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Lot No. 514 - 1961 Jaguar E-Type Series 1 Roadster

Sold for: £112,500

The 'SA-30 Collection' - 30 exceptional vehicles chosen to celebrate 30 years of the Silverstone Classic and all excitingly offered at No Reserve
Details Specification
  • Desirable early 'Flat Floor' Roadster, just the 598th made
  • Built on the 25/09/1961 and dispatched to Arizona
  • Matching numbers engine
  • Retains the early-production features including welded louvres, flat floors, and a number stamped bonnet
  • A fabulous, very original and highly presentable Jaguar E-Type
  • Part of a matching Roadster/Coupe pair of Cream 1961 E-Types
  • Just selected to be featured in the new, vastly expanded 'Original E-Type' book by Porter Press

Here at Silverstone Auctions, we are delighted to offer an incredible pair of matching-number, ‘time warp’ survivors of the earliest E-Types, cherished in a museum together for nearly 20 years. They are for sale separately and with the E-Type's Diamond Jubilee next year, this is an appropriate time for these significant cars to become available. From a respected private collector, both these cars are, remarkably, being offered at No Reserve.

In 1961, it was almost impossible to be able to actually obtain Jaguar’s ‘Supercar’, which was so closely related to their triple Le Mans-winning D-Type racer, but with legendary comfort and practicality, offering perhaps the ultimate road car.

The E-Type itself needs no introduction and it is no secret that company founder and chairman, William Lyons, desired to add a supremely elegant coupe to the original roadster in development and their combined launch literally stunned the world, at Geneva back in March 1961.

For both the enthusiast and the dedicated collector, the desire to obtain the 'first of the breed' in its most original condition will always be the 'Holy Grail'. The problem with actually achieving this goal is that those first E-Types were seriously flawed. The body structure was never built with any intention to make it last and indeed many were succumbing to rust issues when just a few years old. The majority of worldwide climates did not offer the kind of conditions in which an E-Type might thrive and Jaguar themselves often cited that, with such a low purchase cost, " It was far better to simply buy the new and improved model than repairing an older model with rust issues". Consequently, there was no real desire to preserve these first models, with their cramped flat floors and dangerously poor brakes for a car capable of nearly 150 mph, which resulted in many cars suffering accident damage, some on more than one occasion.

In 1961, you genuinely ‘had to be a name, and a name on a list’ to acquire one of these first delivery cars. As always, Jaguar’s primary market was the United States and this is where almost 90% of E-Type production ended up. Even there, to source an original, first-supply suffix chassis number roadster starting ‘875’ is incredibly difficult to find in original condition if at all – this confirming it to be a genuine 1961 built car, the ultimate vintage for any serious collector.

Enter Paul Webb, a passionate collector who has specialised in dealing with E-Types since the early 1970's and recalls that in those days, he would far prefer to buy a later and more expensive Series 2, 4.2 model to sell than an early car. But Paul’s passion is originality and many decades of ‘wintering’ in California allowed the opportunity to bring back several amazingly rust-free cars from there. He was ideally placed and in the perfect ‘hunting ground’ to try to find that ‘Holy Grail’ – a super early 1961 E-Type that retained every original panel fitted by Jaguar when delivered new, back in 1961.

When collecting anything, having a matching pair is always an ideal position to strive to achieve and Paul continued to search California and neighbouring Arizona for the very best original E-Types. He could not believe his luck when, in the early 2000s, he found this 1961 Roadster finished in Cream with a Beige interior, the complete twin to his 1961 Coupé. Manufactured on 25th September 1961 – the first month an E-Type would be released to any public buyers in the UK, this car was supplied new to an R Condon in Phoenix, Arizona, as confirmed by the Jaguar Heritage build sheet, and was dispatched there on 12th October 1961. In common with his coupé, this car too retained all its original features and panels and amazingly both this car and the coupe had received just one 'outside only' refresh of colour, so the door shuts and engine bay still wore their factory-applied original paint and the bonnet still displayed its original factory stamps.

Once Paul imported the roadster to join his coupé in the UK in 2004, having registered it in California first, it was decided that the dehydrated seats needed attention and once again the services of ex-Jaguar factory trimmers, respected experts Suffolk and Turley were called for. The car had previously received a new soft top and appears to have travelled just 74,414 miles from new.

Our vendor first saw this matching pair back in 2004, when they were first together, but it took a further eight years before his repeated efforts to acquire them both, still as a pair, were finally rewarded with success.

This lovely Cream Roadster was recently recommissioned to fully running and driving condition after decades of museum preservation, but the braking system will need some attention before returning to the roads and transporting oneself back to that late autumn of 1961 when this classic E-Type made such an impact in the US of A and began its long life in the Arizona sunshine.

This is an important Jaguar that's being offered at No Reserve. We welcome enquiries from seriously interested parties and are happy to arrange appointments to view.

Click here to view the car featured in this months issue of The E-Type

Year of manufacture:
1961
Make:
Jaguar
Chassis number:
875598
Transmission:
Manual
Body colour:
Cream
LHD/RHD:
Left-hand Drive
Registration number:
NOVA
Model:
E-Type Series 1 Roadster
Engine number:
R 1853-9
Interior colour:
Beige

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