If you ask a thousand people to name the 10 most beautiful cars ever built, the only car to appear on every single person’s list would probably be the Jaguar E-Type. This 1967 Jaguar XKE OTS (that’s open two-seater to us Yanks) is often called a Series 1 model, incorporating dozens of performance and reliability improvements over the Series I, and unquestionably more handsome than the later cars, making it one of the most desirable E-Types of all. If you’re looking for a Jag to drive and enjoy, this is your E-ticket ride.
Finished in stunning Carmen Red, there’s no way you can mistake this car for anything else. Imagine, if you will, that you’re the guy who owns this car in the 1960s. There’s just nothing else like it on the road and everywhere you go, you’re a 1-car parade. Women throw themselves at you, and it never rains. Well, OK, those last two aren’t true, but if you have this car in your garage, you are well and truly The Man. The shape is so seductive that you’ll be tempted to just run your fingers along the chrome spines that top each of the front fenders each time you park it and walk away. Beautifully restored, this one exhibits none of the usual E-Type issues: the long bonnet fits beautifully, the doors open and close effortlessly, and both the front and rear bumpers are tightly fitted to the body. Never a rusty car, it has obviously spent its life in a warm climate, and that’s especially critical on Jaguars, which can rust in the most demonic ways possible. The finish is immaculate, and while we don’t say “perfect” around our showroom, this one is absolutely jaw-dropping. Note the small grille opening, slender bumpers, and taillights still perched above the rear bumpers, all indicative of the Series 1 cars and making it one of the prettiest of all.
The Biscuit leather buckets invite you to come in and stay a while, and with the 1965 upgrades, they became more comfortable for long trips. While an automatic transmission was added to the options sheet with the Series II later in the year, this one still sports a proper 4-speed manual, a revised gearbox that’s almost as silky as the bodywork. Toggle switches, not ordinary rockers, still control all the secondary functions, and big, round Smiths gauges are a right British way to monitor the engine. That Moto-Lita steering wheel is real wood, and sumptuous carpets give it a plush, luxurious feeling inside, especially with those sisal mats on top. This car also includes a rare Blaupunkt AM/FM radio that has been upgraded for iPod operation. There’s not a lot of trunk space, but enough for a weekend getaway, and the tan convertible top fits snugly when you need it in an emergency.
The Series 1 cars got a nice bump in performance thanks to a revised 4.2 liter DOHC inline-six. Still silky smooth and willing to howl to redline in every gear, it also produces more torque for American tastes. Polished cam covers and a gold spark plug valley easily identify this as an early car, not an SII, and all the wonderful Jaguar details are still there, from the gorgeous porcelain exhaust manifolds to a trio of side-draft SU’s (SII cars dropped to only two carbs). It fires easily with a racy growl from the twin tailpipes, and pulls with the ferocity of a much bigger engine. You’ll be pleased to note the chassis is beautifully detailed but it has been driven, so you aren’t erasing perfection, and it wears proper 185R15 blackwall radials on gorgeous chrome wire wheels.
It is as fast as it is beautiful, it is fully documented with a Heritage Certificate, and thanks to a high-quality restoration, this E-Type roadster can be driven and shown anywhere with confidence.
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