Jaguar's Classic division is marking the 60th anniversary of the seminal E-Type sports car with an ultra-exclusive run of launch-specification restored cars.
The E-Type 60 Collection comprises a pair of restored Series 1 models - a coupé and a convertible - based on the two cars that were used for the E-Type's famous public debut at the 1961 Geneva motor show.
Named the 9600 HP and the 77 RW in reference to the numberplates of the two cars driven overnight from Coventry to Switzerland ahead of the first press drives 60 years ago, the cars have been faithfully restored, largely to factory specification but with a few subtle concessions to modernity.
The 3.8-litre straight-six engine remains, for example, but features an uprated cooling system and electronic ignition and sends its 265bhp reserves to the rear axle through a new, bespoke five-speed manual gearbox with a synchromesh on each ratio and helically cut gears for smoother changes.
Jaguar Classic has also fitted a stainless-steel exhaust system in place of the original mild-steel item; this gives a “deeper tone” and should last longer.
Visually, the cars are all but identical to their historical counterparts, down to their unique Flat Out Grey and Drop Everything Green paintwork - tones named in reference to the high-speed overnight journeys to Switzerland by Jaguar PR manager Bob Berry and legendary mechanic Norman Dewis.
Subtle touches, however, including a modern Jaguar infotainment system, bespoke badging and a hand-finished route map engraving on the centre console set them out from standard E-Types.
For the coupé, the route map is accompanied by Jaguar founder Sir William Lyons’ famous words to Berry upon his arrival in Geneva: “I thought you’d never get here”.
In the convertible, this phrase is swapped for “Drop everything and come now,” which is what Lyons told Dewis over the phone when he realised that he needed a second press car in Geneva.