Flawless Feline – 1967 Jaguar E-Type Roadster

series 1 xkeThe E-Type Jag has been written about and fawned over countless times. Most rave reviews speak to the car’s astounding beauty, but the feline sports car was of course about more than just good looks. Aerodynamics and a hotter version of the venerable XK engine made for a top speed of 150 miles per hour, and the E-Type had some fairly exotic bits for the time like fully independent suspension and inboard disc brakes at the rear. This big, powerful and beautiful package also cost half what a comparable Ferrari did. Even the featherweight Lotus Elite cost more than the six-cylinder Jag. At the time of the car’s release at Geneva in 1961, it’s also important to remember that Jaguar was only a few short years removed from their decisive and highly publicized Le Mans wins of the 1950s, and the E-Type’s resemblance to the all-conquering D-Type racing cars was both undeniable and tempting. For the discerning sports car buyer of the early 1960s, it seemed silly to buy anything other than an E-Type.

The XKE, as it was called in America, underwent some major changes and was produced in three series over its production run, and eventually it would become more of a cruiser than a thoroughbred sports car. Series 2 cars had detuned motors and open headlights, while the Series 3 cars had a huge but not overly powerful V-12, unsightly bumpers and a less elegant slatted grille. The Series 3 was also only available as a convertible or awkward 2+2 coupe. Series 1’s are understandably more desirable by comparison, and these lasted from the first 3.8 liter, flat floor cars of 1961 to the 4.2 liter examples of 1964-67. Before the Series 2 arrived, there were some Series 1 cars built with open headlights, and these are called “Series 1.5’s”.

This car, located in Seattle, Washington, is a very late Series 1. As such, it has the torquier 4.2 liter engine, all-synchro gearbox, and more comfortable seats while retaining the prettier closed headlights and three SU carbs. It’s clean inside and out, certainly worthy of a collection. Repainted in the original Primrose Yellow, it has also had the suspension, brakes and fuel lines redone. A new exhaust system and solid-state ignition have also been fitted, and the interior is a mix of new and original trim. The odometer reads 67,000 miles, but the seller admits that the actual mileage is unknown.

Although the rear haunches of the E-Type Coupe make for one what I consider to be one of the prettiest shapes ever applied to an automobile, the old saying about “when the top goes down, the price goes up” still applies even to these Jags. As a rust free and matching numbers car, this Roadster will therefore command top dollar. To put things into perspective, a ’66 4.2 liter Roadster, also matching numbers, just sold for $467,500 at RM’s recent New York City sale, blowing the $325,000 high estimate out of the water and setting a new record price for a non-competition E-Type. That was a very well-documented and recognized car, and though the money paid was a bit outrageous, it’s a fact that the people dealing with this car are no doubt aware of.

Check out the 1967 Jaguar E-Type Roadster here on eBay, where the reserve is not yet met at $68,300.

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