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Coachwork by RS Panels
Based on the sleek E1A development mule and E2A race car that contested Le Mans with Team Cunningham in 1960, Jaguar’s brilliant new E-Type debuted at the March 1961 Geneva show. Essentially a civilized and modernized D-Type for the road, the E-Type proved a more than capable answer to Ferrari’s 250 GT, and, in the hands of Graham Hill, the E-Type won its first race at Oulton Park in April 1961. However, Ferrari quickly countered with its competition-oriented 250 GTO by 1962. In response, Jaguar stalwart John Coombs purchased a Ferrari GTO, which Jaguar’s aerodynamicist and designer Malcolm Sayer deconstructed and thoroughly analyzed. With Sayer’s findings in hand, work began in November 1962 on the ultimate racing E-Type, the famed “Lightweight” roadster. A series of just 12 lightweight alloy-bodied E-Types was produced, with each car incorporating Jaguar’s best competition parts and subtle variations. All-aluminum bodies and an alloy engine block shaved approximately 250 lbs. of performance-robbing weight from the basic E-Type. Further weight reduction was achieved with the cars stripped of exterior and interior trim, and hand-operated side windows.
The roster of Lightweight E-Type drivers included such legends as Jack Brabham, Briggs Cunningham, Dan Gurney, Graham Hill, Bruce McLaren, Brian Redman, Roy Salvadori, and Jackie Stewart. Today, Lightweight E-Types rank firmly atop the Jaguar competition dynasty alongside their famous predecessors and continue to electrify racing fans everywhere they appear.
Given their rarity, performance, and competition image, the fabled E-Type Lightweights inspired a number of exacting re-creations for the track. Now, approximately 50 years after the original 12 Series I Lightweights were built by Jaguar, the six remaining unused chassis numbers have been recently allocated to bespoke re-creations commissioned by Jaguar. Fabrication of much of the alloy bodies and important components for this special project were entrusted to the noted UK specialists at RS Panels. Clearly indicative of the quality and authenticity of their work, this 1961 E-Type roadster, chassis 876208, was built by RS Panels with a new all-aluminum body shell. In fact, this car, UK-registered “RSP 003,” was built as company founder Bob Smith’s personal car.
Featuring period-correct parts throughout, it is powered by a 4.2-litre engine with 45 DCOE Weber twin-choke carburetors mated to a full-synchromesh, close-ratio four-speed gearbox. Impeccable accuracy and construction quality are immediately apparent upon inspection. An FIA Historical Technical Passport (HTP) accompanies this very special Series E-Type Lightweight Replica, and it is ready for a host of driving events. Having traveled only an approximate 800 miles since completion, it is beautifully presented and a unique opportunity to acquire a highly specialized E-Type.