Home » The First Production Right-Hand-Drive Jaguar E-Type Coupe Could Fetch More Than $1.2M

The First Production Right-Hand-Drive Jaguar E-Type Coupe Could Fetch More Than $1.2M

Jaguar E Type Coupe Topshot
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How much would you pay to have the first of something? For some allocation-holders of the latest machines, that number is big, but it’s likely not as big as the price tag attached to this 62-year-old Jaguar. This is the first ever production-spec right-hand-drive Jaguar E-Type Fixed Head Coupe, it’s coming up for auction and it’s expected to fetch north of $1.2 million.

Jaguar E Type Coupe Left Front Three Quarters

Vidframe Min Top
Vidframe Min Bottom

There are people who don’t believe the E-Type is pretty, but they’re wrong. The Museum of Modern Art wouldn’t have an E-Type if it weren’t pretty. What’s more, the E-Type was remarkably high-tech for the early 1960s. It was front-mid engined, sported four-wheel disc brakes, featured unitary construction, and received four-wheel independent suspension. When it was new, it offered Ferrari 250 GT-rivaling performance for half the money, an incredible feat for a relatively small British carmaker. The E-Type changed the sports car landscape forever, and the values of good ones reflect that. This E-Type is more than just a good one, it’s an incredibly important one.

Jaguar E Type Coupe Interior

On July 10, 1961, this particular E-Type rolled off the line in Coventry bearing the serial number 860001 — the first production-spec right-hand-drive E-Type coupe ever made. If that sounds a bit late, just remember that the coupe variant had a delayed introduction after the roadster went on sale in March of 1961, a side effect of being a relatively late addition to the E-Type development program. Mind you, don’t think that development stood still once the car went on sale — early Series I E-Types had some early-installment weirdness, namely external hood latches that needed a special tool to open, and flat floors on cars built before June 1962. A mere four right-hand-drive coupes have the external hood latches, a bit of weird pub trivia for the mechanically-deranged.

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Jaguar E-Type Coupe Steering Wheel

After faithfully serving as a dealer demonstrator for several months, this E-Type made its way into the hands of its anonymous first owner — not anonymous due to privacy concerns, but anonymous because nobody bothered to keep track, possibly because once second owner David Hamer bought it sometime before 1974, most people would’ve just considered this E-Type another used car. By 1977, the E-Type had changed hands twice again, ending up in the hands of Jaguar historian Philip Porter who recognized the significance of this particular example.

Jaguar E-Type Coupe Left Profile

The current owner acquired this E-Type in 1998, putting it through a multi-year concours-grade restoration in its original opalescent dark blue over red around the turn of the new millennium. However, don’t take that to mean the car was locked away in a garage, only to see the light of day for the rare static event. The current owner drove the absolute hell out of this car, with two Coventry to Geneva sprints commemorating Norman Dewis rushing a prototype to the Geneva show overnight and an Octane magazine feature involving a 146.49 mph run under its belt.

Jaguar E Type Coupe Right Rear Three Quarters

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Gooding & Company estimates that the first production-spec right-hand-drive E-Type coupe could fetch between £1M and £1.4M, or between $1,258,995 and $1,762,593 at the time of writing. That’s an awful lot of money, but then again, this is an awfully important slice of history. Plus, all the other first six-cylinder cars — the first left-hand-drive coupe, the first left-hand-drive and right-hand-drive roadsters — don’t exist anymore, so this machine is truly one of a kind.

(Photo credits: Gooding & Company)

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George Millwood
George Millwood
10 months ago

I took a tram into Sydney city for an interview to get a Christmas Holiday job in Bebarfalds Toy Department. The interviewer was busy so I went for a walk up William St to Brysons, the Jaguar dealers, where they had one of the first E Types on display. It was gorgeous. Still to my mind the most beautiful car ever built.

Scott Morrison
Scott Morrison
10 months ago

I favor the topless examples, but my God, that is gorgeous.

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
10 months ago

May i point out to our younger brethren that this Jaguar is clearly the first ever hatchback? A 2 door 2 seater with a rear hatch, no trunk, for storage. Except it is a work of art, a design decades before its time. The hatch design later copied was just an ugly box with a station wagon rear hatch.

