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60th Anniversary of the 1961 E-Type Debut

Sir William Lyons wasn’t entirely prepared when he unveiled the Jaguar E-Type to the press and motor trade at the Restaurant du Parc des Eaux Vives before its debut at the Salon de l’Automobile de Genève in March of 1961. At the last minute Lyons rang up test driver Norman Dewis to “drop everything and bring over the open-top E-Type.”

The story is widely told but worth repeating: Jaguar had two Opalescent Gunmetal Coupes at the Restaurant du Parc des Eaux Vives on March 15th, the day before the big show. 885005 sat inside the restaurant for close up impressions while the high speed test car, 885002 better known as ‘9500HP’ was outside for photoshoots where Lofty stood next to it. Later in the day journalists were driven by Bob Barry on a pre-made hillclimb route. The response to the demonstration runs was so overwhelming that Sir William Lyons had Norman Dewis drive a British Racing Green Roadster ’77 RW’ overnight, from England to Geneva, to be at the hillclimb demonstration the next morning. Norman drove from the experimental shop in England at 745pm, caught the 10pm ferry from Dover and ran into dense fog in the night. By the time he got to the Swiss border, the direct route over the alps to Geneva was closed so the longer alternative drive was taken. Norman then arrived just before the 10am deadline in Geneva. He had no time to rest: ’77 RW’ was fitted with new whitewall tires, filled with fuel so Norman could give demonstration rides that day.

In total Jaguar had three cars at Geneva, one placed on a Persian rug as the centerpiece of Jaguar’s display and the two test development cars, essentially straight from the MIRA test track, outside the show for a hillclimb demonstrations.

Chassis 885005. This LHD Fixed Head Coupé was shown to the public at the 1961 Geneva Motor Show sitting on a Persian rug. In May of 1961 it was sold to Mr. Filippinetti of Scuderia Filippinetti and remained in Switzerland almost all its life. It was restored by Dönni Classic Car AG in 2002-2003 where it was found to be “built up on the structure of an already existing convertible body” as the first hand-built experimental coupe body.

Chassis 885002 ‘9600HP’. The second FHC produced refereed to as ‘Hard Top No .02‘. Used as a development car by Norman Dewis and tested at MIRA to 143 mph and later became one of the two Geneva demonstration cars. Was photographed with Sir William Lyons outside the Restaurant du Parc des Eaux Vives in Geneva. Interesting features include a lack of front bumper overriders and no center grill motif bar which was probably to aid the high-speed tests. At some point converted from LHD to RHD. Purchased by author Philip Porter in 1977 and subsequently restored by CMC Classic Motor Cars to a high standard. Philip Porter reports that 885002 still retains its LHD throttle linkage and has a unique aluminum rear hatch panel.

Chassis 850003 ’77RW’. The famous RHD roadster driven by Norman Dewis from the Experimental Department overnight to Switzerland for test drives. This car was initially prepared for MIRA high-speed testing and fitted with the first production E-Type engine R1001-9. Also used as a press car and featured in numerous early articles for The Motor and Autocar who were both able to achieve 150mph.

For the 60th anniversary Jaguar is releasing six matched pairs of restored 3.8 E-types with custom appointments including an engraved centre console by artist King Nerd, commemorative E-type 60th logo on the bonnet badge, fuel cap, chassis plate, a close-ratio 5-speed manual gearbox, Jaguar Classic Infotainment System, alloy radiator and electronic ignition.

Lucas HF Horn Restoration

Here we restore and assemble two 1957 Lucas HF1748 70071E and 70063E horns from a 1957 Jaguar XK150 Coupe. Other 12V horns that are similar include black-painted 70070 and 70067.

Jaguar Reproduces the D-Type

Is nothing sacred anymore?

Jaguar today at Retrombile in France that they will make exact replicas of the D-Type, the same car which won the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1955, 1956 and 1957.

Press Release:

(Ryton-on-Dunsmore, UK – 07 February 2018) Jaguar Classic is re-starting production of the iconic D-type race car in Coventry, 62 years after the last example was built in 1956. The first Jaguar D-type to be assembled by Jaguar Classic, an engineering prototype, will make its world debut at the Salon Retromobile show in Paris this week.

Just 25 new examples of the D-type will be meticulously hand-built at Jaguar Land Rover Classic Works in Warwickshire. In 1955 Jaguar planned to build 100 D-types. With only 75 completed, Jaguar Classic is now fulfilling the company’s original ambition by creating 25 all-new, period-correct sports cars.

The D-type, which won the Le Mans 24 Hours race three times between 1955 and 1957, was powered by the six-cylinder XK engine. Every aspect of the D-types built for clients from 2018 will be created to authentic, original specification.

“The Jaguar D-type is one of the most iconic and beautiful competition cars of all time, with an outstanding record in the world’s toughest motor races. And it’s just as spectacular today. The opportunity to continue the D-type’s success story, by completing its planned production run in Coventry, is one of those once-in-a-lifetime projects that our world-class experts at Jaguar Land Rover Classic are proud to fulfil.”

The D-type is the third continuation vehicle from Jaguar Classic, complementing the six missing Lightweight E-types completed in 2014-15 and nine XKSSs built in 2017-18.

Jaguar Classic experts’ painstaking research, with exclusive access to original Jaguar engineering drawings and records, ensures each new D-type will be built to the authentic specifications laid down by competitions manager Lofty England and his engineers in the 1950s. D-type clients can choose either 1955-specification Shortnose or 1956-spec Longnose bodywork.

The engineering prototype is the 1956 Longnose specification, identifiable by its extended bonnet, characteristic tail fin behind the driver’s head, wide-angle cylinder head and quick-change brake calipers.The engineering prototype is the 1956 Longnose specification, identifiable by its extended bonnet, characteristic tail fin behind the driver’s head, wide-angle cylinder head and quick-change brake calipers.

“Recreating the nine D-type-derived XKSSs was hugely satisfying, and an even bigger technical challenge than the six missing Lightweight E-types, but lessons learned from the XKSS project have given us a head start on the final 25 D-types. Each one will be absolutely correct, down to the very last detail, just as Jaguar’s Competitions Department intended” Kev Riches, Jaguar Classic Engineering Manager.

Preservation Class 1949 Healey Silverstone

During the 2017 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance I ran into this exceptional 1949 Healey Silverstone which was in the post-war preservation class.

Looking at this car, this certainly has to be one of the most original Healeys in the world; even retaining its original radiator hoses that look like they could blow at any time.

As mentioned in the Video this is car number 3 of about 100 made. This is Donald Healey’s first real production sports car. About 100 silverstones were made with the Riley-engined D-type 2.4-liter engine.

Aston Martin Valkyrie Revealed

This is the future.

It’s a new road-legal sports car designed by Red Bull and Aston Martin called the Valkyrie.

Until now we have only seem a clay-model of the Valkyrie and this is a first look at what the production car will be.

Matt Hill, Aston Martin Creative Director of Interiors said of the Aston Martin Valkyrie’s cockpit design: “It’s been a tremendous challenge to make the interior packaging work. We’ve embraced Red Bull Racing’s Formula One ethos and approached from a different angle than conventional road car design. In this instance, we’ve started from a position where you think something is impossible and work at it until you find a way to make it work. We’ve been fighting for millimetres everywhere, but the battle has been worth it, as it’s been fantastic seeing customers try the interior buck for size. They love the ritual of getting in and how it feels to be sat behind the wheel. They’re also genuinely surprised at how the car just seems to swallow them. You really do have to sit in it to believe there is genuine space for two large adults.”