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Lot 1071: 1973 Jaguar E-Type Series III Convertible

Quail Lodge Motor Cars, Bonhams & Butterfields (19 August 2005)

In March 1961 the world was amazed and delighted by the newest sports car from Sir William Lyons’ Jaguar Company. It was long and low and the headlamps lurked under curved glass covers. It was also the sexiest shape on four wheels. Under the long bonnet was a powerful 265 horsepower 3.8 liter twin overhead camshaft engine. Unibody construction was used and suspension was fully-independent. The brakes were discs all around and the top speed was 150 miles per hour.

The version that Jaguar’s Bob Berry drove through the night to display at the Salon was a coupe, but a roadster (Open Two-Seater in Jaguar parlance) soon followed. While still in production, the E-Type soon attained icon status. But it just kept getting better.

Before long, the outside bonnet catches vanished and the bonnet louvers were stamped instead of welded in. Even the floors were dropped to provide more leg room and interior comfort. In 1965, a 4.2 liter version of the Triple carburetor XK engine came along. The power rating remained constant, but torque increased. At the same time, an all-synchromesh transmission was introduced, making the Jaguar sports car even easier to drive. It was more comfortable to drive, also, thanks to completely new bucket seats.

As motor vehicle regulations in the United States became stricter, the E-Type had to be modified to comply. First it lost those lovely covered headlamps, and then the toggle switches gave way to rocker switches. Outside, new parking and taillights were introduced. Under the hood, the three SU carburetors were replaced by a pair of Strombergs and power dropped to 246 bhp. Both appearance and performance had suffered, but the changes allowed Jaguar to remain in the lucrative American market.

To regain performance took drastic measures, which is why Jaguar introduced its new V-12-powered version of the E-Type in 1971. displacing 5,343cc, the single-overhead camshaft 12 was good for 314bhp and pumped out a whopping 349 pound-feet of torque. In roadster form, the Series III weighed a substantial 3,435 pounds, compared to 2,460 pounds for the earliest roadsters. Despited the added girth, the long-wheelbase roadster would hit 135 mph and reach 60 mph from a standstill in 7.5 seconds.

The V-12 roadster on offer is a 1973 model. The body is in good condition and appears to have benefited from recent paint. Complete with hard top and soft top, the seats and carpet are in fair condition. The odometer reads 8,336, although the car’s actual mileage is not known.

Few sports cars are as imposing or offer such silky smooth power delivery. This V-12 Jaguar is an opportunity to own one of the last and most usable of all the E-Types.

Lot Details
Auction Quail Lodge Motor Cars
Bonhams & Butterfields, Quail Lodge, Carmel, CA
TypeCar
Lot Number1071
Estimate$20000-$22000
Outcome NOT SOLD
Hammer Price-
Hammer Price (inc premium)-
Year1973
Condition rating
Registration number
Mileage-
Chassis numbertba
Engine number
Engine capacity (cc)
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors