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Lot 218: Jaguar E-Type Series III V12 Coupé

Important Collectors' Motorcars & Motorcycles, Bonhams (16 June 2012)

The V12 E-Type was at its best as a long-distance, high-speed tourer. There were few cars which could match its top speed and 120/130mph cruising ability, even amongst the exotica from Italy, and none at all the silence and smoothness of its engine.' – Paul Skilleter, The Jaguar E-Type. One consequence of the E-Type's long process of development had been a gradual increase in weight, but a good measure of the concomitant loss of performance was restored in 1971 with the arrival of what would be the final version – the Series III V12. Jaguar's flirtation with V12 engines had begun back in the early 1960s with a 5.0-litre, four-cam unit designed to take the Coventry firm back to Le Mans, scene of its five glorious victories in the 1950s. Bulky and expensive to produce, this competition-orientated design was eventually abandoned in favour of a simpler, two-cam unit that produced superior bottom-end torque, a characteristic that would endow the V12 E-Type with impressively flexibility and effortless top-gear acceleration. Weighing only 80lb more than the cast-iron-block, 4.2-litre XK six, the new all-alloy, 5.3-litre V12 produced 272bhp, an output good enough for a top speed in excess of 140mph. Further good news was that the 0-100mph time of around 16 seconds made the V12 the fastest-accelerating E-Type ever. Beneath the skin, ventilated front discs improved braking power and the front suspension gained anti-dive geometry. Lucas transistorised ignition and Adwest power-assisted steering were now standard, while automatic transmission was one of the more popular options on what was now more of a luxury Grand Tourer than out-and-out sports car. Flared wheelarches, a deeper radiator air intake complete with grille, and a four-pipe exhaust system distinguished the Series III from its six-cylinder forbears, plus, of course, that all-important 'V12' boot badge. The interior though, remained traditional Jaguar. Built in two-seat roadster and '2+2' coupé versions, both of which used the long-wheelbase floor pan introduced on the Series II '2+2', the Series III E-Type continued the Jaguar tradition of offering a level of performance and luxury unrivalled at the price. As Autocar magazine remarked: 'The model's immense performance, its silky smoothness and its utter predictability are just some of the things which make for a driver's car second to none.' No previous history came with this manual transmission Series III coupé when it was purchased in 2008. Immediately upon acquisition the car was sent to Mutch Coachbuilders in Perth where it underwent a two-year restoration that included re-upholstering the seats. After completion in 2010 the E-Type won the 'Best 1970s Car' award at the Jaguar Enthusiasts' Club Scottish Day event two years running and last year was judged 'Best in Show' at the Scottish Classic Speed fair held at the Knockhill race circuit. These three trophies are included in the sale together with two steering wheels, a workshop manual and a parts list. Finished in white with white-piped black leather interior, the car is described by the lady vendor as in generally good/excellent condition and offered with MoT/tax to March 2013 and Swansea V5C registration document. A fresh air intake upgrade is the only notified deviation from factory specification.

Lot Details
Auction Important Collectors' Motorcars & Motorcycles
Bonhams, Oxford, UK
TypeCar
Lot Number218
Estimate£26000-£30000
Outcome SOLD
Hammer Price£22000
Hammer Price (inc premium)£25300
Year1971
Condition rating3
Registration number
Mileage-
Chassis number1S50240
Engine number7S3133SB
Engine capacity (cc)
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors2