1961 flat floor Jaguar E type, 1961 Geneva Auto Show, 24 hour Le Mans endurance race, Brigitte Bardot, car, car enthusiasts, car’s design, competitive pricing, E-type, Enzo Ferrari, icon of the 1960s, Jaguar, Jaguar’s reputation, Malcolm Sayer, New York City Museum of Modern Art, permanent design exhibit, quality engineering, recessed wheels, Romano Karim Yusuf, round headlights, sleek red, Steve McQueen, the most beautiful car ever made, Tony Curtis, top car, two-seater shoe brake roadster, XKE
Earlier this month, a rare 1961 ‘flat floor’ Jaguar E type was found stowed away in a garage for 25 years. The ‘investment’ was rewarded handsomely, when despite its shoddy condition, the car commanded $171,000 at auction.
So what makes the E type so beloved to all car enthusiasts?
The E type was selected by Car as the top car of the last 50 years. It is the only car that has had the distinction of being called, “The most beautiful car ever made” by none other than Enzo Ferrari.
The story began when Jaguar wanted to build on its racing successes of the 1950s, the decade when the carmaker won the 24 hour Le Mans endurance race a remarkable five times. Designer Malcolm Sayer came up with the XKE, a two-seater shoe brake roadster that could accelerate from zero to 96 km/h in under seven and a half seconds and go on to a top speed of 240 km/h. The car came with Jaguar’s reputation for quality engineering and competitive pricing – it cost a mere £2,000.However, it was the car’s design that had everyone going gaga at the 1961 Geneva Auto Show.
Dressed in a sleek red, with round headlights, recessed wheels and a grill that spoke sophistication, the car soon became an icon of the 1960s, selling over 70,000 models and coveted by stars such as Brigitte Bardot, Steve McQueen and Tony Curtis. In 1996, the New York City Museum of Modern Art included a blue version of the car to its permanent design exhibit, a recognition awarded only to six other cars.
Even today, the E type can easily sell for over £40,000 at a sale. However, rarer versions of the car, such as the ‘flat floor’ mentioned above, sell for multiples of that amount.
– Romano Karim Yusuf
First published in the Adbuzzzz Section of The DAWN National Weekend Advertiser on May 26, 2013.