The Jaguar Lightweight E-Type


The Jaguar Lightweight E-Type

Following the fire in 1957 at Jaguar's factory in Coventry, England, Jaguar set racing aside to focus on it's business of road cars. When they launched the E-Type, they new the value of the publicity these cars would receive from racing.

These cars were raced by private entrants, but Jaguar would support their racing efforts. A car of particular interest to Jaguar was John Coombs' E-Type, car 850006. In pursuit of the Ferraris, Jaguar would transform this car by increasing performance and reducing weight as much as possible.

Bringing the car back to the factory, Jaguar extensively rebuilt Coombs' E-Type. The suspension was stiffened, engine performance increased, lighter-gauge steel was used to recreate the shell, and an aluminum bonnet was added.

With the success of Coombs' E-Type, and the allure of racing to great to resist, Jaguar embarked on building a lightweight E-Type for competition, the Competition E-Type.

Coombs' E-Type's monocoque body was replaced with an aluminum body, and eleven more aluminum lightweight E-Types would be produced. The engine frame would remain steel, but the engine block was aluminum. The suspension was stiffened and the brakes were improved. The serial numbers continued along with the regular production numbers for the additional eleven cars prefixed with an S (S850659 through S850669). Coombs' E-Type was S850006 for a total of twelve cars.

The lightweights would go on to race until tragedy struck at a crash in Montlhery during the 1000km of Paris race. West German, Peter Lindner collided into another car at full speed. This brought an end to Jaguar's involvement in racing and production of lightweight Jaguars.

Over half a century later, Jaguar has embarked on completing the Lightweight E-Type series. In the production ledger, there were six E-Type chassis numbers that were reserved, but they were never produced. Jaguar announced they would re-create the last six lightweight E-Types as a very exclusive offering.

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