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Sold for: £56,250
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• The Jaguar Heritage Certificate confirms registration to 'Jaguar Cars Ltd Experimental Department for Mr England'
• As such this 1967 E-Type is the first and only known example to have been fitted with overdrive
• Unlike most prototype Jaguars of the period, the car was not destroyed and sold to Mr Keith Ballisat
• Our vendor bought the car in 2014 and has generously included the private registration number 2 MXN
• This historically significant E-Type is presented to auction with a UK V5c and an odometer reading of some 63,000 miles (atoc)
Like its 3.8-litre forbear, the 4.2-litre E-Type was built in roadster and coupé forms, and in 1966 gained an additional 'family friendly' 2+2 coupé variant on a longer wheelbase. With the 2+2's increased length and additional rear seats came greater headroom, more luggage space and improved heating/ventilation. This longer wheelbase also brought with it the space to accommodate an automatic gearbox, the unit chosen being the tried and tested Borg-Warner Model 8.
Overdrive had been an option on the preceding 'XK' range of Jaguar sports cars and continued on its contemporary saloons but was never offered on the E-Type, the experimental car presented here is the only known factory-built example. Its chassis number is '1E50706DN', the 'DN' suffix as always in Jaguar nomenclature indicating the presence of an overdrive.
The accompanying Jaguar Heritage Certificate records the first owner as 'Jaguar Cars Ltd Experimental Department for Mr England', the latter being the legendary Frank Raymond Wilton 'Lofty' England. 'Lofty' England had joined Jaguar from Alvis in 1946, taking the job of service manager. His pre-war experience, following the completion of an apprenticeship at Daimler, had included spells as a race engineer working for Whitney Straight, ERA, Dick Seaman and the Siamese Princes Chula and Bira. When Jaguar began to exploit the competition potential of its new XK120 sports car, England's track record made him the logical choice for the crucial role of team manager. By the time the works effort was wound up at the end of the 1956 season, Jaguar had won the prestigious Le Mans 24-Hour Race four times, the '56 victory going to the D-Type entered by Écurie Écosse, which repeated the win the following year. Returning to mainstream management, England was appointed assistant managing director in 1961 and eventually succeeded Sir William Lyons as Jaguar's Chairman and Chief Executive. He retired in 1974 and died in 1995 aged 83, having done more than anyone other than Lyons himself to determine Jaguar's policies and public image.
Manufactured in January 1967 and delivered in March of that same year, '1E50706DN' remained with Jaguar for the next couple of years before passing to its second owner, Keith Ballisat, in August 1969. Jaguar would not normally have sold an experimental car to a private owner but Keith Ballisat was no ordinary Joe. Competitions Manager with Shell Oils, he had previously enjoyed a successful career as a rally driver/navigator and circuit racer with experience of Formula Junior and Formula 2 single-seaters, and was one of the 'movers and shakers' in the motor racing world of the 1960s having raced against Jim Clarke and Graham Hill, competed at Le Mans four times and finishing 9th overall in 1961.
The E-Type appears to have previously belonged to one N Brady, Esq, whose name is on a detailed invoice on file relating to its extensive restoration in 1986 by D W Autos of St Leonards on Sea, East Sussex. There is also an album of photographs recording the work and the car has had some six former keepers. In 2014, when our vendor was viewing a 1972 Bentley Corniche the E-Type was in the corner of the showroom and it naturally piqued his interest sufficiently to buy it. We have the privilege of offering both the Corniche and the E-Type in this sale. Presented to auction with recent mechanical works amounting to some £2,500.00, new wire wheels with new spinners and a set of five 185VR15 Pirelli Cinturato CA67 tyres with new tubes and rim tape. The car has had a general service with new air and oil filters with the carburettors rebuilt and an MOT is planned before the sale. The car’s interior appears to be original and although the older aforementioned restoration may require a refresh, to this consignor’s eye the condition is pleasingly mellow. This historically significant E-Type is offered with an odometer reading of some 63,000 miles, at the time of cataloguing and the private registration number “2 MXN” is generously included as detailed in the accompanying V5C.