George Millwood
George Millwood
10 months ago
Reply to  Mr Sarcastic

Sorry but the 1959 Austin A49 Countryman beat it into production. An absolutely terrific little car overshadowed by the Mini and its brethren.

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
10 months ago

A good investment but i find myself a few pounds short of a enough kilos to do a DeLorean and buy this. It is truly a great investment that needs tge garage queen treatment.

Cuzn Ed
Cuzn Ed
10 months ago

I love that the seller not only restored it to its glory, but also drove it as intended. Such a rarity these days.

I also love this snippet:

When it was new, it offered Ferrari 250 GT-rivaling performance for half the money

That should be thought-food for the new Jaguar boss, who thinks that what’s really wrong with his company’s cars is that they’re not expensive enough.

Toecutter
Toecutter
10 months ago
Reply to  Cuzn Ed

Imagine if they made a Miata-sized car with similar-to-Miata mass, but an aerodynamically slippery coupe styled somewhat like the D-Type and E-Type racecars, with a modern take on Jaguar’s inline-6 in it…

Canopysaurus
Canopysaurus
10 months ago
Reply to  Toecutter

Funny thing: the Miata is 2 inches wider and virtually the same height as the Jag, but 30 inches shorter. That in-line six sure took up a lot of room.

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
10 months ago
Reply to  Toecutter

Or a similar miata sized sports car with the British influence. The Miata is a great 2 door a brilliant ride but it is not a work of art just a great fun ride. It will never attain million dollar status as it is pretty much a modern 70s MG. I would love one, drive one daily but never buy new or buy used for more than new.

Phuzz
Phuzz
10 months ago
Reply to  Mr Sarcastic

I thought the MX5/Miata was mostly copying the (series 1) Lotus Elan, (but with more modern technology and Japanese build quality)?

Edit, I’ve read a bit more, and it seems like the shape was inspired by the Elan, but the ethos of a ‘cheap sports car for the masses’ came from the MGB (and others).

TheHairyNug
TheHairyNug
10 months ago

Never understood the praise for the design. It’s well sculpted, but the front end is not attractive. It looks like a pinched guppy, and there’s no pushing me off that soapbox.

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
10 months ago
Reply to  TheHairyNug

You sir have no soul.

TheHairyNug
TheHairyNug
10 months ago
Reply to  Mr Sarcastic

Nah, I just don’t buy something simply because everyone else is. There are plenty of cars contemporary to the E type that I think are better designs. The Astons of that day are incredible, for example

Last edited 10 months ago by TheHairyNug
The Clutch Rider
The Clutch Rider
10 months ago
Reply to  TheHairyNug

I totally agree. For me this looks like a bar of soap

TheHairyNug
TheHairyNug
10 months ago

I’m not even an Americana type guy, and I’ll cape for the C2 over the E Type any day

Morgan van Humbeck
Morgan van Humbeck
10 months ago

“There are people who don’t believe the E-Type is pretty”

The Autopian has just lost all credibility

Richard Truett
Richard Truett
10 months ago

Those same people probably think the Triumph TR8 is ugly, too. Eff Them and the MG they rode in on.

Canopysaurus
Canopysaurus
10 months ago

This is the car that made me love sports cars. I collected Matchbox, Corgi, and Dinky versions, built several scale models (drop head and fixed head), built and raced a coupe slot car (this is what you did before RC cars were a thing), collected many books and sales brochures, and rooted for Bob Tullius and Group 44 Racing. Alas, never got to own the real thing, though I have driven a few. Still harbor a hope to own an E-Type before I die, but it’s not going to be this one.

Last edited 10 months ago by Canopysaurus
Redfoxiii
Redfoxiii
10 months ago

I guess it’s pretty but I’ve always thought the E-Type looked unbalanced in design. The hood/front end is just too long and the windshield too upright.

People call the BMW Z3 Coupe a ‘clown-shoe’ but the E-Type did it first.

Gimme a D-type any day.

Morgan van Humbeck
Morgan van Humbeck
10 months ago
Reply to  Redfoxiii

I will kindly disagree with you about your take on the E-Type, but the D-Type is simply perfect

MATTinMKE
MATTinMKE
10 months ago
Reply to  Redfoxiii

D Type is always the correct answer. Short nose with no fin for me please.

