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The Quail Auction / 1961 Jaguar E- Type Series I 3.8 Roadster Chassis no. 875526Engine no. R1727-9

Lot 32
1961 Jaguar E- Type Series I 3.8 Roadster
19 August 2022, 11:00 PDT
Carmel, Quail Lodge & Golf Club

US$175,000 - US$225,000

Ask about this lot

1961 Jaguar E- Type Series I 3.8 Roadster
Chassis no. 875526
Engine no. R1727-9

3,781cc DOHC Inline 6-Cylinder Engine
3 Weber DCOE Carburetors
Est 300bhp at 5,800rpm
4-Speed Manual Synchromesh Transmission
4-Wheel Independent Suspension
4-Wheel Ventilated Disc Brakes

*Equipped with tasteful performance upgrades for high-speed Rallies and Tours
*Matching-numbers, early flat floor, covered headlight example with hard top
*Superb, nut-and-bolt restoration performed by Jaguar specialist Paul Mellenger
*Exceptionally well-performing, great looking and a highly collectible sports car
*Two owner car from new


When introduced at the 1961 Geneva Salon, Jaguar's E-Type stirred passions with its extremely sleek and timeless design backed by staggering performance. The newcomer's design owed much to that of the racing D-Type. Indeed, the E-Type would be one of the last great sports cars developed directly from a successful competition ancestor.

Just as in the D-Type, a monocoque tub formed the main body/chassis structure while a tubular spaceframe extended forwards to support the engine. The latter was the same 3.8-liter, triple-carbureted, 'S' unit first offered as an option on the preceding XK150. With a claimed 265 horsepower on tap, the E-Type's performance furthered the standards set by the preceding XK models: firstly, because it weighed around 500lbs less than the XK150 and secondly because aerodynamicist Malcolm Sayer used experience gained with the D-Type to create one of the most elegant and efficient shapes ever to grace a motor car.

Developed from that of the original XK120 sports car and refined in the racing D-Type, the double wishbone, independent front suspension was mounted on the forward sub frame. At the rear the E-Type's suspension broke new ground for a large-capacity sports car, being independent at a time when most of its major rivals relied on the traditional live rear axle. Dunlop disc brakes were fitted to all four wheels; those at the rear being mounted inboard alongside the differential to reduce un-sprung weight.

Often called the most beautiful production car of all time, the E-Type remains an automotive icon of design, engineering and speed.


Completed at the Browns Lane Jaguar works during the first production year of the now-legendary Jaguar E-Type, the spectacular example offered here carries desirable early-production features such as the flat floor cabin, welded bonnet vents, early-style bucket seats squared back and beautiful aluminum interior trim. The new left hand drive E-Type Roadster is believed to have been delivered new to the US market, where it is said to have remained with the original owner until purchased by the consignor in 1999; a well-known US-based collector of exceptional, high performing sports and racing cars.

A comprehensive nut-and-bolt restoration was later begun, carried out by Houston Texas based Jaguar specialist Paul Mellenger, which was completed in 2018. The vision for the restoration was to keep the car in its original configuration, while adding period-correct, high-performance details to make it a superb preforming rally car. The elegant original E-Type bodywork was stripped and refinished in the stunning original Gunmetal Grey Jaguar color seen on the car today, while the interior upholstery was professionally retrimmed in it's original dark blue with matching dark blue soft top. Correct for the period seatbelts were installed, and the classic wood-rimmed steering wheel restored.

Under the long, covered-headlight bonnet, the original matching numbers engine was fully rebuild, while tasteful and appropriate performance upgrades was added, such as fully porting the DOHC cylinder head, fitting and trimming three Weber triple-choke DCOE carburetors, installing free-flowing exhaust headers and full stainless steel exhaust, fitting a dual point distributor, while installing a higher-capacity aluminum radiator and improved cooling fan to keep the potent six-cylinder engine cool. Underneath, the suspension was trimmed with better bushings, shocks, and a 'anti squad' kit fitted at the rear, invented by legendary race driver and race engineer, Bob Tullius. A later, fully synchronized E-Type gearbox was fitted, while performance painted Dunlop wire wheels was fitted - triple laced at the rear as seen on period competition E-Types - shod on Dunlop racing tires.

Today this immaculate early-production Series 1 E-Type presents in spectacular condition, and it is apparent that spectacular attention to detail was the mantra of the restoration. The car is a healthy performer, while keeping its original classic look and feel. The E-Type Roadster is equipped with the desirable factory-optional hard top, fully restored in body color, and offered with the original triple SU carburetor set up, original gearbox, full tool roll and soft top cover. A proven Copperstate 1000-mile rally participant, this E-Type boasts early production features, delicate and tasteful performance upgrades, matching-numbers engine and a spectacular restoration.

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