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Lot 405: Jaguar XKE 3.8-liter Roadster

Quail Lodge Sale, Bonhams (16 August 2012)

* 3.8-liter straight six cylinder * 4-speed manual transmission * Desirable early 'flat floor' 3.8 Roadster * Ground-up professional restoration * Original color scheme matching the JDHT Certificate * US market car

'If Les Vingt Quatre Heures du Mans has been responsible for the new E-Type Jaguar, then that Homeric contest on the Sarthe circuit will have been abundantly justified. Here we have one of the quietest and most flexible cars on the market, capable of whispering along in top gear at 10mph or leaping into its 150mph stride on the brief depression of a pedal. A practical touring car, this, with its wide doors and capacious luggage space, yet it has a sheer beauty of line which easily beats the Italians at their own particular game.' - John Bolster, Autosport.

Introduced in 3.8-liter form in 1961, the Jaguar XKE caused a sensation when it appeared, with instantly classic lines and 150mph top speed. The newcomer's design did indeed owe much to that of the Le Mans-winning D-Type sports-racer: a monocoque tub forming the main structure, while a tubular spaceframe extended forwards to support the engine. The latter was the same 3.8-liter, carburetor 'S' unit first offered as an option on the preceding XK150. With a claimed 265bhp available XKE's performance did not disappoint; firstly, because it weighed around 500lbs 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. Today, the XKE's graceful lines live on in modern Jaguar sports cars, and there can be little doubt that William Lyons' sublime creation would feature in any knowledgeable enthusiast's 'Top Ten' of the world's most beautiful cars of all time.

According to the Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust Certificate this car was built on October 12, 1961 and dispatched to Beverly Hills, California on the 27th that month, originally finished in cream with red upholstery and a black top. An early 'flat floor' car with welded louvers on the bonnet, the car has been the subject of a comprehensive restoration in the original colors from an accredited restoration shop. With excellent panel fit and gaps, the body was taken back to bare metal and painted to a high standard with two-stage epoxy, then a two-stage base coat followed by four layers of high quality clear coats. According to the Heritage Certificate the car retains all of its matching numbers components including engine and gearbox. During restoration the entire drivetrain was rebuilt, along with the braking and fuel systems.

As an early and most attractive example of the breed, this spectacular E-type would take pride of place in any discerning collection.

Lot Details
Auction Quail Lodge Sale
Bonhams, Carmel, California, USA
Lot Number405
Outcome NOT SOLD
Hammer Price-
Hammer Price (inc premium)-
Condition rating0
Registration number
Chassis number875769
Engine numberR2151-9
Engine capacity (cc)
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors2