AT A GLANCE:
- Jaguar Land Rover Special Operations has unveiled its ‘new’ Lightweight E-type – hand-built by highly skilled Jaguar craftsmen in a new facility at Browns Lane
- The new Lightweight E-type is the first recreation to come from Jaguar Heritage, which operates within the Jaguar Land Rover Special Operations division
- Just six customer Lightweight E-types will be built – each assigned one of the remaining chassis numbers originally allocated in 1963 to the intended 18-car ‘Special GT E-type’ project, of which just 12 were built
- The new Jaguar Heritage customer workshop facility at Browns Lane is now open to offer Jaguar warrantied servicing and restoration of classic Jaguar models
- In recreating the Lightweight, Jaguar Heritage has drawn on Jaguar’s unique engineering and design resources, including the company’s world-leading aluminium body technology
- The specification includes an aluminium bodyshell with doors, trunklid, hardtop and bonnet also in aluminium, and is assembled to exacting standards
- The six-cylinder XK engine mirrors the original power units, with an aluminium block, ‘wide angle’ aluminium cylinder head and dry sump lubrication
- The cars will be sold as period competition vehicles and all will be suitable for FIA homologation for historic motorsport purposes
- Only 12 of the original Lightweight E-types were built, all but one leaving Jaguar’s Browns Lane competitions department in 1963 (the last car was delivered in 1964)
- A prototype Lightweight – ‘Car Zero’ – has been completed and, on 14 August, will be revealed at the opening reception to the Pebble Beach Automotive weekend, the world’s most prestigious classic car event
Each of the six cars will be built to a specification originated from the last Lightweight E-type produced in 1964 and will be hand-crafted at the original home of the E-type, Jaguar’s Browns Lane plant in Coventry, England. The cars will be sold as period competition vehicles and all will be suitable for FIA homologation for historic motorsport purposes.
The new cars are the ‘missing’ six vehicles from the ‘Special GT E-type’ project, which originally started in February 1963 with the objective of building 18 cars. Only 12 of the aluminium-bodied Lightweight E-types were eventually built and the remaining six designated chassis numbers having lain dormant, until now. The six new cars will carry those original, historic Lightweight E-type chassis numbers.
A race winner in the hands of a variety of famous drivers during its short competitive career, the car has achieved worldwide fame and original examples are now valued in the many millions. In recreating the Lightweight E-type, Jaguar Heritage has been able to call on the superlative skills and experience of many talented engineers and technicians already working in a variety of departments within Jaguar.
All, when offered the chance to assist with this unique project, leapt at the opportunity. Some even have an indirect link with the E-type when it was new: one master technician calculated that his family – including his grandparents, his father and his uncle – had a collective 170 years’ service at Jaguar stretching back to the early 1960s.
The expertise and attention brought to bear on this recreation project is staggering, with the full resources of Jaguar being applied to ensure that the six new Lightweights will not only be authentic, but will also be built to the highest quality standards.
So the six chosen customers will each receive the rarest of things – a brand new Lightweight E-type, hand-built at Browns Lane and just as desirable as one of the originals.