edge of the city.
Jaguar Classic, based in Ryton-on-Dunsmore, will create six matched pairs of cars for the E-Type 60 Collection.
Each pair of E-type 60 Edition cars pay tribute to two of the oldest and most famous Jaguar E-types of all: ‘9600 HP’ and ‘77 RW’, which played pivotal roles in the unveiling of the car at its world debut in Geneva, Switzerland in March 1961.
An Opalescent Gunmetal Grey 3.8-litre Fixed-Head Coupe registered ‘9600 HP’ was one of the first two E-Types unveiled to specially-invited guests at the Parc des Eaux Vives.
Driven ‘flat out’ to Switzerland from Coventry the night before the launch, public relations manager Bob Berry arrived with minutes to spare for demonstration drives.
The incredible response to the to the E-Type in Geneva took Jaguar by surprise and Bob Berry was overwhelmed with test drive requests.
As a result legendary Jaguar test driver Norman Dewis was told to ‘drop everything’ and drive a British Racing Green 3.8-litre roadster registered ‘77 RW’ overnight from Coventry to Geneva.
Both cars were also used for media road tests, which proved the car’s blistering performance – including its 150mph top speed – matched its jet aircraft-inspired lines honed in a wind tunnel by aerodynamicist Malcolm Sayer.
Every E-Type 60 Edition built by the team at Jaguar’s Classic Works facility in Ryton will be an existing 1960s 3.8-litre E-Type fully-restored to exclusive 60th anniversary tribute specification.
Each E-Type 60 Collection pair will include one Flat Out Grey ‘9600 HP’ coupe and one Drop Everything Green ‘77 RW’ roadster, with unique paint formulations exclusively reserved for these cars.
The E-Type 60 Edition cars will feature a number of 60th anniversary commemorative design details created in conjunction with Jaguar design director Julian Thomson.
The E-Type became opne of the best loved cars ever and reportedly prompted Enzo Ferrrari to describe it as “the most beautiful car in the world”.
There were many celebrity E-Type owners including Steve McQueen, Brigitte Bardot, Frank Sinatra, George Harrison, Tony Curtis and Britt Ekland.
An E-type famously became only the third car to join the Museum of Modern Art’s design collection in 1996.
Dan Pink, director of Jaguar Classic, said: “The Jaguar E-Type is a genuine icon, as sensational today as the moment it was unveiled in 1961.”
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He added: “It’s testament to the E-Type’s advanced design and engineering that it can still be enjoyed and admired as passionately almost 60 years on.
“The E-type 60 Collection is a lasting tribute for E-Type admirers, honouring the car’s legacy and the achievements of the team that created it – many of whom have descendants working for Jaguar Classic today, expertly restoring, maintaining and future-proofing enjoyment for generations to come.”
Jaguar Classic is the world’s main source of genuine parts and owner services for the E-Type – from health-checks and upgrades to restoring expertly selected examples to ‘Reborn’ specification.