The Jaguar E-type has been described as the most beautiful car on the planet and just one glance in its direction explains why. It oozes class and sophistication and was ‘the’ car of the stars back in its day. But it wasn’t just the styling that gained the praise – the E-Type drove as good as it looked.
The goodThe style, the performance and the status
The badCramped, but who cares!
Jaguar E-Type Reborn (2021)
They frequently say you should never drive your dreams so settling in behind the wheel of the legend that is the Jaguar E-Type could have been a complete nightmare. Thankfully it wasn’t and ‘they’ were so very wrong.
Jaguar celebrates the 60th anniversary of its iconic E-Type sports car in March this year and what a history the model has. Back in its day, it would have cost you a hefty £2,098 but you will need quite a bit more to invest in a newer restored model these days – in fact, just under £300k.
That’s because since 2017, Jaguar Classic’s E-Type Reborn programme has offered expertly sourced and comprehensively restored E-Types for sale direct from the vehicle’s original manufacturer, with prices starting from £295,000.
They are as close to the original Series I model as is possible and the designers and engineers relied on all the company’s heritage, expertise and even original sketches to develop the cars. And that’s the car I had the absolute privilege of driving.
Firstly, that style. It’s the look that was ‘the’ look of the sixties with everyone who was anyone wanting one. Celebrity A listers such as Frank Sinatra, Steve McQueen and Tony Curtis were just a few of the lucky owners in their day.
The E-Type is widely regarded as one of the most beautifully designed cars on the planet and who could possibly disagree. It is instantly recognisable by its lengthy louvred bonnet, distinctive headlights, extreme streamlining, neat wheels and low-to-the-ground driving position.
Powering the rear-wheel drive car is a powerful 3.8-litre, six-cylinder petrol engine with four-speed manual transmission. It fires up at the press of a button with a mighty roar and that just adds to the already high expectations.
The 0-60mph sprint time of just 6.8 seconds feels much quicker and it boasts a top speed of 150mph. The E-Type powers along turning heads as it passes. It’s a car guaranteed to put a smile on your face while turning onlookers green with envy.
It feels brisk through the gears and the 269PS of power and 353Nm of torque are a not so gentle reminder of the ability of this legend of a car.
It’s nice and grippy into bends and although you start off feeling a little cautious and show the deserved amount of respect to the E-Type, the temptation to push on is simply too much to resist.
There is an almost raw quality to the car that blends perfectly with its beautiful elegance and class. And with the slightest pressure on the accelerator you are transported back to those swinging sixties. It must have felt like you were piloting a turbo-charged space craft in those heady days.
Of course, remove the rose tinted spectacles and there are a number of points worth making. Firstly, the brakes – you almost need to stand on them for a response. Then there is the steering wheel – it’s huge and you will develop biceps akin to Popeye after a few roundabouts. And that’s just as well, because you’ll need them to find reverse gear. Oh and on the subject of reversing, be flexible as there are no side mirrors so you’ll have to physically turn around to see what’s behind you.
But, all in all, this is one dream I’m glad came true for me and is one more ambition ticked off that bucket list.