Jaguar XKE Series I-1961 to “68
The XKE Jaguar was made between 1961 and 1974. This automobile is renowned for its good looks and high performance as well as moderate price. It rated as the top sports car of the 60’s and according to Enzo Ferrari when he first saw it – he referred to the “E” type as the most beautiful automobile he’d ever seen. The first model released was a two seat convertible roadster with a “2+2” seat version released in 1966 with a slightly longer wheel base than the roadster. The original car had only 12 units produce with only half a dozen or so left in good condition have made this a very expensive and very desirable collector’s item. The New York City Museum of Modern Art has a blue roadster in its permanent collection.
© Babar760 | Dreamstime.com – Jaguar XKE Coupe 1961 Photo
The Series I “E” type was produced from 1961 until 1968 and are powered by a 3.8 liter six cylinder Jaguar XK6 engine with a triple “SU” carburetor. The initial production car was made for export and not available in the U.K. until July 1961. The most sought after of this first production run are the earliest rare models with an external “bonnet “ (hood) latch requiring a special tool to open it as well these earliest models have flat floor boards; a little latter into production the hood latch was moved to under the dash with the floor boards dish shaped to accommodate peoples legs. Leather upholstered seats are standard with leather/vinyl combination after ’63 and spoked wheels are an available option. The “E Type” features coiled rear suspension, with torsion bar front end, and four wheel disc brakes. The series one models can be identified by the glass cover over the headlights (until ’67), small grill opening, duel exhaust below the rear plate, with front and rear turn signals above the bumpers.
In 1964 the 3.8 liter engine is up graded to a 4.2 liter version with increased torque while both engines producing 198 kW (265 bhp) brake horse power. Either engine accelerates the same and will do 0-97 km/h (0-60 mph) in about 7 seconds the increased torque of the 4.2 liter offers the operator better throttle response at lower rpm. Both engines are connected to a Moss four speed standard transmission but the 3.8 liter model does not have synchromesh into first gear while the 4.2 liter gears are fully synchromesh. The 2+2 coupe has a removable hard top and offered an automatic transmission as an option.
© Babar760 | Dreamstime.com – Jaguar XKE Coupe 1965 Photo
In March 1968 the “E Type” was changed slightly with the glass covering removed from the headlights and they are unofficially called “Series 1 ½” models. Also the dash switches changed slightly and the original three SU carburetors are changed to two Zenith- Stromberg carburetors for the U.S. bound models. Some of the Series 1 ½ cars have twin cooling fans and adjustable seat backs as well. Many of these changes are to conform to changing U.S. environmental and safety regulations but also is the gradual integration of features found on the Series II XKE. One of the changes made is the winged wheel knock off nut used on the U.K. vehicles requiring a special factory tool which was not allowed in the U.S. where the hexagonal nuts are required. Many collectors have modified this “upgraded feature” back to the original knock off wing nut style. The hexagonal nut becomes a standard feature in the Series II and III vehicles.