On March 15 1961, the Jaguar E-type made its world debut in Geneva, Switzerland. The iconic car was an instant sensation from launch and synonymous with the Swinging Sixties. The public reaction to the lone coupé available for test drives was so strong that Jaguar rushed a second E-type, a roadster, from Coventry to Geneva overnight. Six decades later, the E-type 60 Collection pays tribute to these two legendary cars: the Opalescent Gunmetal Grey coupé ‘9600 HP’, driven ‘flat out’ by Bob Berry to make the launch itself, and the British Racing Green roadster ’77 RW’, driven by Norman Dewis who was told to ‘drop everything to get to Geneva the next day.
Restored and refined by the experts at Jaguar Classic in Coventry, the E-type 60 Collection cars combine flawless quality and exceptional engineering know-how. The vehicles are sold as a pair – one E-type 60 Edition coupé, one E-type 60 Edition roadster, are finished in exclusive Flat Out Grey and Drop Everything Green paint colours, respectively. These colour formulations are inspired by the original 1961 colours and won’t be used on any other Jaguar.
The cars also feature a range of unique E-type 60 design elements developed in conjunction with Julian Thomson, Jaguar Design Director; subtle enhancements for improved usability and driveability, including a five-speed manual gearbox and enhanced cooling; plus the Jaguar Classic Infotainment System with built-in satellite navigation and Bluetooth connectivity.
The most distinctive visual highlight for each of the specially produced cars is an engraving by artist and designer King Nerd on the centre console of each car, recalling the drive routes from Coventry to Geneva of those original cars. Each piece of art takes more than 100 hours to create by hand, in consultation with the owner.
Dan Pink, Director, Jaguar Classic, said: “Sixty years after its unveiling at the Geneva Motor Show in March 1961, the talented team at Jaguar Classic are releasing the ultimate birthday present to the E-type: The E-type 60 Collection. The attention to detail demonstrates how this project has been a labour of love for our designers, engineers, craftspeople and partners. Exquisite detailing combined with enhanced usability ensure these E-types will be coveted and enjoyed for decades to come by their discerning owners, starting with a once-in-a-lifetime Coventry to Geneva pilgrimage for our six customers and their guests in Summer 2022.”
The most significant mechanical upgrade is the specially-developed five-speed manual gearbox that features synchromesh on all ratios, helical cut gears, and a reinforced cast aluminium casing for enhanced reliability and more outstanding durability and closer gear ratios and smoother changes. The 265bhp 3.8-litre six-cylinder XK engine benefits from an authentic 1961-style alloy radiator, an electric cooling fan and electronic ignition for everyday usability, and a polished stainless steel exhaust system. This new exhaust system is dimensionally identical to the standard mild steel system but produces a slightly deeper tone and offers greater longevity.
The highlight of the visual enhancements is a unique piece of metal engraving created by prominent artist and world-leading engraver King Nerd. Johnny ‘King Nerd’ Dowell has inscribed the stainless steel centre consoles of the 12 cars with a bespoke etching relevant to each E-type 60 Edition.
In addition to the centre console, the bonnet badge, clock face within the tachometer, fuel cap and chassis plate are all finished with a commemorative E-type 60 logo created by Jaguar Design, featuring the years ‘1961-2021’. A light beech-rimmed steering wheel, as fitted to 1961 cars, features a 24-carat gold horn push. Every vehicle is supplied with a tailor-made E-type 60 car cover, tool roll and jack storage bags to complete the enhancements. It exemplifies the attention to detail lavished on each vehicle.
In Summer 2022, the six customers will be taken on the ultimate E-type pilgrimage; a Coventry-to-Geneva drive experience with their cars to create their E-type memories, enjoying breath-taking scenery, epic roads – including iconic Alpine passes – exclusive stays and fine cuisine throughout the trip.