Now we come to one of the most iconic cars ever. A legend in true sense. I searched for a while before I could lay my hands on a 1:18 scale model of Jaguar E-Type. The car is a 1961 model, the first cars in the series that came out and its British Racing Green in colour. Bburago models are very detailed. This car has a bonnet which opens to reveal the detailed six cylinder in-line engine and a boot that opens to reveal the shallow space available for the luggage. The steering wheel works to turn the front wheels. Its a joy to look at. One of the most beautiful cars built. In 1961, Enzo Ferrari had called it “the most beautiful car ever made.” In 2008, the car was placed at number 1 when The Daily Telegraph publish the online list of world’s “100 most beautiful cars” of all times.
The E-Type was introduced to the world by Jaguar in Mar 1961. It was manufactured from 1961 to 1975. This car was based on the LeMans winning Jaguar D-Type, a pure racing sports cars. The D-Type won the LeMans in 1955, 56 and 57. These cars are now designated as the Series 1. They had a monocoque body. The E-Type used the racing design. As a result the engine as well as the body tub were bolted directly on to the frame. These cars were offered in the following body styles: –
- 2-door fastback coupe
- 2-door 2+2 fastback coupe
- 2-door roadster.
The model I own is a 2-door roadster. Initially these cars were offered with a flat floor. The bonnet was latched and needed a tool to open it. These cars had a fully independent suspension front and rear. The front suspension comprised torsion bar and wishbones with anti roll bar. The rear suspension had twin coil spring, wishbone with radius arms and anti roll bar. The Jaguar E-Type roadsters were 4,453 mm (175.31″) long, 1,657 mm (65.25″) wide and 1,181mm (46.5″) tall. They weighed in at 1,256 Kg (2,770 lbs).
The 1961 model was powered by a 3,781 cc (230.73 Cu-inch) six cylinder inline naturally aspirated petrol engine. These engines produced 265 BHP power at 5,500 rpm and 353 N-m (260 lb-ft) at 4,000 rpm. The power and torque was transferred from the front placed engine to the rear wheels through a four speed non-synchromesh manual gear box. In 1961 no auto-box was offered. This engine could push the Jaguar E-Type to a top speed of 241 km/h (150 mph). Here we are talking of 1961, such top speeds were pretty rare at the time. The E-Type accelerated from 0-60 mph (97 km/h) in 6.4 seconds. To stop this extremely fast car, Jaguar had employed disc brakes on all four wheels. The brakes were hydraulically assisted also. Later, in 1964 a 4.2 litre engine was introduced which also produced 265 BHP only, but at a lower 5,400 rpm and 384 N-m (283lb-ft) at 4,000 rpm. In 1971 Jaguar introduced a 5.3 litre V-12 which could produce 272 BHP at 5,850 rpm and 412 N-m (304 lb-ft) at 3,600 rpm.
The model car correctly replicates the glass covered headlights, and turn indicators and brake lamps placed above the bumpers. These cars were provided with bucket seats with leather upholstery and an Aluminium trimmed central console and instrument cluster. All these identifiers are correctly replicated in my 1:18 scale model.
The Jaguar E-Type represented everything that the 1960s stood for, freedom, rebellion, the jet age and love. These cars were and instant hit with the international jet-set, super models and rock stars.