A 1961 Jaguar E-Type has been driven to 146 mph on a German autobahn by British Hill Climb Champion, David Franklin.
David was recreating one of the most famous road tests ever, attempting to equal the 150 mph speed a Jaguar E-Type reached on a Belgian motorway in 1961. He said: “I saw 146mph and it was still accelerating when I had to back off because of cars and lorries in the distance. When you’re travelling at that speed you have to err on the side of caution. You’re catching other traffic up quite quickly and you have to remember that there’s no ABS, although the brakes felt strong and progressive. It would comfortably have reached 150mph. Of that, I have absolutely no doubt.”
The car was given a good going over before the test, and new wheels and Avon CR6 ZZ tyres were fitted. Every mechanical element was also inspected. The car’s engine was even dyno-tested on a rolling road and a higher capacity fuel pump was installed, too. The car was built on 10 July 1961 and dispatched on 26 August to Henlys in London as a demonstrator.
David Franklin, who has been competing in motor sport since 1965 and has been a champion in disciplines ranging from HSCC Historic GTs to hillclimbs and sprints, was impressed with the condition of the vintage Jag. He said: “It rode very well, and the engine seemed notably smoother above 3500rpm.”
The official reading on the E-Type was 146.49mph – a result that hugely impressed everyone.