Originally designed for Jaguar by Malcolm Sayer as a replacement for the legendry D-Type, the E-Type would soon be known as one of the most desirable automotive designs ever. None other than Enzo Ferrari called it “the most beautiful automobile in the world”, and nothing could touch its performance throughout the late 60’s.
After years of testing and development, the company introduced its first production V-12 to the market in 1971. The new 5.3-liter V-12 was the first mass-produced V-12 to come to market in over 20 years and Jaguar’s first new engine since the début of the post-war XK120 in 1948. The new motor was offered in roadster and 2+2 configurations only, with the longer 105” wheelbase chassis introduced in 1966. Jaguar also widened the front and rear track to accommodate the more powerful motor, which also necessitated a longer hood with a low mounted air intake and larger grille. Flared wheel arches accommodate larger tires necessary to handle the increase in power. The “Big Cat” could easily reach 145 MPH, and could achieve 0-60 MPH in less than 7 seconds.
The new E-type’s debut was at the New York Auto Show on March 25, 1971. Known to aficionados as a Series III, the V-12 was offered from 1971–1974. During the four-year production run, a total of 15,287 examples were produced, including 1,718 roadsters in 1972. Painted a classic combination of Old English White over dark blue, this lovely E-Type is wearing the color scheme with which it was born, and 95% of the paint is original, save a few minor paint chip repairs in 1990. It has never been restored, and the engine has never been out of the car. It was photographed today with just 6,400 original miles.
1972 represents a great year for the E-Type, as the worst period smog restrictions were not yet in place, and the US Safety regulations did not yet require the large bumpers that would appear in 1973. With its longer wheelbase, the Series III E-Type features more legroom and luxury than ever, and is one of the great Grand Touring autos of all time. In any condition, a V12 E-Type represents an amazing entry into the world of 12-cylinder motoring, and in this case, it’s an example that has literally never been altered.