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Lot 136: 1961 Jaguar E-Type Series I 'Flat Floor' 3.8-Litre Roadster

Important Sports & Competition Motor Cars, Bonhams (16 September 2005)

Introduced in 3.8-litre form in 1961, the Jaguar E-Type caused a sensation when it appeared, with instantly classic lines and 150mph top speed. The newcomer’s design owed much to that of the racing D-Type: a monocoque tub forming the main structure, while a tubular spaceframe extended forwards to support the engine. The latter was the same 3.8-litre, triple-carburettor ‘S’ unit first offered as an option on the preceding XK150. An optimistic 265bhp was claimed, but whatever the installed horsepower, the E-Type’s performance did not disappoint; firstly, because it weighed around 500lb (227kg) less than the XK150 and secondly because aerodynamicist Malcolm Sayer used experience gained with the D-Type to create one of the most elegant and efficient shapes ever to grace a motor car. Taller drivers though, could find the interior somewhat lacking in space, a criticism addressed by the introduction of foot wells (and other, more minor, modifications) early in 1962. But of all the versions of Jaguar’s long-lived and much-loved sportscar, it is the very early ‘flat floor’ 3.8-litre cars built prior to February 1962 which, for many enthusiasts, remain the most desirable.
Dating from the first few weeks of production, this vehicle is one of the earliest surviving Jaguar E-Types (the chassis number sequence of right-hand drive roadsters commenced at 850001) and was originally, and most appropriately, registered ‘XKE 1’ in the UK. Finished in red with black interior, ‘850027’ has features typical of early production models, including the flat floor and external bonnet locks. The car is offered for sale from an important private collection of Jaguars in the USA; not used for a few years, it will require re-commissioning before further use.

Lot Details
Auction Important Sports & Competition Motor Cars
Bonhams, Goodwood Revival, Chichester
Lot Number136
Outcome NOT SOLD
Hammer Price-
Hammer Price (inc premium)-
Condition rating
Registration number
Chassis number850027
Engine numberR-1150-9
Engine capacity (cc)
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors