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Lot 229: Jaguar E-Type Series III V12 Roadster

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

What is it that gives the (VI2) model its immense charm? First of all there is its tremendous performance... 0-60mph in 6.3secs, the standing quarter-mile in 14.9secs and 0-100mph in 16.4secs. This involved no fuss or preparation whatsoever; the 19,000-mile car was simply driven to MIRA, its tyres inflated... and the test-gear bolted on...' - The Autocar. 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. Designed by legendary engineers Walter Hassan and Harry Mundy, the new all-alloy, 5.3-litre V12 weighed only 80lb more than the cast-iron-block, 4.2-litre XK six it replaced and produced 272bhp, an output good enough for a top speed well in excess of 140mph. Further good news was that its 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. This Series III roadster was purchased from a friend by the current owner circa four years ago and is original apart from its new Borg Warner T5 five-speed manual gearbox, a sensible upgrade. Finished in Sebring Red with original biscuit leather interior and black hood, 'ABW 191M' is described by the vendor as in generally excellent condition, the engine having been rebuilt only some 4,500 miles ago. (The current odometer reading is 89,000 miles). The car is offered with SORN, current MoT, Swansea V5 registration document and sundry invoices relating to its constant upkeep.

Lot Details
Auction Important Collectors' Motorcars & Motorcycles
Bonhams, Oxford, UK
Lot Number229
Outcome NOT SOLD
Hammer Price-
Hammer Price (inc premium)-
Condition rating1
Registration number
Chassis number1S.1958
Engine number12442SB
Engine capacity (cc)
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors2