1961 Jaguar E-TYPE Series 1 Fixed Head Coupe is a Rare Beauty
This E-TYPE is one of only 20 produced and one of 11 still in existence.
Monterey Car Week is about to start. The annual event is a gearhead’s paradise, full of car shows, concourse events, road trips, and auctions. There will be droves of beautiful classic cars at this year’s festivities, but not all of them will be for sale. Although this 1961 Jaguar E-TYPE Fixed Head Coupe (FHC) will be there, it probably won’t be staying on the coast for long. The highest bidder will be taking it home.
There are few cars as beautiful as the graceful and curvaceous Jaguar E-TYPE. This particular car is one of the rarest of an already rare breed. In its auction listing, RM Sotheby’s states, “According to Dr. Michael Mueller, co-author with Dr. Thomas F. Haddock, of the Jaguar E-TYPE 6-Cylinder Originality Guide, of the first 500 Jaguars produced with outside bonnet latches in 1961, 385 were left-hand-drive roadsters and just 20 were fixed head coupes.” Only 18 of those made their ways out of the factory; one was destroyed by Jaguar and another burned up. Over the years, seven of those 18 special cars fell off the grid, leaving only 11 survivors. This car is one of those 11 (#10, to be exact).
To bring this classic cat back to its former glory, a shop in California gave it a complete restoration. It came in in relatively good shape; its body, doors, hood, engine block, gearbox, and even radiator were factory original. Although the cylinder head was not a period-correct part, the restoration team tracked down one with the right date code and installed it. They also added NOS parts where necessary.
This early model has a few unique parts that cars later in the E-TYPE’s production run don’t have, such as its differently sized taillights and smaller gas cap door. Even the rear hinges are different; this E-TYPE features hinges hand-made out of steel whereas later cars have cast aluminum pieces.
It’s a rare machine whose timeless beauty can’t be quantified. However, the desire for it can be. RM Sotheby’s estimates the winning bid will be for an amount ranging from $500,000 to $700,000.