At the 1961 Geneva Salon, Autosport’s headline, “The E-Type Steals the Show” foretold the huge success that was to become the E-Type. Based mechanically and aerodynamically on the racing D-Type, the E-type was originally conceived as a race car, but with the changes in Jaguar’s attitudes on racing during development, it became a street car. (Privateers raced the E-Type with great success, however!)
Perhaps a bit more grand tourer than the sportscar its 3.8 (Series 1) predecessor had been, the 4.2 Series 2 is arguably “the best” for frequent use. Improvements were made both in the cabin and under that lovely body. More comfortable seating, safer switchgear, uprated brakes, optional power steering, air conditioning, and automatic transmission, and a far superior manual transmission joined with changes to the body, most notably better lighting and larger cooling openings. The trademark DOHC straight-six engine, a carryover from the XK 150 and racing C- and D-Types, was punched out from 3.8 to 4.2 liters. Dual or triple carburetion, depending on market, completed the package.
Available in OTS (open two-seater), FHC (fixed-head coupe) and 2+2 body styles, the shape is, in the words of Jaguar designer Malcom Sayer, “achingly gorgeous”. This particular Series 2 OTS has had the original US-spec twin Strombergs replaced by triple sidedraft Weber carburetors, restoring some of the “oomph” sapped by early detuning.
Manufacturer: Jaguar Cars, LTD
Country of Origin: Great Britain
Drivetrain Configuration: Front-engine, rear-wheel drive
Engine: DOHC straight-six, 4235cc, 185-265 HP, depending on market
Transmission: 4 speed manual
Top Speed: 150.1 MPH
Years of Production: 1961-1975
Number Produced: 72,515 (8,628 Series 2 OTS)
Original Cost: (1961 – £ 2,196) 1970 US - $ 6,495 (FHC)