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Resurrecting a legend

Our Bureau | Updated on March 12, 2018 Published on May 22, 2014

Reviving the racer The Lightweight carried approximately 114kg less weight than a standard E-type, thanks to its all-aluminium body and engine block.

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Jaguar is set to recreate the GT E-type of the 60’s to the exact specifications of the original.

With its long bonnet and perfect sportscar looks, the Jaguar E-Type was a design icon, a much coveted car of its times. Between 1961 and 1975 more than 72,500 E-types were produced. But, its more famous sibling was the race-bred lightweight E-Type, which was equally a legend on the track.

Jaguar Cars is now embarking on its first ever recreation project, where the Tata-owned UK company is to build six perfect reproductions of the original, race-bred Lightweight E-type that was created in 1963. The new cars are said to be the ‘missing’ six vehicles from Jaguar’s Lightweight E-type project, which originally started in February 1963 with the objective of building 18 ‘Special GT E-type Cars’.

A Jaguar statement says that only 12 of the aluminium bodied Lightweight E-types were eventually built, the last in 1964, the remaining six designated chassis numbers having lain dormant, until now. Clearly targeted at burnishing its heritage and recreating the magic of one its iconic cars, the ‘new’ heritage cars will be hand-built in-house by Jaguar’s finest craftsmen. Each car will be constructed to the exact specifications of their original 1960s forebears – including the 3.8-litre straight-six engine. The target buyer for these six cars will, of course, be established collectors and, especially those with historic race car interests. These customers will be prioritised amongst those who express interest says the statement.

The Lightweight carried approximately 114kg (250lb) less weight than a standard E-type, thanks to its all-aluminium body and engine block, a lack of interior trim and exterior chrome work and a host of further weight-saving features including lightweight, hand-operated side windows.

The Lightweights were homologated for GT competition by being designated a 'standard' roadster E-type fitted with a number of options. Those options varied from car to car, but the main modifications included all-aluminium monocoque and aluminium body panels, aluminium-block, wide-angle head, dry-sumped 3.8-litre XK engine with fuel injection, and aluminium hardtop.

The Lightweight E-types were built in 1963 (one car being delivered in 1964) by Jaguar’s competition department. Twelve complete cars were built in total – 11 are believed to survive today. These remaining Lightweights are regular front-runners in the historic motorsport scene. Jaguar expects a high demand for the six Lightweight E-types being built now. The first new Lightweight E-type will make its public debut later this summer. Jaguar says that further information will be released at that point.

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Published on May 22, 2014
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