Jaguar to recreate and sell two 1961 demo cars for the E-type's 60th birthday

By: Alex Affat, Unique Cars magazine

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Jaguar Classic readies six collectible sets of two, for the well-heeled Jaguar enthusiast

Next year marks 60 years since the launch of Jaguar’s iconic E-type and, to celebrate, the English carmaker will build a dozen recreations of two of its earliest examples.

Dubbed the E-Type 60 Collection and only available as a complete set of two, six lucky buyers will be able to purchase a pair of perfectly restored early E-types mimicking the two promotional cars first displayed at the 1961 Geneva Motor Show.

Of course, these days new unreleased cars are whisked into empty motor show halls in enclosed transporters and kept away from prying eyes before they are introduced to the world. The 60s, however was a different time and Jaguar was a little more haphazard with the E-type's successful launch.

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It was the evening before the Geneva Motor Show when Jaguar’s PR man at the time Bob Berry left Jaguar’s HQ in Coventry and set off for Switzerland. Under the cover of night, Berry had to hustle the Opalescent Gunmetal Grey E-Type coupe across the English Channel and "flat out" over 700 miles to make it in time for the car’s debut. Legend has it that Berry and the E-type, wearing plates 9600 HP, arrived just minutes before public test drives were to begin.

READ NEXT: 1965 JAGUAR E-TYPE FACTORY SPECIAL REVIEW

The curvaceous coupe drew such fanfare on opening day that Jaguar Boss Sir William Lyons instructed company engineer Norman Dewis to "drop everything" in order to get another car to Geneva that night. Dewis made the 700-mile trip in around 11 hours to get a British Racing Green roadster, wearing plates 77 RW, to Geneva by day two of the motor show, and the E-type would go on to become one of the most iconic and desirable ‘classics’ in the world.

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Jaguar’s 2021 60 Collection will comprise of one coupe painted in ‘Flat Out Grey’, and one roadster in ‘Drop Everything Green’, unique Jaguar colours reserved for the collection. All cars will be powered by rebuilt 3.8lt straight-sixes and receive special 60th anniversary design details from Jaguar design director Julian Thompson.

Jaguar Classic already possesses the 12 original E-type Series 1 donor cars, and intends to begin restorations in March 2021. Pricing hasn’t yet been announced publically, although the collection is available to order through Jaguar Classic.

 

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