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
10 months ago
Reply to  Redfoxiii

Damn look at it compared to the style of the day. It was gorgeous, faster than anything in its day, designed in less than 24 hours on a napkin and the clown show was years later copy.

Jakob K's Garage
Jakob K's Garage
10 months ago

I have a right hand drive Nissan Figaro from the first (and only) production year. One of only 154 produced with the cold weather package in the Pale Aqua color. You can have that for just 120.000 🙂

Nsane In The MembraNe
Nsane In The MembraNe
10 months ago

One of the greatest designs in automotive history

StillNotATony
StillNotATony
10 months ago

I am gonna get killed for this, but…

It’s nice, but the roadster is SO MUCH better looking. That roof just looks weird to me.

Of course, you can’t put the top up on the roadster either. It looks bad, too.

Canopysaurus
Canopysaurus
10 months ago
Reply to  StillNotATony

Nah, I preferred the roadster, too. The coupe grew on me, though, and now I like both equally.

Take a look at eaglegb.com and how they’ve modified the original design. I think theirs is actually a smoother integration of the coupe roofline and better looking. That’s my subjective opinion, but as someone who loves the original design, that’s saying something.

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
10 months ago
Reply to  StillNotATony

He can state heresy and yet I am the one who gets threatened with grey. What is the world coming to?

Toecutter
Toecutter
10 months ago

I think the D-Type is even prettier.

The price this thing is expected to sell for is a testament to how much people prize lightweight, diminutive, nimble vehicles that provide direct feedback to the operator. Almost nothing like this car is made today, and likely never will be again unless something drastic occurs to upend the current auto industry. Which is a shame, because today’s technology could allow something worlds apart better than what existed in the past regarding performance, but with modern mechanical reliability, and at an entry-level price point if produced in sufficient volume.

Nsane In The MembraNe
Nsane In The MembraNe
10 months ago
Reply to  Toecutter

It’s a damn shame too. We knew over 60 years ago that weight was the enemy. Modern engineers are under the impression that they can outrun weight with assorted cleverness but at the end of the day you just can’t. I’ve yet to drive a 3500+ car that I didn’t feel every single pound in. Hell Kona N feels on the heavier side to me and it’s a featherweight by 2023 standards….

Toecutter
Toecutter
10 months ago

Heavier vehicles with more materials and more features bring more margins. The mindset among the modern industry is that if you want something fun, you must PAY for it, not just in buying the product at an overinflated cost, but in recurring maintenance. Everything comes fully-featured with no opt-out, and often variants that come with less features are then upcharged(Porsche does this all the damned time). It’s a total garbage philosophy. It makes money, sure, but that is money extracted from people, which is why I’m not parting with mine. I don’t want the sizzle, I want the damned steak.

These companies are just begging for some dark horse to come out of nowhere and undercut them, which is partially why the regulatory environment is what it is. The established players do not want any competition upsetting their apple cart. China is poised to do just that and when the opportunity presents itself, expect them to make the attempt. The Qiantu K20 is quite interesting, all-electric at a a $13k price point. It’s supposedly 1,700 lbs, does 0-60 mph in 4.7 seconds, and 300 miles range is claimed. While I’m skeptical of the range claim because of the battery size needed coupled with the aero to keep it cheap(and I doubt the car has the aero looking at it), it is my firm opinion that such a thing is marginally possible, because hobbyist conversions have been getting the required efficiency for 2 decades when they paid attention to reducing drag. Reverend Gadget’s GT6-bodied Triumph Spitfire conversion was getting 100-120 Wh/mile driven on the LA freeways at street legal speeds in the slow lane, as an example.

If we have any hope of getting a modern take on an inexpensive little British car, it will come from China. Of course, much respect to Mazda of Japan for keeping the Miata light, nimble, and relatively inexpensive. In the U.S. market, it’s the only game in town, but it is also much slower than it could/should be.

The LBCs of old, at least the racecar variants, were often streamliners. Jaguar D-Type, Aston Martin DP215, Triumph GT4 variants(ADU1B, ADU4B, ect), MGB “Works”, Lotus Elite, all had extremely slippery CdA values by today’s standards, and today, much more knowledge regarding aero exists.

