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Lot 438: Jaguar XKE Series I 3.8 Fixed-Head Coupe

Quail Lodge Sale, Bonhams (16 August 2012)

* 3.8-liter straight-six cylinder * 4 speed transmission * 4 wheel disc brakes * Desirable early 3.8 FHC * BRG with biscuit trim * Upgraded with 4.2 syncro gearbox Jaguar's E-Type began as a concept, developed from the racing D-Type in 1956. It was then put aside when the competition program was abruptly canceled. Dusted off in 1959, the prototype aluminum-bodied roadster, with its 2.4 liter XK engine and independent front and rear suspension, was reengineered for a steel body and the 3.8 liter engine was used in the Mk IX saloon. The engine and transmission aside, the production E-Type was all new. It combined a multi-tube front chassis with a monocoque center section. Front suspension was similar to the XK-150's wishbones and torsion bars, but the rear was revolutionary. Comprising transverse lower links and fixed-length driveshafts, its wheels were suspended on coil spring-shock absorber units, two to a side. The differential was mounted to a hefty steel crossmember and hosted inboard disk brakes. Anti-roll bars were installed to the front and rear. At 2,520 pounds, it was 500 pounds lighter than the XK-150 and more powerful to boot. The 3.8 liter twin cam engine was fed through three SU sidedraft carbs and developed 265bhp. A top speed of 150mph was easily achieved with the standard 3.31:1 gearing, and some speculated that optional taller gears would be good for more. Its debut came at the March 1961 Geneva Motor Show, to universal applause and plaudits from the pundits. Its pure form blew everyone away; its sleek shape had only a tiny mouth for breathing, and slender bar bumpers and chrome wire wheels were its only ornamentation. The US introduction came the following month at the New York International Auto Show where, in recognition of the strong brand awareness accorded to its XK predecessors, it was advertised and sold as the "XKE." From the start there were two models: a soft top with roll-up windows called the "open two seater," and a fixed-head coupe. At $5,595 for the roadster and $300 more for the coupe, the Jaguar was more than twice the price of an MGA but also twice the car. On the other hand, its sticker was barely half that of a 300SL. Production through 1964 reached 15,500, divided about equally between the roadsters and coupes. The original E-Type remained in production, with few changes, for ten years. This Jaguar is a fantastic example of the highly sought after Series 1 3.8-liter XKE with covered headlights, toggle dash switches, center console and arm rest. Described by the vendor as being an excellent, driver-level car this XKE has been upgraded with the desirable full synchromesh 4-speed transmission and later 4.2-liter bucket seats for improved comfort. A cosmetic restoration has freshened the appearance of the Jaguar, with a complete repaint, wet sand and buff, chromework re-plated where necessary, the body rubber replaced, some upholstery re-trimmed, new tires fitted, and a period looking sound system with hidden IPod jack was installed. Mechanically the car benefits from a new clutch system, new front and rear engine seals and a pair of new manifolds. Showing just over 1,600 miles since completion, the Jaguar is finished in the lovely combination of British Racing Green with biscuit trim and sits on excellent chrome wires. Well maintained and in good order, this XKE is sure to be enjoyed by the next owner.

Lot Details
Auction Quail Lodge Sale
Bonhams, Carmel, California, USA
Lot Number438
Outcome SOLD
Hammer Price$80000
Hammer Price (inc premium)$92000
Condition rating1
Registration number
Chassis number888530
Engine numberRA1612-9
Engine capacity (cc)
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors2