Clean XKE Series 1 Reminds Us Why It’s The Best Classic Sports Car

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XKE Series 1

The XKE Series 1 has always been greater than the sum of its parts. Now we need to buy one.

Legend has it, Enzo Ferrari once said the XKE Series 1 was one of the most beautiful cars he’d ever seen. That quip from il Commendatore had aged 6 years by the time this XKE was produced, and currently aged 57 years today. Arguably, it has lost very little truth to it.

When we saw this XKE, we had to share. Not only because it’s an ideal color combo, but also because it has a small amount of tweaks here and there that any enthusiast would really enjoy having on an XKE of their own.

Engine enhancements start with allowing it to breathe better. A ported and polished cylinder head allow air in and out, as well as being decked. Combined with competition pistons, compression ratio is raised to a stout 10.0:1. High lift camshafts take advantage of this new-found engine compression, and the spark is provided by electronic ignition. In all, it makes for an enhanced engine, which we think sounds better than modified, since the changes simply take advantage of the best parts of the engine.

“Enhanced” can be said for the driving experience as well. A Performance clutch is mated to a lighter flywheel, which then sends power through a re-built 4-speed gear box. While the number of gears may seem low, the flat torque curve of XK engines combined with a 3.07:1 final drive ratio means you won’t feel the need to hunt for more gears to maintain speed. From the sound of it, the enhancements sure did work.

Forward momentum isn’t the only enhancement. Multi-piston brake calipers help keep speeds in check, and high performance shocks keep body movement to a minimum. Thankfully, the gorgeous exterior hasn’t been adjusted in any way at all, only kept fresh. Interior touches are tastefully done, and ultimately add to the appeal of the XKE.

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Patrick Morgan is an instructor at Chicago's Autobahn Country Club and contributes to a number of Auto sites, including MB World and 6SpeedOnline.

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