MYTH BUSTER

De­bunk­ing the most com­mon old wives’ tales

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - This Week -

As one of the most beau­ti­ful cars ever cre­ated, it’s no sur­prised that the E-type has gen­er­ated a few ur­ban le­gends since its no­table 1961 birth.

1 77 RW AND 9600 HP WERE THE FIRST

Oh no they weren’t. The two E-types that launched the car to the world in Geneva, road­ster 77 RW and fixed-head coupe 9600 HP, have right­fully be­come fa­mous. But 77 RW was the sec­ond pro­duc­tion car, al­beit the first open car, while 9600 HP was a pro­to­type ma­chine, and the seventh one at that. It was the sec­ond FHC to be com­pleted.

2 JAMES BOND AND THE SAINT SHOULD HAVE DRIVEN E-TYPES

When 1964’s Bond film Goldfin­ger was be­ing made, the pro­duc­tion team ap­proached Jaguar to use an E-type as 007’s gadget-laden ride. Jaguar said it didn’t need the pub­lic­ity. As­ton Martin obliged in­stead. It was the same out­come when a Jag was re­quested for the TV se­ries of The Saint too, and Volvo stepped up to pro­vide a P1800. By the 1970s The Re­turn of

the Saint, Jaguar was hap­pier to play ball... with an XJ-S.

3 E-TYPES COULD REACH 150mph

Pro­duc­tion cars in stan­dard form sim­ply couldn’t reach that heady lick. Yet the al­lure of the E-type de­pended on no less than the ton-and-a-half. Hence, press cars loaned to mag­a­zines were rid­dled with mod­i­fi­ca­tions so they could step up to the high-per­for­mance plate. Au­to­car’s test coupé was dis­cov­ered to have a run-in XK150S en­gine boosted by 20bhp from gas-flowed cylin­der head and mod­i­fied in­let and ex­haust ports. Mo­tor’s test road­ster had Dun­lop RS rac­ing tyres. Both of these ma­chines were timed at 150mph. Mo­tor­ing journo Mau­rice Smith couldn’t ac­cel­er­ate beyond 137mph in his own E-type road­ster.

NO 4: JAGUAR E-TYPE

You can get an E-type to 150mph with a lot of wind-cheat­ing ex­tras.

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