Jaguar Classic will create six matched pairs of E-types to celebrate the iconic sports car’s 60th anniversary in 2021: the E-type 60 Collection. Each pair of E-type 60 Edition cars pay tribute to two of the oldest and most famous Jaguar E-types of all: ‘9600 HP’ and ‘77 RW’, which played pivotal roles in the unveiling of the car at its world debut in Geneva, Switzerland in March 1961.
Dan Pink, Director of Jaguar Classic, said, “The Jaguar E-type is a genuine icon, as sensational today as the moment it was unveiled in 1961. It’s testament to the E-type’s advanced design and engineering that it can still be enjoyed and admired as passionately almost 60 years on."
An Opalescent Gunmetal Grey 3.8 l Fixed-Head Coupe registered ‘9600 HP’ was one of the first two E-types unveiled to specially-invited guests at the Parc des Eaux Vives. Driven ‘flat out’ to Switzerland from Coventry the night before the launch, public relations manager Bob Berry arrived with minutes to spare for demonstration drives.
With an outstanding reaction to the E-type resulting in overwhelming demand for drives with Berry, legendary Jaguar Test and Development Engineer Norman Dewis was told to ‘drop everything’ and drive a British Racing Green 3.8 l roadster registered ‘77 RW’ overnight from Coventry to Geneva.
Both cars were also used for media road tests, which proved the car’s performance – including its 241.4kmph top speed – matched its jet aircraft-inspired lines honed in a wind tunnel by aerodynamicist Malcolm Sayer.
“The E-type 60 Collection is a lasting tribute for E-type admirers, honouring the car’s legacy and the achievements of the team that created it – many of whom have descendants working for Jaguar Classic today, expertly restoring, maintaining and future-proofing enjoyment for generations to come," Dan Pink said.
Synonymous with the revolutionary zeitgeist of the Swinging Sixties, E-types were owned by celebrities including Steve McQueen, Brigitte Bardot, Frank Sinatra, George Harrison, Tony Curtis and Britt Ekland. And, thanks to the beauty of its sculptural forms, its functionality and its impact on design, an E-type became only the third car to join The Museum of Modern Art’s design collection in 1996.