What is it?
Ask me to configure a car to get down my favourite road and it would go something like this.
It would need to be light, of course, and quite but not overwhelmingly powerful. I’d like to find the engine ahead of me and the driven wheels behind. That engine should have more than four cylinders and power the rear wheels through a manual gearbox. And the car should be slender, so it has more of its own side of the road on which to play. Fully independent suspension and disc brakes are, of course, a must, too.
What I’ve just described to you is a 1960s Jaguar E-Type. But were you to find such a car, even if its condition reflected that in which it left the factory all those years ago, it would likely be charming on such a road, but not very good. It would be quite slow to gain speed and even slower, relatively, to lose it. It would wobble about over the humps and crests, and if you really gave it the beans, there’s a decent chance it would break.
But imagine an E-Type designed today to that outline specification, but with modern tolerances, metallurgy and an attention to detail many hundreds of times greater than that enjoyed by a normal production car like a standard E-Type. If you did, and your mind was unusually fertile, you might just come up with this, the Eagle Lightweight GT.
You may know Eagle and some of its more extraordinary E-Type-themed creations of the past few years. Well, this is the most extraordinary of all: a car costing over £800,000, with a waiting list of at least 18 months, during which 8500 man hours will be lovingly devoted to its creation. And all that only after Eagle has sourced you a suitable donor vehicle. You can't supply your own, because too many have turned out to be in even worse condition than was thought.