Retreading the first E-type’s tyretracks
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