Jaguar E-Type History
Jaguar had a history of sports cars that extended back to the 1930's. At the
time, however, the Jaguar company was known as "SS". The most notable sports
car model was the SS 100. In the mid 1930's the "Jaguar" name became associated
with their sports cars and the SS designation would be lost to history.
A break through came in 1948 with the XK 120 that would send Jaguar on a
trajectory of producing iconic sports cars of greater performance within
financial reach of a greater part of the market. Jaguar was successful at
applying technology from their other car lines to sports car design.
The XK 120's 3.4 liter engine gave it a top speed of up to 120 mph. A
combination of price, performance and practicality would drive the XK 120's
success and that of subsequent models through the 1940's and 1950's. A theme
and key element of success of the subsequent Jaguar E-Type through the 1960's
Jaguar XK 140 and XK 150
After the XK 120's run for over a decade, the XK 140 was introduced in 1954. It
was similar in style to the XK 120 with modest technical improvements. The
Jaguar XK 140 was quickly followed by the XK 150 in 1957. The XK 150 model was
similar to the XK120 and XK140 in appearance, except it had straighter body
lines. It was also during the XK 150's run that the 3.8 liter six cylinder
engine was introduced to Jaguar's sports car. It was this engine that would
power the first E-Types.
The Jaguar E-Types ancestry is also driven by Jaguar's success in competitive
racing and engineering. The bridge between the XK 120 and the E-Type is the
D-Type. This car was exclusively designed by Jaguar for racing. Drawing off the
XK120 for its power plant and front suspension, the D-Type design and
construction is more identifiable with that of the E-Type. They both have the
front frame assembly attached to a monocoque body. The E-Type is basically a
more civilized version of the D-Type.