50 years of the Jaguar E-Type

Jaguar will celebrate a special anniversary this year – 50 years of the Jaguar E-Type.

First released in 1961, the classy sports car had a huge impact on the company, and the industry as a whole when it was first unveiled.

"Half a century of progress has not diminished the significance of the E-Type," said Mike O’Driscoll, Managing Director Jaguar Cars and Chairman Jaguar Heritage. "It was a sensation when it was launched, and remains Jaguar’s most enduring and iconic symbol. The E-Type is simply one of the most exciting cars ever created and a legacy to the genius of Jaguar’s founder, Sir William Lyons."

We couldn’t let this anniversary go without a collection of images to show the Jaguar E-Type in all its glory. Alternatively, if you want to see where the design of the E-Type led, take a look at the current range of Jaguar cars here.

Finally, to celebrate the anniversary of one of the most popular Jaguar cars ever, here are some facts courtesy of the manufacturer:

  1. The E-Type was presented to the world’s press at the restaurant du Parc des Eaux Vives in Geneva on 15th March 1961. Such was the media excitement and clamour for demonstration runs up a nearby hillclimb that Jaguar founder Sir William Lyons instructed chief test driver Norman Dewis to drive through the night from Coventry to bring another model to Switzerland.
  2. Even Enzo Ferrari admitted it was "the most beautiful car in the world."
  3. The E-type’s straight-six engine had powered Jaguar to five Le Mans victories in the 1950s and by 1961 in 3.8-litre form produced 265bhp and 260lb ft of torque, making the car a genuine 150mph proposition and, like its XK120 predecessor, the fastest production car in the world.
  4. At launch the E-Type cost £2,256 15s, including purchase tax and the all-important optional wire wheels, the equivalent today of just £38,000.
  5. The E-Type’s perfectly proportioned bodywork was the work of Malcolm Sayer, an aeronautical engineer by training who also applied his aerodynamic expertise in shaping the earlier Le Mans-winning C and D-Type racers.
  6. The E-type remained in production for 14 years, selling more than 70,000 units, making it Europe’s first mass-produced sports car.