Auctions and Brokerage
*Please note that the JDHT Certificate states that this car originally featured a beige interior.
Early Production, Outside Bonnet-Latch ExampleMr. Wikof, San Bernardino, California (acquired new in 1961)Mark Miller, San Francisco, CaliforniaLee Smith, Blackhawk, California (acquired from the above circa 1994)Current Owner (acquired from the above)
Reporting from Geneva 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.” Descended from Jaguar’s Le Mans-conquering D-Type sports racer, E1A development car, and E2A Le Mans prototype, the achingly beautiful E-Type combined impeccable lineage, technical sophistication, and shattering performance. A landmark automobile, the E-Type totally redefined the sports car concept from launch, and its timeless qualities remain captivating today.
E-Type production began for Jaguar’s export markets in March 1961 with domestic production commencing that July. 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 number 582 and RHD Roadster number 358, the E-Type’s original “fat floors” were modified with the addition of footwells. Surviving examples with all three of these characteristic early features are among the most collectible, historic, and valuable E-Types.
As indicated by its chassis number, this outstanding 1961 E-Type Roadster is the 38th left-hand-drive E-type produced. As such, it possesses all three of the aforementioned early-production features, making this particular Jaguar a fascinating historical record.
According to the Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust (JDHT), 875038 was dispatched from the factory on June 20, 1961, and shipped to California, where it was sold to San Bernardino resident Mr. Wikof. It is understood that this early E-Type has been a California resident from new, and it has been owned by two of the Golden State’s most respected Jaguar collectors: Mark Miller and Lee Smith.
During the mid-2000s, Mr. Smith commissioned Jaguar expert Dave Ferguson of Images European in Campbell, California, to perform a complete restoration of this important E-Type. At this time, the bodywork was stripped to bare metal and refinished in the correct Dark Opalescent Green. Mr. Smith greatly admired the car’s refinished body, so much so that he kept it on its jig and stored it under cover at his home.
Circa 2010, the consignor acquired the E-Type from Mr. Smith. From there, the restoration resumed at Images European in spring 2012 and progressed to completion in May 2013. Due to its early-production status, 875038 was treated as a historical artifact, with its numerous interesting and unique characteristics, many found only among the first 50 cars built, carefully preserved or painstakingly restored for posterity.
During the restoration process, the paint finish was color-sanded and polished, rare NOS parts were sourced, the cockpit was restored with the correct Suede Grey upholstery, and all chrome brightwork was triple-plated. Star Machine in Oakland rebuilt the engine; British Motorsports refurbished the gearbox; and Images European restored the independent rear suspension, installed the wiring, and completed the final assembly process. The sole deviation from factory specification is the use of a black convertible top rather than the original French Grey material.
Following completion, Mr. Ferguson, who is a longstanding JCNA concours judge and Jaguar Association Group chief judge, scrutinized the E-Type to ensure authenticity in every detail.
Beautifully restored and meticulously prepared by a respected marque specialist, 875038 is accompanied by a JDHT certificate and desirably outfitted with a fully restored hard top, a rare spare-tire-mounted tool kit, and an owner’s manual.
As offered, this significant Jaguar has covered approximately 40 test miles, and it has not yet been exhibited or judged at a concours event, providing an exceptional opportunity for the new owner. With outstanding provenance and the most desirable factory specifications, this E-Type Roadster is unquestionably one of the earliest, finest, and rarest extant.