All E-Types featured fully independent suspension and four- wheel servo-assisted disc brakes. Jaguar was one of the first car manufacturers to equip cars with disc brakes as standard, developed from the Le Mans- winning Jaguar C and D-Types.
The Series 1 can be easily recognised by glass-covered headlights (up to mid- 1967), small ‘mouth’ opening at the front, side lights and tail lights positioned above the bumpers, and exhaust tips under the number plate in the rear. The first 92 right-hand-drive and 386 left-hand-drive roadsters featured the outside bonnet locks, but by August these had been superseded by internally- positioned bonnet locks.
The initial separate bonnet louvres remained until around the end of 1961 and footwells were added to the previously flat floorpans by RHD Roadster chassis No. 358 and LHD No. 582.
First deliveries were made in January 1962, but before the end of that year a recessed panel was added behind the seats to improve upon the extra legroom gain from the footwells.
The famed aluminium dashboard was discontinued in September 1963 from RHD Roadster Chassis No. 752 and LHD Chassis No. 4803. Production of the 3.8-litre model ended on 10 August 1964 and was replaced by the new 4.2-litre model.
Roadster February 1961 - August 1964
Coupe LHD February 1961 – August 1964
Coupe RHD July 1961 – August 1964
Independent suspension all round
Servo assisted disc brakes all round
Rack and pinion steering
6 cylinder DOHC
Triple 2-inch SU carburettors
RHD 936 936 Starting # 850001
LHD 6,886 6,886 Starting # 875001
RHD 1,799 1,799 Starting # 860001
LHD 5,872 5,872 Starting # 885001
Length: 4.45m (14ft 7in) All Models
Width: 1.66m (5ft 5in) All Models
Height: 1.19m (3ft 11in) Roadster / 1.21m (4ft) Coupe
Weight: 1,219kg Roadster / 1,232kg Coupe
They incorporated a body made entirely of aluminium instead of steel, with the engines featuring bespoke aluminium dry-sumped cylinder blocks and ‘wide angle’ cylinder heads fed by a state-of-the-art Lucas mechanical fuel injection system. Some of these cars also used a 5-speed ZF gearbox. Briggs Cunningham ran a team of three at the 1963 Le Mans 24-Hour race and examples racing in historic events today show just how much of a match they would have been for the legendary Ferrari 250 GTO.
Lightweight No. 4 (86 PJ) is the most correct and original of the survivors and was entrusted to Eagle for a sympathetic restoration and return to the original exterior colour. Many lightweight style cars have been built up around an original E-Type and Eagle built one such car around an all-aluminium body and engine. ‘26 PJ’ has proved to be extremely competitive on the current historic race scene.
In 1962 Malcolm Sayer, the aerodynamics expert responsible for the original E-Type design, built a Coupe model for use in international GT racing around a lightweight steel monocoque body. The project was sold to ‘privateer’ racer Dick Protheroe in mid 1963 and used with great success. He transferred his registration number ‘CUT 7’ to this car and this is how it’s still recognised today.
Two of the original 12 lightweights were also modified with a low drag Coupe body. No.5, the Lindner Nöcker car registered ‘4868 WK’ which raced at the 1964 Le Mans 24-Hour, is the most well known. No.6 carried an even more dramatic low drag body conversion with a longer nose and is recognised as ‘49 FXN’.
The original ‘Low Drag’ models were the inspiration for our own Eagle GT Coupe which combines the dramatic shape with our ethos of building a very comfortable, safe and capable road car designed to cross continents with ease.