The Swallow Sidecar Company was founded in 1922 by William Lyons and William Walmsley. In 1934 Lyons formed SS Cars Limited to effectively take over the operation from Walmsley. The SS brand was quite successful, though their cars had a reputation for having ‘more show than go’. The Jaguar name first appeared as a model name on an SS 2½ Litre Sports Saloon introduced in 1936. For political reasons, Lyons changed the name of his company to Jaguar Cars in 1945.
The SS100 built between 1936 and 1941 is today regarded as one of the great pre-war sports cars, however, it was the launch of the legendary Jaguar XK120 at the London Motor Show in 1948 that really put Jaguar on the map. The car caused a sensation, which persuaded Jaguar founder and design boss William Lyons to put it into production. The XK120 morphed into the XK140 and ultimately the XK150 and in total, just over 30,000 cars were built over 15 years of production.
In 1961, at the Geneva Motor Show, Jaguar introduced the E-Type, which like the XK120 all those years ago, took the motoring world by storm. The body styling was simply gorgeous and technologically the E-Type was an engineering masterpiece and it set new standards in all areas.
Whilst automotive styling is somewhat subjective the E-Type is often ranked atop lists of ‘the most beautiful cars’ and in fact it has been described by Enzo Ferrari as ‘the most beautiful car ever made’. And it’s not just about the looks as the E-Type is often at the top of other lists such as ‘the best sports car ever built’ or ‘the most significant cars’. It is truly a motoring icon.
As a testament to the success of the E-Type, production evolved through three series from 1961 until 1974 during which time circa 70,000 cars were built.
Perhaps the greatest Jaguar ever built was the legendary D-Type, which back in the day dominated race tracks around the world. It achieved the ultimate success in 1955, 1956 and 1957 winning the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The design concept for the E-Type was based on the D-Type and not surprisingly Jaguar wanted to go racing again. In 1963 the Jaguar E-Type Lightweight was introduced. The car featured all aluminium body panels, an aluminium engine block as well as other aluminium components. The E-Type Lightweight never achieved the success of its older sibling, but they were very competitive race cars nevertheless. Only 12 factory E-Type Lightweights were built (of the 18 planned) in 1963 and 1964. One of the best known E-Type Lightweights was the ‘Bob Jane car’ which won the 1963 Australian GT Car Championship.
In May 2014 Jaguar announced that they would build the final 6 Jaguar E-Type Lightweights. The new cars, using the unused chassis codes, were hand built to exactly the same specification as the originals.
Over the years there have been many Jaguar E-Type Lightweights built by companies such as Eagle, Simon Dunford, Lynx and other restoration specialists.
Oldtimer Australia is delighted to offer for sale a 1964 Jaguar E-Type Lightweight.
The donor car for this E-Type Lightweight was a 1964 Jaguar E-Type 3.8 Litre Roadster. This factory left hand drive example was manufactured on the 31st January 1964 and despatched on the 12th March 1964. The original distributor is noted as Robert M Trad from Beirut, Lebanon. The car’s original colour scheme was opalescent golden sand with a light tan interior. Trad was an American race car driver who was based in Beirut. He went on to become the Jaguar dealer of the area. The company still exists, Saad & Trad S.A.L are the oldest internationally appointed dealer for Jaguar in the world. Sadly Robert passed away last week December 2012. It is understood that this was his own personal car.
The owner of this car always had an authentic, all aluminium Jaguar E-Type Lightweight on the top of his list of cars to own. This became possible as accurate 1960’s race car parts became available through Classic Racing Jaguar and Crosthwaite and Gardiner, both in Sussex, England.
The owner travelled to the UK and visited Simon Dunsford at Classic Racing Jaguar to agree on the specifications of his dream car. He decided his car should be based on the “Australian Lightweight”, the car Bob Jane owned and one of the original 12 factory lightweights, built around a roadster configuration. The bodyshell was built by hand forming, using English wheels and many special jigs and tooling Simon had created in the course of becoming the premier Jaguar aluminium panel expert in the UK. Simon also builds FIA spec C and D-Type Jaguars. It was agreed the car would have a flat floor on the passenger side and a dished floor on the drivers’ side, and authentic recreation of the original Jaguar racing seats.
Once the aluminium bodyshell specifications and supplier had been determined the owner visited Crosthwaite and Gardiner to discuss the specifications of the engine. It had to be a 3.8 litre 6 cylinder engine with an authentic FIA compliant aluminium cylinder block and a wide angle cylinder head built to the 1964 specifications running weber carburettors.
