1967 JAGUAR E-TYPE 2+2 COUPE
Registration No. SYV 434F
Chassis No. 1E51015
Engine No. 7E535419
Opalescent Blue with black interior
Engine: six cylinders in line, twin overhead camshafts, triple SU HD8 carburettors, 4,235cc, 265bhp at 5,400rpm; Gearbox: four speed manual with synchromesh; Suspension: front, independent with double wishbones and torsion bars, independent coil spring and damper units; Brakes: Dunlop servo-assisted discs all round. Right hand drive.
The E-Type was arguably one of the most eagerly awaited of all Jaguar's products both before and since, and when introduced to the public at the Geneva Salon in 1961 it did not disappoint. Many thousands of words have since been written about this seminal machine, and it is necessary to wax lyrical neither about its abilities nor its beauty. More interesting to note in this case is the model's evolution.
The Nineteen Sixties was a period of rapid change within the automotive world, and the car so enthusiastically received at Geneva found its competitiveness quickly eroded by the growing influx of American brawn, as well as by more focussed offerings from the Italian and home markets. Capacity was upped to 4.2 litres as soon as the new engine was ready in 1964, and a new gearbox ironed out the only foible singled out by critics. However, Jaguar was conscious of the sales limits imposed by only offering a strict two-seater, and in 1965 they introduced their "masterpiece of stretching": the 2+2.
Nine inches longer and two inches taller, the 2+2 offered its occupants a great deal more space inside while retaining the overall shape and grace of the original. It aimed to cater for the slightly more relaxed fast tourer, a fact highlighted by the addition of a D1-D2 Borg-Warner automatic transmission to the options list. But times were still changing, not least across the Atlantic where regulations concerning emissions and crash safety were becoming increasingly demanding. In the interests of cost-efficiency, Jaguar decided to phase in the necessary modifications rather than change everything at once. Hence the Series 1 evolved as it neared the end of its production run, the loss of its fared-in headlights towards the end of 1967 being closely followed by the federalised strangulation of the engine, with a revised intake manifold and twin Stromberg carburettors replacing the triple SUs.
These cars were never officially recognised as different from other Series 1s by Jaguar, but have since been endearingly and unofficially labelled the Series 1½. This example, first registered on the 20th of October 1967, is one of the very early Series 1½s; it bares a chassis number just forty digits higher than the first of its line (1E50975). As such it brandishes naked headlights but retains the unfederalised engine fed by its three SU carburettors. Inside, it features the rocker switches that replaced the original toggles (the Nineteen Sixties' idea of "crash protection"), but not the optional automatic gearbox, instead retaining the much-preferred four speed manual. The black leather upholstery, though generally in good condition, is slightly worn on the side of the driver's seat. The Opalescent Blue paintwork worn on the exterior is original but showing some evidence of discolouration and rusting, particularly behind the off-side rear wheel arch, and the exhaust is in need of replacement. Sold with a Jaguar Daimler Heritage certificate confirming it as a matching numbers vehicle, and with a V5 document, this car represents a rare permutation of the legendary E-Type, and as such is an interesting and worthwhile restoration project.