2022 | Pebble Beach Auctions
1961 Jaguar E-Type Series I 3.8-Litre Roadster
$500,000 - $600,000
The Most Collectible Example of Jaguar’s Iconic 1960s Sports Car
The 45th Left-Hand-Drive E-Type Roadster Built
Originally Equipped with External Bonnet Latches, Flat Floors, and Welded Louvers
Delivered New to Kjell Qvale’s BMCD in San Francisco; Bay Area Car from New
Award-Winning Restoration to Exacting As-Delivered Specifications
Accompanied by Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust Certificate, Hardtop, Owner’s Manual, and Warranty Card
3,781 CC DOHC Inline 6-Cylinder Engine
Three SU HD8 Carburetors
265 BHP at 5,500 RPM
4-Speed Manual Gearbox
4-Wheel Servo-Assisted Dunlop Disc Brakes, Inboard Rear
Front Independent-Wishbone Suspension with Torsion Bars and Telescopic Dampers
Rear Independent Coil-Spring Suspension and Telescopic Dampers
Allen Stribley, Orinda, California (acquired new via British Motor Cars Distributors Ltd. in 1961)
Ron Laurie, Palo Alto, California (acquired from the above in 1977)
Current Owner (acquired from the above)
The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering, California, 2011 (Best in Class)
Reporting from Geneva, Switzerland, in March 1961, Autosport magazine declared: “The E-Type Jaguar has made its electrifying appearance, and at one stride Britain takes the lead in the Grand Touring market of Europe.”
E-Type production began for export markets in March 1961 with domestic production commencing in July of that year. Running changes defined first-year production: Early production cars utilized external bonnet latches until August 1961; welded bonnet louvers were fitted until the end of 1961; and from LHD Roadster no. 582 and RHD Roadster no. 358 the original flat floors were modified to incorporate footwells. Surviving examples with all three characteristic early features are among the most collectible and valuable E-Types.
As indicated by its chassis number, this Roadster is the 45th left-hand-drive E-Type built. As such, this car possesses all three early production features, making it a fascinating historical record. According to the Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust Certificate on file, chassis 875045 was built on May 16, 1961, painted Opalescent Dark Green with Biscuit upholstery and a French Grey soft top. It was dispatched to Jaguar Cars New York and shipped to Kjell Qvale’s San Francisco dealership, British Motor Car Distributors Ltd.
Like all US Jaguar dealers at that time, BMCD was prohibited from selling any E-Type for a three-month period. On August 24, 1961, soon after the factory embargo ended, Mr. Qvale sold 875045 to Allen Stribley, a Jaguar enthusiast living in the East Bay suburb Orinda, California. Mr. Stribley kept the E-Type until 1977, when he advertised the car for sale in The EJAG News Magazine, describing it as a “very rare external hood latch model, bought new by me in August 1961…second oldest E-type known in USA.”
The second owner was Jaguar collector Ron Laurie of Palo Alto, California, whose stable included a Mk IV, Mk V, and XK120 SE, as well as a 4.2-Litre E-Type Coupe that he had also purchased from Mr. Stribley. During his ownership, Mr. Laurie commissioned the respected Jaguar specialist Steve Gordon and Brian Hoyt’s Perfect Reflections to restore this historic car to its original splendor. The restoration was completed in time for 875045 to take part in a special 50th anniversary E-Type celebration at The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering in August 2011, where it was voted Best in Class and reunited with its original selling dealer, Mr. Qvale.
Meticulously maintained since restoration, 875045 is desirably outfitted with an optional hardtop, BMCD radio, and fitted suitcase. It retains its original matching-numbers engine and body tag per the accompanying JDHT Certificate. The sale also includes the original owner’s packet, which contains the instruction manual and factory warranty card. This E-Type Roadster is a Bay Area car from new; it possesses three-owner provenance and an award-winning restoration, as well as the most desirable factory specifications. It is undoubtedly among the earliest, finest, and rarest extant.