The gearbox is a Borg Warner T5 5-speed manual (with an alloy casing) using a genuine E-Type bellhousing, mounting, tail shaft and shifter.
The donor car’s original suspension was dismantled, zinc plated and totally rebuilt with new polyurethane bushes, ball joints, eccentric camber/castor top fulcrum shaft as per factory specification. Uprated torsion bars, adjustable GAZ shock absorbers, a larger front sway bar and quick rack steering were also installed. The brakes were upgraded with vented front and rear discs, alloy racing callipers and cooling ducts, as per the original specification. The cooling system includes a custom alloy radiator and alloy header tank identical to the original car. The ‘icing on the cake’ are the cast magnesium wheels – 15” x 7” front and 15”x 9” rear which are the giveaway that this car is no ordinary E-Type!
The build of this car was entrusted to Jaguar restoration specialists Concours Restoration in Tugerah, NSW.
The owner wrote his first cheque in October 2011, which was a deposit with Crosthwaite and Gardiner for the engine. Concours Restoration started work in early 2012 and this fabulous car was finally completed in mid 2017.
Due to extensive business commitments, the owner of the car has struggled to find the time to use his ‘new toy’ and it has only travelled 780 miles since being completed. Therefore, he has made the difficult decision that his Jaguar E-Type Lightweight should go to a new home.
A standard 1964 Jaguar E-Type Roadster is a gorgeous car, however, there is something quite mesmerising about this car. The car looks absolutely spectacular and it has an incredible presence on the road. It is understood to weigh in at around 1050 kg and there is a dyno sheet on file confirming that the engine pumps out a staggering 333 bhp so it arguably performs even better than it looks! In fact, the performance of this car is simply staggering. It is a seriously fast car.
The owner opted to finish this car in dark blue with a slight hint of metallic fleck and the interior panels were left as exposed aluminium. Today the paintwork remains ‘as new’ with only the odd swirl mark or slightest blemish evident on close inspection. All of the exterior trim, chrome, glass and the wheels are in excellent condition. The interior is finished in red leather which is complemented by the original aluminium trim, the timber steering wheel and Smiths instruments. The bucket seats are necessary and surprisingly comfortable, providing an excellent driving position. The dark blue soft top is in perfect condition and most likely never used. Using the external bonnet latches you easily open the bonnet to reveal the ‘mechanical masterpiece’. The engine is a true work of art! Everything is extremely clean and beautifully presented. The boot is also unused and ‘as new’. We could only fault the small tonneau that fits over the soft top which is not a ‘perfect fit’ and there appears to be a secondary strap missing to firmly secure it to the car.
You could sit and stare at this car for hours on end. It is captivating, but there is that insatiable desire to get behind the wheel. You open the feather light door and slip into the driver’s seat. It feels ‘just right’. Insert the key and turn it . . . you immediately hear the fuel pumps ticking over. You remember the stonking triple webers under the bonnet so it’s important to let them prime. Pump the throttle three times and push the starter button. ‘Boom’ . . . the car starts first time. It starts really easily and it surprisingly settles into a smooth idle. You expect a real ‘hard core, race car edge’ but it’s not that at all. Blip the throttle and the response is instant and there’s no doubt it has an edge, but it’s surprisingly refined. After a few ‘get the feel of the car’ miles, even driving sedately, you realise this car is something special. The suspension is firm and there is little if any body roll. The throttle response is incredible and when you bury your right foot the engine lets out an almighty growl and your eyeballs are instantly thrust into the back of your skull! What a car . . . it offers an incredible driving experience with performance to rival many modern supercars. This Jaguar E-Type Lightweight has been beautifully built and its finish is a credit to Gavin King and his team at Concours Restoration. It is tight on the road and there are no rattles or squeaks. The handling is superb and the big brakes pull the monster up very quickly. It’s hard to fault!
Accompanying the car is a thick history file detailing the build (including a number of photographs), many receipts as well as the original Jaguar Heritage Certificate for the donor car.
Importantly this car retains its original build plate and the chassis number stamping on the front cross member.
– a rare and highly desirable car that is an authentic tribute to the original Jaguar E-Type Lightweight.
– all aluminium bodyshell supplied by UK based specialist, Simon Dunford of Classic Jaguar Racing.
– powered by a Crosthwaite and Gardner FIA sanctioned 3.8 litre 6 cylinder engine generating 333 bhp.
– a beautifully built and finished car by Concours Restorations in Tugerah, NSW.
– finished in a spectacular colour scheme of navy blue with a red interior.
– this is essentially a ‘new car’ having travelled less than 780 miles since it was built.
– it’s fully sorted and ready for its new owner to enjoy on the road or track.