What Makes the Jaguar E-Type So Pretty? – Popular Mechanics

Beauty may be in the eye of the beholder, but some things are aesthetically pleasing no matter who’s looking: a freshly manicured baseball field, a perfectly poured Guinness and, of course, the Jaguar E-Type. First unveiled at the 1961 Geneva auto show, the Jaguar E-Type shocked the world and quickly catapulted to iconic status. Its drool-inducing design helped sell more than 70,000 cars from 1961 to 1975. The fact that it went faster than a Ferrari for half the price didn’t hurt, either.

I still think it’s one of the greatest sports cars ever built. I rode in one of these in 1964, (a coupe) and the experience has stuck with me to this day. What a great car!

Yes, if I had the money, I’d indulge my nostalgia for mid-century modern icons and buy one of these in a heartbeat.

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About Bill Quick

I am a small-l libertarian. My primary concern is to increase individual liberty as much as possible in the face of statist efforts to restrict it from both the right and the left. If I had to sum up my beliefs as concisely as possible, I would say, "Stay out of my wallet and my bedroom," "your liberty stops at my nose," and "don't tread on me." I will believe that things are taking a turn for the better in America when married gays are able to, and do, maintain large arsenals of automatic weapons, and tax collectors are, and do, not.


XK-E — 3 Comments

  1. Long, long ago and far away, I had the rare privilege of working one summer at a sports/foreign car dealership and repair garage as general labor (wash ‘n wax, make-ready and grease/oil rack, general gofer and sometime sales helper) – the lot inventory included mostly Brit cars, among them an E-Type (the later production, a ’64 or ’65, IIRC), and there was another one (an early production, like in the photo, only in “British racing green”) that came in for servicing a couple of times. Both were lovely cars to drive, though a bit fragile – that body was hand-rolled aluminum, quite vulnerable to dings. Much fun – many envious looks, going down the street – and (for the time) mucho power…

    I actually preferred the Austin Healey that one of the full-time sales guys owned (fabulous interior; Connolly leather and custom walnut trim!) – but the E-type drew the most stares, by far. The Triumph I owned at the time barely drew a glance, most of the time.

    A true example of “they don’t make them like that anymore” – and, sadly, in the case of Jaguar (a victim of the disaster that was British Leyland Motors Corp.), a very long time since they’ve made anything nearly as distinctive.

  2. …my first (of four) was a 1963 TR3B…

    That model/year was my second one – the first was a ratty 1959 TR3 I scrounged from behind a gas station (after chasing the birds and squirrels out), and was the reason I was working at that lot (I was a schoolteacher; I was mostly-broke, and slowly rebuilding the ’59. Brit transmission parts and SU carb rebuild kits were not cheap!). Ultimately, I went through a series of six TRs (the last to go was the ’63 TR3-B; gad, I loved that car!) and a brought-back-from-near-dead MG-B convertible.

    I never had enough income to even afford to look seriously at a decent Austin-Healy – an E-Type was stratospherically above my pay-grade…

    Actually, my shining ideal, then and now, was and is the XK120 Jag – but I wouldn’t have passed up an E-Type, if I could have ever afforded to seriously pursue one.

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