We could have entry level sports cars getting 60+ mpg highway, weighing under 2,000 lbs, topping out at well over 170 mph and doing 0-60 mph in 4 seconds with under 200 horsepower, if only someone would build them with the compromises necessary to make that viable(an emphasis on function instead of the styling zeitgeist dujour, performance instead of comfort, weight reduction instead of features, cost reduction instead of flashy tech BS). Nevermind the possibilities opened up with EV technology.

Last edited 10 months ago by Toecutter
PL71 Enthusiast
PL71 Enthusiast
10 months ago
Reply to  Toecutter

The price this is expected to sell for has literally nothing to do with the weight+size and everything to do with the fact that it’s an investment item like a piece of art. Nobody is going to be taking advantage of its nimbleness ever again because it’s just going to sit in a garage and get auctioned off for increasingly obscene prices every few years.

Completely agree about the direction of the automotive industry though. FFS an RS6 weighs FIVE THOUSAND pounds. Why does it seem like every “enthusiast” car has a bloated set of features for profit margins? Off of the top of my head the biggest offender is the Raptor. Why does the top-dog off roader start at like 90k? Why can it only be purchased as a luxury vehicle? Kind of a joke due to the supposed intended use case.

Don’t even get me started on how literally everything needs to be an investment or please investors. No, your 150k mile miata is not worth 13 grand. And on the manufacturer side (as we have seen with Mercedes, certain aircraft manufacturers, our corporate overlords focused on driving up stock prices ruin literally everything.

Nsane In The MembraNe
Nsane In The MembraNe
10 months ago

Oh it doesn’t stop there! The new M2 is 3,800 pounds. The new C63 AMG is 4,600 pounds and the C43 is around 4,000. The Germans are some of the most egregious offenders but they’re far from the only ones.

Toecutter
Toecutter
10 months ago

My formerly-owned 1987 Mercedes Benz 300 SDL, a rolling bank vault of a tankster, was 3,800 lbs for comparison. It had a long wheelbase with the interior space of a limousine, and was built for the occupants to survive 100+ mph crashes on the Autobahn.

Now days, modern “light weight” sports cars and supercars weigh every bit as much or more. Something is wrong with that picture.

PL71 Enthusiast
PL71 Enthusiast
10 months ago
Reply to  Toecutter

Yeah I remember when they released the new Ford GT and it was carbon fiber and “super light” at 3000lbs. Wake me up when the weight starts with a 2.

PL71 Enthusiast
PL71 Enthusiast
10 months ago

My current sporty car is a pretty chunky S4 with a published weight of 3900ish lbs so I can’t talk too much, but how does an M2 weigh just as much????? 2 less doors, 2 less drive wheels.

It’s even pretty similar dimensionally! like 5 inches shorter, wheelbase within 2 inches, a couple inches wider. Gross. Saw a z4 the other week and it was COMICAL how large it was.

Nsane In The MembraNe
Nsane In The MembraNe
10 months ago

What gets me is the horrendous use of space. It has smaller backseats and less interior room than the previous M2 despite growing in every direction! How?! Why?! It’s literally a less useful car that’s longer, wider, and heavier.

What have we gained here other than weight? I have a similar beef with pony cars. Why is what’s effectively a two seat sports car as long as a goddamn 4Runner and two tons? Why aren’t they liftbacks? Is your customer base’s masculinity so fragile that they won’t buy a *checks notes* Ford Mustang if it’s a hatchback?

This is one of the reasons I’ve had multiple hot hatches and will continue to have them. If I can’t make a tiny two seater work as a daily (and I can’t), give me the same short wheelbase/relatively lightweight fun with space for 4 adults and cargo flexibility.

PL71 Enthusiast
PL71 Enthusiast
10 months ago

Yeah. Was at an autox yesterday and we were observing that the Supras and M240is of the world were pretty pointless when you can get a sedan that weighs the same and goes just as fast, or a hatch with more interior space that goes just as fast (but FWD….).

If we’re going to do this game at least gimme a rwd hot hatch or something. These big cars handle well during magazine tests but it’s been interesting to see them get absolutely walked around a handling course unless heavily modified.

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