Debunking the most common old wives’ tales
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.