Saint Louis, MO
Throughout the 1950s Jaguar worked feverishly to establish its dominance in sports car and endurance racing. The XK120 had become a formidable competitor in club-level motorsports and the factory soon developed a full-race version officially known as the XK120-C (for Competition) which we all know simply as the C-Type. XK120 running gear was mated to a lightweight tubular frame that was skinned in a beautiful alloy body. The light and powerful C-Type won the 24h of Le Mans on its first attempt in 1951 sparking a string of victories at the French Classic that would last through the 50s. One of the key developments of the C-Type was the use of Dunlop disc brakes in 1953 which truly revolutionized motorsport and were largely responsible for the C-Type s second win at Le Mans in 1953.In 1954 the D-Type was unveiled as a revolutionary replacement for the C-Type. The traditional tubular chassis was scrapped in favor of a light and strong monocoque chassis. The stunning bodywork was largely the work of Jaguar s aerodynamics-obsessed stylist Malcolm Sayer. Power came from the proven XK-series inline six in 3.4 or 3.8-liter form (with a 3.0-liter version run in 1958) and fed by either a trio of Weber carburetors or Lucas fuel injection on later cars. The D-Type s shape played a key role in its success proving to be more than 12mph faster down the Mulsanne straight than the brutish 4.9-liter Ferraris. With the D-Type Jaguar scored 3 more victories at Le Mans in 1955 1956 and 1957 and its sophisticated construction would inspire the next great Jaguar road car; the E-Type of 1961.When it came to racing the E-Type however Jaguar seemed to stumble. Management was unsure of how to approach a proper racing version to compete with the likes of the Ferrari 250 SWB and GTO and they took a bit too long to settle on a concept. The first attempt was a fixed roof car in the spirit of the D-Type. This car famously known by its registration number CUT 7 featured Malcolm Sayer s new low-drag bodywork that was riveted and bonded in place. The gorgeous car was undeniably an E-Type yet had a distinctly racier appearance. Rather than develop the low-drag Jaguar shifted focus to a lightweight all-alloy version of the E-Type roadster of which twelve were built. They featured an aluminum tub and alloy block XK engine but the styling was essentially the same as the road car. The ultimate E-Type came when German Jaguar distributor Peter Lindner and his racing partner Peter Nocker combined the lightweight and low drag concepts. The so-called Lindner-Nocker E-Type was based on Lindner s own factory-built Lightweight and adapted with Sayer s low-drag panels. It was enormously fast and more than a match for the Ferrari 250 GTO at Le Mans and one can only imagine what Jaguar could have accomplished had they put the might of the competitions department behind it. Sadly Lindner was killed in the car and it was locked away for decades before it was carefully restored in 2011. One other factory lightweight E was developed into a Low-Drag car famously known by its registration number of 49 FXN. This car would ultimately score the most success on the track and is still active in historic racing today. Despite the fact that only three cars were built in period the legend of the Low Drag E-Type has inspired many to create their own versions for race or road and recreations are formidable competitors in historic motorsport around the world.We are very pleased to offer this gorgeous Jaguar E-Type Lightweight Low-Drag coupe. Based upon a 1962 E-Type this stunning car has been built from the ground-up to comply with FIA sporting regulations and is legal for both track and street. The fabulous low-drag bodywork was built by Jacob Engineering in the UK using the finest components finished to a very high standard. With its exposed rivets and aggressive stance the look is said to be inspired by the famous 49 FXN albeit with a few personal touches. It sits low on a set of period-look Technomagesio peg-drive wheels which mimic the look of the original Dunlop alloys but with the strength and durability for modern track use. Sticky Avon CR6-ZZ DOT-race tires give the right period-correct look while offering up excellent grip and handling characteristics. Quality of the metallic silver-gray paintwork is very good and the car has been carefully enjoyed in the hands of its most recent owner who maintained it as part of a large collection of significant Jaguar road and racing cars.Featherweight aluminum doors feature sliding Plexiglas side windows and simple door cards trimmed in black. The purposeful race-focused cockpit is protected by an FIA-approved roll cage but is also trimmed with carpet and sill upholstery to provide a modicum of comfort. The windscreen is heated for clear vision in all conditions. Required FIA safety devices include a plumbed fire system interior and exterior electrical cut-off and Willans 5-point harnesses. It is currently fitted with period-correct 3.8-style seats trimmed in black leather and a pair of ultra-light form-fitting race seats will also be included for track duty. The current owner updated the steering with a tilt/telescopic column for additional comfort whether on the road or the race course.Beneath the alloy bonnet sits a 3.8-liter XK inline six that is reportedly good for well in excess of 350 horsepower. Built in the UK by the highly respected Jaguar specialists Rob Beere Racing it is remarkably tractable for road use but is also enormously capable on the track. The engine is mated to a 4-speed all-synchro gearbox and the suspension is fully dialed in to provide excellent balanced handling. This car is seriously quick and in the hands of the current owner (an active vintage racer) was highly successful in JCNA Slalom Competition (Autocross) scoring the second fastest time for the 2016 season and once beating Jaguar s current F-Type R by a full four seconds. It is believed to have run a number of important UK and European events in the hands of its first owner. More recently it has done some vintage racing including an appearance at the Lime Rock Historics. It is currently US-titled and registered for road use and the sale will also include previous UK V5C registration documents the MSA HTP (Historic Technical Passport) and the all-important FIA documents which allows entry into virtually any European historic event. Expertly prepared and well-sorted this gorgeous E-Type Lightweight hints at what could have been if Jaguar followed Malcolm Sayer s lead and developed the E-Type to take the fight to the Ferrari GTO.