A poll conducted by the Daily Telegraph ranked the Jaguar E Type as the most beautiful car ever made. Automoportal started their top ten list with the Jaguar E Type. Sports Car International lists the Jaguar E-Type as the number one car of the 1960s and the number three sports car of all time. Once upon a time, even the great Enzo Ferrari proclaimed its sleek lines as being more beautiful than any other car.
When it was released in 1961, it was faster, sexier and more affordable than any other sports car on the road. In the following clip from Top Gear, Jeremy Clarkson does a fantastic job explaining the impact the E-Type has had during its fifty year history.
As much as I love Jeremy’s chest thumping national pride in that video clip, the part that really grabbed my attention is the work done by Eagle E-types. This group of craftsmen have elevated the classic Jaguar into something modern. They start their work with an original car and rebuild it from the ground up.
The Eagle Speedster is about as far removed from the unrestored Mini that I wrote about last week as you can get. While some purists state a car is only original once, collectors interested in the Eagle Speedster are more interested in the purity of the experience. With modern tires, modern suspension, modern brakes and a modern engine, the Eagle Speedster rekindles that sense of awe that was originally felt over 50 years ago when Jaguar first introduced the E-Type.
Recently, another company has stepped up to the plate with a modern re-imagining of the E-Type. Lyonheart Cars is currently taking pre-orders for the Lyonheart K. If you only had a quick glance at the car you would be forgiven for mistaking it for an original E-Type. Starting with the oval intake at the front, tracing the lines along the curvaceous bonnet, past the retro styled side view mirror and back over the truncated rear of the cockpit all of the cues reflect the classic E-Type.
It’s when you look a bit more closely and notice the headlights now stretch up into the arches over the front wheels or the modern ventilation on the sides that you realize this is an entirely new car. They are a newly formed British car manufacturer that is starting with an all new aluminium chassis, motivated by an all new supercharged 5.0 liter V-8 engine and wrapped in a very new carbon fiber skin that are all meant to inspire a classic sense of nostalgia. I’m looking forward to seeing this car fully realized and envious the 50 people who are going to lord their owners over the less fortunate.
Last month, Laszlo Varga presented his vision of what a modern E-Type could look like. In his fourth year as a student at Budapest University of Technology and Economics (BME)/Industrial Design, Laszlo has been showing up in articles because of how well thought out his concept is.
His design actually appears to me to be a blend of the E-Type with another icon of the era, the Ferrari 250 GTO. By relaxing the angle of the front window and slightly raising the arches over the rear wheels he has blended some of the best characteristics of both cars into his computer generated model. I wish Laszlo the best of luck in his career after graduation. He certainly shows a lot of promise with his student work.
Marin Myftiu and Skyrill.com published their concept for an electic Jaguar XKX inspired by the E-type. This is a far more radical approach to the classic car that takes advantage of using a smaller powerplant that doesn’t have the same cooling requirements as a traditional combustion engine.
The wide openings at the front of the car are designed to move air behind the front tires and along the side of the car to reduce drag. The side view mirrors automatically fold into the car when parked to reduce the chance of being vandalized. One of the coolest ideas presented with this concept is the use of a piezoelectric layer covering the car to generate electricity from the force of the air as the car drives along.
With all of the attention being given to the classic E-type it should be no surprise to anyone that Jaguar has announce the F-Type will be available next year. While I don’t believe this car will be able to spark the sort of revolution the E-Type did, I am happy to see the legacy living on with an official release.
If you want an E-Type of your very own but don’t have the resources to obtain the real thing you can download the fantastic paper model from Canon Japan by clicking HERE. It uses 14 sheets of paper and requires moderate modelling skills to make.