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Lot 226: 1961 Jaguar E-Type S1 Roadster - Ex Duke of Bedford

Spirit of Motoring, Coys (29 September 2005)

On its 1961 Geneva Show debut, the E-Type caused a sensation, with all the promise of its looks confirmed by independent road test results that not only recorded a 150mph top speed, but also 0-60mph and 0-l00mph in 6.9 and 16.2 seconds respectively; fast indeed, and the match of any exotic thoroughbred then available. One of the greatest post-war sports cars, Jaguar's E-Type made immediate headlines on its launch in March 1961. Here was a sleek and beautiful 150mph car with a competition pedigree that could be bought for just over 2,000, only half the cost of an Aston Martin or Ferrari. A direct descendant of the XK120 and competition C and D-Type models that so dominated fifties sports car racing, the E-Type shared its 265 bhp 3.8 litre twin-cam straight-six engine with the XK150 'S', mated to a Moss four-speed gearbox with synchromesh on the top three ratios. Beneath the William Lyons/Malcolm Sayer-styled body, available in either closed or roadster form, the steel monocoque chassis sported all-independent suspension and four-wheel disc brakes, mounted inboard at the back. The example we have on offer today is one of the very first Series 1 E-Type Roadsters built, complete with the locking bonnet, and of course, the flat floor specification. Only 92 E-Types were made to the entirely original specification of which only 15 others are known to remain in existence. As it was such a spectacular car when new (and of course to date), the rich and beautiful as well as the titled queued up at the Jaguar showrooms to become proud owners of this fabulous machine. Among these was no other than the Duke of Bedford, the first owner of this very car. A letter confirming his ownership and some rather amusing anecdotes from the Duke himself come with the car.77 FBM was purchased by its current owner some 7 years ago and had previously benefited from a no expense spared restoration in 1990 and is described by the vendor as in good to excellent condition throughout. The only concessions to modern motoring conditions are the sensible installation of a more efficient radiator and uprated brakes. At a recent test drive, the car performed very well indeed and appeared to be as solid, if not better, as when it was first driven around Woburn Abbey with the Duke of Bedford in command. Finished in the striking original colour combination of opalescent dark blue with red hide interior, this early important E-Type Roadster will be the pride of any serious collection and comes with an extensive history file, a current V5 and tax disc. A very rare opportunity, and it can't be stressed enough, to acquire one of the early flat floor, locking bonnet E-Types are still around.

Lot Details
Auction Spirit of Motoring
Coys, Westminster, London SW1
Lot Number226
Outcome SOLD
Hammer Price-
Hammer Price (inc premium)£48138
Condition rating0
Registration number77 FBM
Chassis number850041
Engine number
Engine capacity (cc)
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors