Such was the early reaction to the machine – Enzo Ferrari called it the most beautiful car in the world – that Sir William ordered a second car to go to Geneva poste haste. That was the open-top E-type 77 RW and it too was driven down to Switzerland, fast and non-stop through the night, this time by legendary Jag test driver Norman Dewis.
Such an evocative start to a new model’s career only enhanced the E-type’s reputation for being Britain’s new sports car giant-killer: a car twice as fast as most cars and three times as sexy, all for a fraction the price of top-drawer rivals.
Alas 60 years on “bargain” is unlikely to be a word used with the six E-type 60 Collection pairs. Jaguar doesn’t say how much they will be but with decent Series 1 from £100k (they are unlikely to be the more valuable flat-floor versions), the Swiss tribute duo will cost well into six figures.
Like the Geneva cars, the fixed-head is finished in gunmetal grey (a special colour created for this car and called Flat Out Grey) and the roadster in traditional British racing green, now renamed as Drop Everything Green. Jaguar Classic says each car will be fully restored and feature a number of 60th anniversary commemorative design details.
“The Jaguar E-type is a genuine icon, as sensational today as the moment it was unveiled in 1961,” Jaguar Classic boss Dan Pink tells us. “The E-type 60 Collection is a lasting tribute for E-type admirers, honouring the car’s legacy and the achievements of the team that created it – many of whom have descendants working for Jaguar Classic today.”