Re­tread­ing the first E-type’s tyre­tracks

Classic Cars (UK) - - Month In Cars -

More than 30 Jaguars marked 60 years of the first E-type pro­to­type by re­trac­ing its se­cret south Wales test route. The 2.4-litre Xk-en­gined car known as E1A was scrapped af­ter its devel­op­ment du­ties with chief test en­gi­neer Nor­man Dewis, but not before it was lent to The

Mo­tor edi­tor Christo­pher Jen­nings and his wife, ex-brook­lands racer Mar­garet, in May 1958. They both tried it on their favourite 48.5-mile route near their Welsh coun­try re­treat, av­er­ag­ing 67.7mph over 43 vil­lage-pep­pered miles be­tween Car­marthen and Bre­con.

Speeds were more se­date for the Jeff Davies-or­gan­ised re-run, which in­cluded the sec­ond right-hand drive E-type coupé built, AFD 250, and the ear­li­est sur­viv­ing road­ster, 77 RW. Said coupé owner John Bur­ton, ‘It was only af­ter I’d bought it that I dis­cov­ered that it had been raced by its first owner, An­thony Fred­er­ick Daven­port.’ Re­sults in­cluded a third at Oul­ton Park in Septem­ber 1961, then in 1962 fourth at Snet­ter­ton and first at Oul­ton Park. Bur­ton was pre­sented with the Spirit of the Event award dur­ing a stop at the Jen­nings fam­ily home.

E-type S1s were joined by mod­ern de­scen­dants for the E1A test route tour

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