At the time of the E-type’s debut in 1961, those in the market for a sports car in the UK had a good cross-section of vehicles to choose from — ranging from the old-fashioned Daimler SP250 to that handsome brute, the Austin-healey 3000, and Colin Chapman’s delicate but fragile Elite. Chevrolet’s V8-powered Corvette was capable of covering the benchmark 0-60mph sprint a second quicker than the Jaguar, but its lack of sophistication told on the twisty bits and, of course, it was almost twice the price of the big cat. Aston’s DB4 carried the same price as the Vette but with a rather more aristocratic air. Travelling over to mainland Europe, Porsche had not as yet elevated itself into the supercar league, which left Ferrari’s V12-powered 250GT as the E-type’s main on-road rival — and even Enzo’s coachbuilt confection couldn’t match the Jaguar’s 0-60mph performance, not to mention it demanded a price that was more than triple that of the Coventry-built sportster. When Jaguar launched its E-type, the press release of the day hit the nail on the head: “The Jaguar E-type is not just another sports car in the conventional sense of the word, it is an entirely new concept of highspeed motoring.” How right they were!