- 1966 Jaguar E-type 4.2 Roadster
- Sympathetically upgraded by Eagle E-types
- Original UK-market RHD car
- Superb on the road, a beautiful balance of modern assurance and classic soul
Eagle E-types has established an enviable reputation for its upgraded and superbly engineered cars, and the 1966 Jaguar E-type now being offered for sale by The Classic Motor Hub is an early example of its craftmanship.
Originally a UK-market, right-hand-drive Series 1 4.2 Roadster, chassis number 1E 1429 boasted only three owners by the time it was restored during the mid-1990s. The first of those had kept the E-type for only about six months, while the second custodian retained the E-type for rather longer and had the car resprayed in 1980.
Its three-year bare-metal restoration returned the car to its original shade of Silver Grey with red interior, while the engine and gearbox were rebuilt, a new wiring loom was fitted, and the entire cabin was retrimmed.
Then, in the early 2000s, this Jaguar E-type passed through the Sussex workshop of Henry Pearman’s Eagle company where it underwent upgrades from their ‘Classic’ package.
The upgrades cover everything from electronic ignition and a stainless-steel exhaust to wider wheels and tyres – the car is currently wearing 215/70 ZR15 Pirelli P4000s. An aluminium radiator is fitted, plus silicon hoses, and the front brakes benefit from four-pot calipers. The seats were also rebuilt and retrimmed, and the total cost of the options came to more than £15,000.
This Jaguar E-type was sold by Eagle E-Types in September 2003 and was cared for by the company over the course of the next few years. Invoices and receipts show that it was then fastidiously maintained by another independent specialist from 2010, and it had a major service in February 2021.
The beauty of this E-type is that it has been sympathetically and expertly upgraded without losing any of its period charm and classic appeal. The roadholding and handling are first-class and the big straight-six pulls strongly with plenty of torque.
Combined with that intoxicating view down the long bonnet, it’s the perfect blend of classic style and engineering with modern reliability and technology.
Few cars have made the impact of the Jaguar E-type when it was launched in Geneva in 1961. Its 3.8-litre straight-six engine gave it immense performance – the road-test cars were capable of reaching 150mph – and Malcolm Sayer housed it in perhaps the most beautiful automotive shape of all time.
Its price was a fraction of that asked for exotica such as Ferraris and Aston Martins, and Jaguar had created a genuine motoring icon – the crowning glory of a golden period for the company, which had started with the XK 120 and continued through the Le Mans victories of the 1950s.
With its monocoque centre section and a subframe to carry the engine and front suspension, the E-type owed much to the D-type sports-racer. Independent rear suspension was employed, and disc brakes were fitted all round. Two body styles were offered – a roadster and a fixed-head coupé – and when production slowly got under way during 1961, most cars were exported to the vital American market.
Numerous detail changes were made early in the E-type’s life, but the first major upgrade came in October 1964, when the 3.8-litre engine was replaced with a 4.2-litre unit. The old Moss gearbox – which has often come in for criticism over the years – was dropped, and a new all-synchromesh, four-speed Jaguar gearbox fitted in its place.
More comfortable seats were also used in the 4.2, plus improved electrics, and there are many who will argue that the Series 1 4.2 is the best-driving of all E-types. It was eventually replaced in 1968 by the facelifted Series 2, and in 1971 came the Series III with its all-new V12 powerplant.
The final E-type was built in 1974, and the following year this landmark model was replaced by the XJ-S.